Winston-Salem, NC – New Homes Update
The 2017, Winston-Salem new homes market has benefited from job growth, slow but steady population growth, and investment in development in the community.
Employment Landscape in Winston-Salem is Improving
Unemployment in Winston-Salem improved to 4.1% in late 2017, compared to more than 5% last year. 1.8% in the last year the 1.6% national rate. Future job growth, a measure of the number of jobs created over the next 10 years, is predicted to be 38.4%, also exceeding the national forecast.
The community currently has a mix of white collar and blue-collar roles, like professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. But Winston-Salem’s economy has been transitioning toward one focused on technology including biomedical research, digital design, advanced manufacturing and advanced software development. Ranked in the Top 100 of Forbes’ 2017 Best Places for Business and Careers, Winston-Salem is also attracting entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Population Growth in Winston-Salem is Slow but Steady
Winston-Salem is North Carolina’s fifth largest city and home to more than 242,000 people. More than 1,600 people (an increase of +0.7%) moved into the city during the last year. Forsyth County, with Winston-Salem as its largest community, expects population growth of 100,000 people over the next 20 years.
Higher education institutions including top ranked Wake Forest University add youth to Winston-Salem’s population. But almost half the city is older than 35 and it is a family-oriented community. Ranked as one of the Top 40 Best Places to Live in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report, and among Niche.com’s Top 100 U.S. Cities to Raise a Family, Winston-Salem has more than 65% of households classified as families.
Winston-Salem Investing in New Development
Although slower growing than other communities in North Carolina, Winston-Salem’s appeal to new business segments and recognition as a good place for families places it on the cusp of growth.
The city responded by investing in new development. 2016 was a record-setting year, with $359 million in nonresidential construction, new construction and redevelopment. That same year saw $255 million in new residential construction, a 50% increase over 2015.
Real Estate in Winston-Salem on the Upswing, but Remains Affordable
Winston-Salem real estate remains a good value compared to the nation. Market trends show Winston-Salem’s average per square foot pricing for homes is $93, up from $91, but still below the U.S. average price of $140. The median home sale price of $150,000 increased $10,000 or +7%. This indexes 57% lower than the national average of $259,900 for listed homes.
More than 900 homes sold in Winston-Salem, a +6% gain in the last year. The most popular and growing home configuration is a 3-bedroom, representing almost 60% of total sales. Four-bedroom homes accounted for 19% of sales, and 2-bedrooms another 17%.
New Home Builders in Winston-Salem Responding to Demand
Winston-Salem has active 18 builders and more than 100 new home communities across the area. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond monthly snapshot shows 200 new housing permits were issued for Winston-Salem in October, almost double year ago. Annualized permit rates show growth of almost 70%.
Builder teams have created about 800 new construction floor plans for buyers. Recognizing the diversity of household needs in Winston-Salem, builders’ plans deliver homes sizes between 1176 and more than 5200 square feet, with prices from $92,900 to $599,900. On a per square foot basis, prices average $91.49 to $135.84 for new construction. According to builderonline.com, the average pricing for new construction in Winston-Salem in 2017 was $173,000 or $88 per square foot for 1965 square feet. Pricing typically reflects mid-grade building materials, basic finishes, permit and site clean-up costs.
While new home construction is slightly more expensive than purchasing an existing home, a new build offers a variety of design options like open floor plans, three-car garages, and first floor master bedrooms. Buyers can choose the number of bedrooms, and can benefit from energy efficient designs, the latest materials, and creating a neighborhood from the ground up.
The Future Looks Bright for Real Estate in Winston-Salem
The National Association of Realtors has forecasted home sales for 2018, and ranks Winston-Salem favorably at 37th among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.
Home sales are predicted to increase by 3 percent with prices up 3.21 percent, putting Winston-Salem ahead of Raleigh for projected sales growth and in front of Charlotte in projected price growth. And Winston-Salem outranks larger cities such as San Francisco, Phoenix and Minneapolis.