Population Growth in the Triangle and How It Could Impact the Real Estate Market

Dated: July 15 2021

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The Triangle is projected add 700 residents per week for the next 30 years.

The Raleigh-Durham area, along with the greater Triangle area is steadily growing. It’s also a popular place to live, as noted by the Raleigh-Durham metro area’s recent ranking by US News & World Report as the second Best Place to Live among 150 U.S. cities. That ranking is a nine place jump from last year’s #11 placement. According to the publication, “the pandemic played a role in the rankings. A third of Americans surveyed by U.S. News say the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their preference for where they want to live, and those changes may have contributed to Raleigh and Durham’s rise.”

Part of the attraction to the Raleigh-Durham area is its business sectors in tech, aerospace and pharmaceuticals, along with its strong base of higher education. Those sectors were not impacted significantly during the pandemic and the unemployment rate in our area remained relatively stable during the pandemic.

Also, the area continues to attract major players like Google and Apple, which both are establishing a significance footprint in the Triangle.

Additionally, while the real estate market in the Triangle is red hot, the cost of housing is still relatively affordable.  The Triangle area’s migration rate has been steady, and according to the North Carolina State Demographer, “Migration has been a key component of the state's growth and is likely to remain a driver of population growth over the next decade.”

The Triangle area has experienced average population growth of about 1.6% to 1.7% per year—a rate that will remain steady over the next 30 years. That means our area will add nearly 36,000 residents per year or about 700 people per week. And in the past, about one quarter of those residents were school-aged children. So in addition to finding a place for these newcomers to live—whether apartments, condos, townhomes or single-family homes—communities will also need to continue to build more schools.

So while the real estate market is hot today and some people feel that homeownership is escaping them, the market will level out somewhat as we continue to come out of the pandemic. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association REALTORS®, there is a national housing shortage that totals about 4.8 million homes. Yun notes that current “homebuilding activity in 2021 will be slightly above historic norms” and that it will take a few years for builders to play catch up.

It is still a great time to buy a home—even though today the hurdle to do so is higher, given that homes are selling for significantly over list price and buyers have to commit substantial funds for due diligence fees. And buyers are often purchasing homes today sight unseen. By year’s end and into 2022, things should improve as inventory levels increase. The home buying frenzy should slow down.

For the longer term, home ownership will continue to be a great investment in the Triangle as our population growth will create and maintain a steady supply of home buyers. So if you’re thinking about buying a home, there’s no better time than today.


For assistance with buying your first home, downsizing, moving up to a bigger home or purchasing investment property, please feel free to contact me:

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Tania Tinsley Little

Tania Tinsley Little is a successful real estate broker and professional home stager and designer. She runs two distinctly separate, yet complementary businesses under The Total Package brand: 1) a re....

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