Chatham County Real Estate Broker Eric Andrews thinks inflation could have some impact on home sales in Chatham County in 2022 but points out that 36% of his sales last year went to cash buyers, and interest rates do not impact them.
Well, what type it will have, I don’t know. I can tell you what it has done. I mean, right now, it hasn’t done anything. I mean, real estate prices are going up. Is that inflation? Food’s going up, gas is going up. I’m really surprised with gas going up, we haven’t had more issues because we used to…sometimes we’d play around in this office and we have what’s known as the acceptable line of commute. And for the longest time it was on the other side of Jordan Lake. People wouldn’t even come to Pittsboro and then it was Pittsboro. And then, it went almost halfway between Pittsboro and Siler City. Then, when things got really wild, it was the whole county that was an acceptable line of commute. And we have people from California that think an hour long commute is nothing or whatever. So gas really hasn’t had an impact.
We have so many cash buyers right now that’s making a difference. So just a few years ago, we were at seven, eight percent. Then last year we were at 20%. I just did some data analysis last week. We’re at 36% right now, cash buyers, which is crazy. Land is much higher than that. I’m talking about in residential market for home buying. So that’s really, really high for residential home buyers to have 36% cash buyers or whatever. But I mean, if you have X dollars to pay for your mortgage and then you’re paying more for other stuff, I mean, that’s going to… I think that’ll have an impact. And this is so horrible to say or whatever, but that’ll have an impact if you’re buying a house for 150, 250 or 350. We don’t have anything right now for less than 500.
So it’s not having an impact on those particular buyers. Will it have an impact eventually? I mean, one of the things because of the inflation, Uncle Sam is raising the interest rates. We’re probably at six, six and a quarter right now. I mean, we sold real estate all the time when interest rates were six and six and a quarter. We didn’t think that was bad at all. We just…it’s been three, three and a quarter for a couple years right now. So we get real spoiled or whatever. I have an old mortgage book and it doesn’t even go below four and a half percent because they just never thought that they would. So, but right now, I’m not insensitive to the struggles of a lot of people right now. Inflation is definitely taking money out of their pockets, but it has not had an impact on real estate in Chatham as of yet.