Interest Rate Hike Won't Likely Slow Down Triangle Real Estate Boom

Dec 16, 2015

Credit Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates today but experts say that’s unlikely to slow down the real estate boom in the Triangle. Most of the action is in Wake County, especially in Fuquay-Varina and Morrisville. 

Mark Parker is manager and broker-in-charge at Fonville Morisey in North Raleigh.

Demolitions, renovations and new homes are up over last year.  Parker isn’t worried about interest rates rising.

“To be honest with you, if they raise rates just a little bit, I don’t see that it will have too much of a negative impact," said Parker.

Parker says he is more concerned with the supply of housing.  Demand is high.  "All these people need some place to live," said Parker.

Bryan Coates is a Wake County Planner.  He says new, single family home permits are up 14 percent this year over last year.  There were 5,340 permits in 2014 and 6,092 in 2015.

Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography at UNC Chapel Hill, says between 2010 and 2014, Wake County grew by 10.8 percent.   She says the Triangle Region, including Wake, Durham and Orange counties, grew by almost 10-percent during the same period.

N.C. State University Economist Mike Walden says it common to see residential and commercial construction underway in all corners of the Triangle, and an interest rate hike won't stop that boom.

"An interest rate hike is a positive referendum on the economy," said Walden.  "It's long overdue."

Walden says last year, the North Carolina labor force grew six times faster than the rest of the country.  And that kind of growth can withstand a modest hike in the interest rate.