Wilmington real estate market struggling to keep up with demand

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you’re in the market to purchase a home, now might not be the right time. Limited supply is driving up home prices in the Cape Fear by tens of thousands of dollars.

Wilmington resident Maria Marquez has spent the last two months searching for a place to call home. Her husband is a disabled veteran, and the two are approved for a VA loan.

“It’s the most frustrating thing,” Marquez said. ‘We go to these houses, we fall in love with them, so far we’ve lost five houses.

Marquez says inflated cash offers from other buyers and investors are making it impossible to win.

“We bid on a house that was originally $380,000. It sold for close to $500,000,” she said. “When we’re talking about $100,000 over asking, we cannot compete because the VA appraises the house at a certain level.”

The couple is hopeful the real estate bubble will burst before their apartment lease is up in September, but some experts believe that won’t be the case.

“This is not a bubble in my opinion,” said realtor Jason Bell.

Bell says unlike the housing crash of 2008, the extreme increase in prices is based on supply versus demand. According to how quickly homes are selling, there is just one week worth of inventory currently listed for sale in Wilmington.

“In the price range of $250,000 – $350,000 in Wilmington, NC, three bedroom two bath, there are presently 17 homes available,” Bell said.

There are nine more homes listed between $150,000 and $250,000. More than 100 homes listed between $150,000 and $350,000 sold in Wilmington in the past 30 days.

So what is driving up the demand? Bells believes it’s a variety of factors.

“There’s so many more people working from home and they’ve been able to move away from other areas in the country and move to the Carolina coast,” Bell said. “Coupled with that as well, we now have increased prices in building materials.”

Marquez says if these trends continue, the couple and their VA loan will be left high and dry.

“My husband fought for this country, went to war for this country, and there should be a little bit more… I don’t know… patriotism I would say.”

Marquez said she found out on Monday that they had been outbid on a sixth house.

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