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Home Mortgage Rates in North Carolina

With housing costs and property taxes far below other in-demand areas in the nation, North Carolina is an outstanding market for prospective homebuyers. North Carolina has a robust economy, a healthy job market, and plenty activities. In fact, Business Insider Magazine ranked North Carolina one of the best states in the country to start a business. Cities such as Raleigh and Charlotte have many activities, and the beaches and mountains are a reasonable drive from wherever you live in the state.

Current Real Estate Trends

North Carolina is experiencing an expanding housing market; areas like Cary, Raleigh, and Charlotte are some of the most sought after in the state. According to realtor.com, the median housing price in North Carolina is currently around $173,000- this is a good deal lower than the national average of around $200,000. Some cities such as Raleigh and Charlotte have significantly higher median costs, but are cheaper than most cities of their size and magnitude.

Housing prices in North Carolina are currently on the rise, with areas like Charlotte, Morrisville, Raleigh, Durham, and Cary generally being the most expensive. Charlotte and what is called “the research triangle” (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) are experiencing the highest growth, with a high number of jobs in the pharmaceutical, information technology, and banking fields.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) state the median housing prices in the state's most popular cities was $375,000 in Raleigh; $300,000 in Charlotte; $281,900 in Durham; and $330,000 in Asheville. Keep in mind while these prices are significantly higher than the average, they are still low for cities, especially in high demand areas. For comparison, the average housing price in Boston is around $560,000- and it only goes significantly up from there. It should also be noted that North Carolina has a drastically lower tax rate than states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and California.

It is important to note that homes in the Southern part of the US are on average larger than homes in the North or Western parts of the country. This means that homeowners are paying less for square footage and getting more for the price.

Historical Real Estate Trends

According to the Federal Reserve Economic Data's (FRED) website, North Carolina's housing market rapidly increased since the mid 1980's, with a minor slump of about 10% in the market from 2010-2012. North Carolina experienced a housing boom in 2008, followed by the 2010-12 slump, before reaching current high levels. Home prices in the state are currently above those from the 2008 boom.

North Carolina's housing market has rebounded much more vigorously than other parts of the country. In terms of post-recession housing prices, FRED reported that North Carolina outranks both Nevada and New York.

This is probably due to the large amount of professionals and tech companies coming into the state. According to a report done by WRAL, it was found that there was a direct correlation between incoming jobs and professionals and positive housing rates.

Places to Live

Metropolitan Areas

NC Rank US Rank Metropolitan Area 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △
1 22 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metro Area 2,474,314 2,217,012 257,302 11.61%
2 37 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metro Area 1,726,907 1,676,822 50,085 2.99%
3 43 Raleigh 1,302,946 1,130,490 172,456 15.25%
4 75 Greensboro-High Point 756,139 723,801 32,338 4.47%
5 83 Winston-Salem 662,079 640,595 21,484 3.35%
6 97 Durham-Chapel Hill 559,535 504,357 55,178 10.94%
7 116 Asheville 452,319 424,858 27,461 6.46%
8 118 Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Metro Area 449,295 376,722 72,573 19.26%
9 139 Fayetteville 380,389 366,383 14,006 3.82%
10 147 Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton 364,187 365,497 -1,310 -0.36%
11 167 Wilmington 282,573 254,884 27,689 10.86%
12 229 Jacksonville 187,136 177,772 9,364 5.27%
13 239 Greenville 177,220 168,148 9,072 5.40%
14 261 Burlington 159,688 151,131 8,557 5.66%
15 288 Rocky Mount 147,323 152,392 -5,069 -3.33%
16 310 Lumberton 133,235 134,168 -933 -0.70%
17 313 Dunn 130,881 114,678 16,203 14.13%
18 325 New Bern 126,111 126,802 -691 -0.54%
19 328 Goldsboro 124,150 122,623 1,527 1.25%
20 392 Shelby 97,144 98,078 -934 -0.95%
21 400 Pinehurst-Southern Pines 95,776 88,247 7,529 8.53%
22 438 Wilson 81,661 81,234 427 0.53%
23 472 Mount Airy 72,113 73,673 -1,560 -2.12%
24 474 Roanoke Rapids 71,766 76,790 -5,024 -6.54%
25 484 Morehead City 68,890 66,469 2,421 3.64%
26 485 North Wilkesboro 68,740 69,340 -600 -0.87%
27 494 Forest City 66,421 67,810 -1,389 -2.05%
28 511 Elizabeth City 63,617 64,094 -477 -0.74%
29 523 Albemarle 60,791 60,585 206 0.34%
30 529 Sanford 59,616 57,866 1,750 3.02%
31 533 Oxford 59,031 59,916 -885 -1.48%
32 543 Kinston 57,307 59,495 -2,188 -3.68%
33 563 Boone 53,922 51,079 2,843 5.57%
34 614 Washington 47,526 47,759 -233 -0.49%
35 643 Marion 45,075 44,996 79 0.18%
36 645 Rockingham 44,939 46,639 -1,700 -3.65%
37 651 Henderson 44,244 45,422 -1,178 -2.59%
38 670 Cullowhee 42,241 40,271 1,970 4.89%
39 695 Kill Devil Hills 40,105 38,327 1,778 4.64%
40 761 Laurinburg 35,244 36,157 -913 -2.53%
41 781 Brevard 33,482 33,090 392 1.18%

Desirable Cities in North Carolina

North Carolina is home many desirable towns and cities, some of which are ranked among the best in the nation. While places like Charlotte and Asheville are popular, cities and towns inside Wake County (Cary, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Apex) are the most sought after and expensive. Listed here are some of the best cities and towns in terms of price, economy, and activities.

Raleigh

Raleigh Skyline.

Raleigh is North Carolina's capital city, with a population of 451,066. A rapidly growing city, Raleigh is located in the central part of the state and has a greater metro population of over a million people. With a median home price of around $375,000, Raleigh is still relatively inexpensive for a city of its caliber.

Based on data from trulia.com, the median income in the city is $50,679. With cost of living factored, Raleigh is certainly affordable in most areas. North Raleigh is the most upscale area of the city; it is more suburban and spread out, however it is still in close proximity to shopping centers.

Raleigh is a great destination for professionals, with a number of jobs in the technology field, banking/financial, and pharmaceutical industry. Raleigh is home to NC State University and other higher learning institutions such as Shaw University.

Raleigh is known for its wide variety of restaurants and bars, many in the up and coming Warehouse District. Red Hat Amphitheater and Walnut Creek Amphitheater host popular music acts. Raleigh is also home to professional sports such as the Hurricanes and college sports such as the NC State Wolfpack.

Cary

Cary is a suburb just outside of Raleigh with a population of around 160,000. Cary is one of the wealthiest and most educated areas in the state. With its rapid growth and low crime rate, Cary is one of the most desirable places in the state. Generally, homes closer to downtown and inside Cary Parkway are cheaper, with median prices around $200,000 for single detached homes. In neighborhoods such as Preston and Regency, single homes can cost from $350,000 to over $2,500,000. As the area grows, home prices and rent in Cary have been steadily increasing.

Cary does not have a downtown hub like Raleigh, but still has activities like bars and restaurants, while Raleigh is a twenty-minute drive away. Cary is home to some businesses and medical offices, however, many professional residents commute into Raleigh for work.

Garner

A small town just outside of Raleigh, Garner is a cheaper option for those who still want to be near the city. Data from real estate website trulia.com states that the median home price is at $206,000- just around the national average. This is cheaper than many other places in Wake County, considering Garner is also just outside of Raleigh. According to Garner's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the town were the Wake County Public School System, Food Lion, and Walmart.

Durham

Durham Skyline.

Part of Durham county, Durham is a mid-sized city North of Raleigh with a population of 251,893 (as of 2016). Durham has many activities and is known for sports team such as the Durham Bulls and the Duke Blue Devils. It is also known for its schools such as North Carolina Central University, and most notably, Duke University.

Durham has many jobs in professional fields such as tech, education, and pharmaceuticals. Duke University, IBM, Durham Public Schools, GlaxoSmithKline, and Blue Cross and Blue Shields are among the top employers in the city.

The median home price for Durham is currently $197,750 ($120 per square feet), which is slightly under the national average. It should be noted that Durham has a higher average crime rate than other areas in North Carolina and the US as a whole. However, there are many safe neighborhoods within the city and crime overall isn't a major problem.

Charlotte

Charlotte.

Charlotte is North Carolina's largest city, with a population of 842,051, and is located half way between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Charlotte has also been named as one of the best cities to live in the country due to its business opportunities, climate and culture. Charlotte's attractions include professional sports teams such as the Panthers; along with Carowinds amusement park and museums such as the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the city is the third largest banking center in the United States. Because of its reliance on the banking industry, it was harder hit than the other areas of North Carolina during the economic crisis. Though there have been setbacks with unemployment and earnings ratings, the city and its metro area continues to grow and the housing market continues to appreciate. Bank of America's corporate headquarters are in Charlotte, as well as the headquarters of Wells Fargo's east coast operations. Charlotte's median home price is around $230,000, somewhat above the national average.

Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is located west of Raleigh and South of Durham, with a population of around 57,000. Chapel Hill is known for its bars and restaurants and for being the location of the University of Chapel Hill, along with their popular basketball team.

The median home price in Chapel Hill is currently $371,250- or $170 per square foot. Chapel Hill is also one of the wealthiest and most educated areas in the state. The median income of Chapel Hill is $69,918 and the percentage of college educated individuals is around seventy four percent.

Greensboro

Greensboro Skyline.

Located in the Northcentral region of the state, Greensboro has an estimated population of 287,027, making it the third most populous city in the state. It hosts the popular National Folk Festival, the International Civil Rights Museum and a poular water park named Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe.

Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem Skyline.

Winston-Salem is located just east of Greensboro and has an estimated population of 242,203, making it the 5th largest city in the state. The city is named based upon it's historic involvement in the tobacco industry. Affordable living costs & good weather make the city a popular place to retire.

Other Areas Worth a Look

  • North Carolina's coastal region: While specializing in luxury housing, the North Carolina coast is another region that is experiencing population growth. Supported by the fishing industry and tourism, the weather and leisure activities are a big draw. The area is also home to the Camp Lejeune Marine base and a major film studio in Wilmington.
  • Asheville: Asheville, located in the western portion of the state, is known for its support of the arts, Art Deco architecture and its outdoor leisure options. This city is continually growing and the housing market is following its lead. A view of the mountains and short distances to summer and winter sporting activities is appealing to many, while the climate remains moderate.

North Carolina Census Data

According to the United States Census an estimated 10,146,788 people live in the state of North Carolina. The state has 48,617.91 mi² of land area, which gave it a population density of 208.7 per mi². Here is a list of cities, towns, villages & Census Designated Places with more than 2,500 residents, with their estimated population as of June 2016 & the 2010 United States Census. For Census Designated Places (CDP) where there was no population estimate available for 2016, the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data was used.

All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.

Rank Geography County 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △ Land mi² Pop Den mi²
1 Charlotte Mecklenburg 842,051 731,424 110,627 15.12% 297.68 2,828.71
2 Raleigh Wake & Durham 458,880 403,892 54,988 13.61% 142.9 3,211.20
3 Greensboro Guilford 287,027 269,666 17,361 6.44% 126.52 2,268.63
4 Durham Durham, Orange & Wake 263,016 228,330 34,686 15.19% 107.37 2,449.62
5 Winston-Salem Forsyth 242,203 229,617 12,586 5.48% 132.45 1,828.64
6 Fayetteville Cumberland 204,759 200,564 4,195 2.09% 145.84 1,404.00
7 Cary Wake & Chatham 162,320 135,234 27,086 20.03% 54.35 2,986.57
8 Wilmington New Hanover 117,525 106,476 11,049 10.38% 51.49 2,282.48
9 High Point Guilford, Davidson, Randolph & Forsyth 111,223 104,371 6,852 6.57% 53.8 2,067.34
10 Greenville Pitt 91,495 84,554 6,941 8.21% 34.61 2,643.60
11 Concord Cabarrus 89,891 79,066 10,825 13.69% 60.27 1,491.47
12 Asheville Buncombe 89,121 83,393 5,728 6.87% 44.93 1,983.55
13 Gastonia Gaston 75,536 71,741 3,795 5.29% 50.5 1,495.76
14 Jacksonville Onslow 67,784 70,145 -2,361 -3.37% 46.51 1,457.41
15 Chapel Hill Orange & Durham 59,246 57,233 2,013 3.52% 21.12 2,805.21
16 Rocky Mount Nash & Edgecombe 55,466 57,477 -2,011 -3.50% 43.79 1,266.64
17 Huntersville Mecklenburg 54,839 46,773 8,066 17.24% 39.61 1,384.47
18 Burlington Alamance & Guilford 52,709 49,963 2,746 5.50% 25.17 2,094.12
19 Wilson Wilson 49,620 49,167 453 0.92% 28.75 1,725.91
20 Kannapolis Cabarrus & Rowan 47,839 42,625 5,214 12.23% 31.94 1,497.78
21 Apex Wake 47,349 37,476 9,873 26.34% 15.37 3,080.61
22 Hickory Catawba, Burke & Caldwell 40,567 40,010 557 1.39% 29.71 1,365.43
23 Wake Forest Wake & Franklin 40,112 30,117 9,995 33.19% 15.1 2,656.42
24 Indian Trail Union 38,222 33,518 4,704 14.03% 21.69 1,762.19
25 Mooresville Iredell 36,543 32,711 3,832 11.71% 20.93 1,745.96
26 Goldsboro Wayne 35,792 36,437 -645 -1.77% 28.14 1,271.93
27 Monroe Union 34,818 32,797 2,021 6.16% 29.76 1,169.96
28 Salisbury Rowan 34,001 33,662 339 1.01% 22.14 1,535.73
29 Holly Springs Wake 33,260 24,661 8,599 34.87% 15.01 2,215.86
30 Matthews Mecklenburg 31,495 27,198 4,297 15.80% 17.11 1,840.74
31 New Bern Craven 30,101 29,524 577 1.95% 28.23 1,066.28
32 Sanford Lee 29,128 28,094 1,034 3.68% 26.79 1,087.27
33 Garner Wake 28,776 25,745 3,031 11.77% 14.75 1,950.92
34 Cornelius Mecklenburg 28,515 24,866 3,649 14.67% 12.08 2,360.51
35 Thomasville Davidson & Randolph 27,030 26,757 273 1.02% 16.77 1,611.81
36 Statesville Iredell 26,506 24,532 1,974 8.05% 24.25 1,093.03
37 Mint Hill Mecklenburg & Union 26,236 22,722 3,514 15.47% 23.92 1,096.82
38 Asheboro Randolph 26,141 25,012 1,129 4.51% 18.53 1,410.74
39 Fuquay-Varina Wake 25,865 17,937 7,928 44.20% 12.09 2,139.37
40 Morrisville Wake & Durham 24,732 18,576 6,156 33.14% 8.26 2,994.19
41 Kernersville Forsyth & Guilford 24,066 23,123 943 4.08% 17.32 1,389.49
42 Lumberton Robeson 21,499 21,542 -43 -0.20% 17.89 1,201.73
43 Carrboro Orange 21,265 19,582 1,683 8.59% 6.46 3,291.80
44 Kinston Lenoir 20,923 21,677 -754 -3.48% 18.36 1,139.60
45 Clayton Johnston & Wake 20,260 16,116 4,144 25.71% 13.51 1,499.63
46 Shelby Cleveland 20,260 20,323 -63 -0.31% 21.08 961.10
47 Havelock Craven 20,244 20,735 -491 -2.37% 16.85 1,201.42
48 Clemmons Forsyth 20,079 18,627 1,452 7.80% 11.81 1,700.17
49 Lexington Davidson 19,105 18,931 174 0.92% 17.98 1,062.57
50 Leland Brunswick 18,843 13,527 5,316 39.30% 19.78 952.63
51 Boone Watauga 18,834 17,122 1,712 10.00% 6.13 3,072.43
52 Lenoir Caldwell 17,973 18,228 -255 -1.40% 19.64 915.12
53 Elizabeth City Pasquotank & Camden 17,926 18,683 -757 -4.05% 11.63 1,541.36
54 Morganton Burke 16,665 16,918 -253 -1.50% 19.15 870.23
55 Hope Mills Cumberland 16,227 15,176 1,051 6.93% 6.94 2,338.18
56 Albemarle Stanly 16,004 15,903 101 0.64% 16.74 956.03
57 Pinehurst Moore 15,945 13,124 2,821 21.49% 13.97 1,141.37
58 Laurinburg Scotland 15,473 15,962 -489 -3.06% 12.52 1,235.86
59 Stallings Union & Mecklenburg 15,378 13,831 1,547 11.19% 7.91 1,944.12
60 Eden Rockingham 15,376 15,527 -151 -0.97% 13.47 1,141.50
61 Harrisburg Cabarrus 15,349 11,526 3,823 33.17% 9.05 1,696.02
62 Roanoke Rapids Halifax 15,171 15,754 -583 -3.70% 9.95 1,524.72
63 Henderson Vance 15,166 15,368 -202 -1.31% 8.5 1,784.24
Murraysville CDP New Hanover 14,844 14,215 629 4.42% 8.6 1,726.05
64 Knightdale Wake 14,794 11,401 3,393 29.76% 6.21 2,382.29
65 Graham Alamance 14,707 14,153 554 3.91% 9.62 1,528.79
66 Mount Holly Gaston 14,495 13,656 839 6.14% 9.79 1,480.59
67 Waxhaw Union 14,194 9,859 4,335 43.97% 11.54 1,229.98
68 Mebane Alamance & Orange 14,117 11,393 2,724 23.91% 8.36 1,688.64
69 Reidsville Rockingham 13,977 14,520 -543 -3.74% 15.05 928.70
70 Hendersonville Henderson 13,840 13,137 703 5.35% 6.94 1,994.24
71 Southern Pines Moore 13,782 12,334 1,448 11.74% 16.65 827.75
Piney Green CDP Onslow 13,738 13,293 445 3.35% 13.59 1,010.89
72 Lewisville Forsyth 13,710 12,639 1,071 8.47% 13.97 981.39
73 Spring Lake Cumberland 13,168 11,964 1,204 10.06% 23.06 571.03
74 Newton Catawba 13,042 12,968 74 0.57% 13.77 947.13
75 Davidson Mecklenburg & Iredell 12,452 10,944 1,508 13.78% 5.75 2,165.57
76 Smithfield Johnston 12,266 10,966 1,300 11.85% 12.12 1,012.05
77 Archdale Randolph & Guilford 11,631 11,415 216 1.89% 8.21 1,416.69
78 Summerfield Guilford 11,033 10,232 801 7.83% 26.56 415.40
79 Tarboro Edgecombe 10,994 11,415 -421 -3.69% 11.13 987.78
80 Kings Mountain Cleveland & Gaston 10,797 10,296 501 4.87% 12.32 876.38
81 Belmont Gaston 10,784 10,076 708 7.03% 9.93 1,086.00
82 Lincolnton Lincoln 10,754 10,486 268 2.56% 8.59 1,251.92
83 Weddington Union & Mecklenburg 10,642 9,459 1,183 12.51% 17.44 610.21
84 Mount Airy Surry 10,347 10,388 -41 -0.39% 11.65 888.15
85 Elon Alamance 10,147 9,419 728 7.73% 3.89 2,608.48
86 Waynesville Haywood 9,958 9,869 89 0.90% 8.92 1,116.37
87 Dunn Harnett 9,873 9,263 610 6.59% 6.47 1,525.97
88 Washington Beaufort 9,801 9,744 57 0.58% 8.19 1,196.70
89 Winterville Pitt 9,447 9,269 178 1.92% 4.6 2,053.70
90 Morehead City Carteret 9,402 8,661 741 8.56% 6.85 1,372.55
91 Rockingham Richmond 9,080 9,558 -478 -5.00% 7.66 1,185.38
Myrtle Grove CDP New Hanover 8,972 8,875 97 1.09% 6.7 1,339.10
St. Stephens CDP Catawba 8,954 8,759 195 2.23% 9.5 942.53
Kings Grant CDP New Hanover 8,913 8,113 800 9.86% 4.54 1,963.22
92 Oxford Granville 8,830 8,461 369 4.36% 6.05 1,459.50
93 Clinton Sampson 8,674 8,639 35 0.41% 7.68 1,129.43
94 Wesley Chapel Union 8,596 7,463 1,133 15.18% 9.48 906.75
95 Pineville Mecklenburg 8,593 7,479 1,114 14.90% 6.62 1,298.04
96 Siler City Chatham 8,444 7,887 557 7.06% 6 1,407.33
97 Black Mountain Buncombe 8,384 7,848 536 6.83% 6.7 1,251.34
98 Roxboro Person 8,348 8,362 -14 -0.17% 6.45 1,294.26
99 Conover Catawba 8,331 8,165 166 2.03% 10.9 764.31
100 Fletcher Henderson 8,079 7,187 892 12.41% 6.41 1,260.37
Half Moon CDP Onslow 7,915 8,352 -437 -5.23% 7.4 1,069.59
101 Marion McDowell 7,849 7,838 11 0.14% 5.39 1,456.22
102 Brevard Transylvania 7,822 7,609 213 2.80% 5.12 1,527.73
103 Oak Island Brunswick 7,722 6,783 939 13.84% 18.52 416.95
104 Butner  Granville 7,702 7,591 111 1.46% 13.93 552.91
105 Aberdeen Moore 7,502 6,350 1,152 18.14% 8.51 881.55
106 Forest City Rutherford 7,305 7,476 -171 -2.29% 8.34 875.90
Lake Norman of Catawba CDP Catawba 7,274 7,411 -137 -1.85% 23.84 305.12
107 Mills River Henderson 7,168 6,802 366 5.38% 22.39 320.14
108 Kill Devil Hills Dare 7,121 6,683 438 6.55% 5.62 1,267.08
109 Gibsonville Guilford & Alamance 7,029 6,410 619 9.66% 3.49 2,014.04
110 King Stokes & Forsyth 7,025 6,904 121 1.75% 5.84 1,202.91
111 Rolesville Wake 6,962 3,786 3,176 83.89% 3.93 1,771.50
112 Oak Ridge Guilford 6,827 6,185 642 10.38% 15.38 443.89
Ogden CDP New Hanover 6,802 6,766 36 0.53% 4.55 1,494.95
Etowah CDP Henderson 6,797 6,944 -147 -2.12% 17.53 387.74
113 Wendell Wake 6,745 5,845 900 15.40% 5.2 1,297.12
114 Trinity Randolph 6,671 6,614 57 0.86% 16.87 395.44
115 Selma Johnston 6,589 6,073 516 8.50% 4.85 1,358.56
116 Unionville Union 6,585 5,929 656 11.06% 26.96 244.25
117 Hillsborough Orange 6,568 6,087 481 7.90% 5.33 1,232.27
Porters Neck CDP New Hanover 6,500 6,204 296 4.77% 5.37 1,210.43
118 Hamlet Richmond 6,391 6,495 -104 -1.60% 5.26 1,215.02
119 Woodfin Buncombe 6,383 6,123 260 4.25% 8.79 726.17
120 Marvin Union 6,377 5,579 798 14.30% 5.89 1,082.68
121 Carolina Beach New Hanover 6,211 5,706 505 8.85% 2.46 2,524.80
122 Cherryville Gaston 6,058 5,760 298 5.17% 5.49 1,103.46
123 Boiling Spring Lakes Brunswick 5,930 5,372 558 10.39% 23.29 254.62
Silver Lake CDP New Hanover 5,874 5,598 276 4.93% 2.45 2,397.55
124 Bessemer City Gaston 5,548 5,340 208 3.90% 4.79 1,158.25
Cullowhee CDP Jackson 5,534 6,228 -694 -11.14% 3.5 1,581.14
125 Nashville Nash 5,528 5,352 176 3.29% 4.14 1,335.27
Wrightsboro CDP New Hanover 5,525 4,896 629 12.85% 11.15 495.52
James City CDP Craven 5,513 5,899 -386 -6.54% 7.59 726.35
126 Whiteville Columbus 5,509 5,394 115 2.13% 5.46 1,008.97
127 Williamston Martin 5,477 5,511 -34 -0.62% 3.84 1,426.30
128 Wadesboro Anson 5,467 5,813 -346 -5.95% 6.31 866.40
129 Stokesdale Guilford 5,336 5,047 289 5.73% 19.24 277.34
130 St. James Brunswick 5,317 3,165 2,152 67.99% 8.26 643.70
131 Mocksville Davie 5,266 5,051 215 4.26% 7.54 698.41
132 Ayden Pitt 5,191 4,932 259 5.25% 3.49 1,487.39
133 Zebulon Wake & Johnson 5,159 4,433 726 16.38% 4.14 1,246.14
134 Sawmills Caldwell 5,107 5,240 -133 -2.54% 6.62 771.45
135 Angier Harnett & Wake 5,096 4,350 746 17.15% 2.91 1,751.20
Royal Pines CDP Buncombe 5,084 4,272 812 19.01% 2.71 1,876.01
136 Walkertown Forsyth 5,021 4,675 346 7.40% 6.59 761.91
137 Raeford Hoke 4,998 4,611 387 8.39% 4.25 1,176.00
138 Ahoskie Hertford 4,980 5,039 -59 -1.17% 4.31 1,155.45
139 Erwin Harnett 4,931 4,405 526 11.94% 4.19 1,176.85
140 Long View Catawba & Burke 4,894 4,871 23 0.47% 3.94 1,242.13
141 Edenton Chowan 4,846 5,004 -158 -3.16% 5.37 902.42
142 Archer Lodge Johnston 4,815 4,292 523 12.19% 9.28 518.86
Seven Lakes CDP Moore 4,806 4,888 -82 -1.68% 8.38 573.51
143 Pleasant Garden Guilford 4,789 4,489 300 6.68% 15.27 313.62
144 Farmville Pitt 4,746 4,654 92 1.98% 3.36 1,412.50
Welcome CDP Davidson 4,743 4,162 581 13.96% 9.31 509.45
145 Mount Olive Wayne & Duplin 4,740 4,589 151 3.29% 2.67 1,775.28
146 Dallas Gaston 4,734 4,488 246 5.48% 2.91 1,626.80
147 Midway Davidson 4,734 4,679 55 1.18% 7.67 617.21
148 Boiling Springs Cleveland 4,704 4,647 57 1.23% 4.45 1,057.08
Swannanoa CDP Buncombe 4,685 4,576 109 2.38% 6.4 732.03
149 Granite Falls Caldwell 4,685 4,722 -37 -0.78% 5.2 900.96
150 Newport Carteret 4,684 4,150 534 12.87% 7.67 610.69
Bethlehem CDP Alexander 4,620 4,214 406 9.63% 7.62 606.30
Hampstead CDP Pender 4,528 4,083 445 10.90% 20.26 223.49
151 Creedmoor Granville 4,498 4,124 374 9.07% 4.58 982.10
152 Valdese Burke 4,477 4,490 -13 -0.29% 7.71 580.67
153 Cramerton Gaston 4,420 4,165 255 6.12% 3.68 1,201.09
154 Pittsboro Chatham 4,266 3,743 523 13.97% 4.14 1,030.43
155 Canton Haywood 4,252 4,227 25 0.59% 3.77 1,127.85
156 Spindale Rutherford 4,248 4,321 -73 -1.69% 5.35 794.02
157 North Wilkesboro Wilkes 4,235 4,245 -10 -0.24% 6.59 642.64
158 China Grove Rowan 4,216 3,563 653 18.33% 2.12 1,988.68
159 Beaufort Carteret 4,199 4,039 160 3.96% 4.62 908.87
160 Tabor City Columbus 4,193 2,511 1,682 66.99% 3.17 1,322.71
161 Randleman Randolph 4,166 4,113 53 1.29% 4.07 1,023.59
162 Trent Woods Craven 4,164 4,155 9 0.22% 2.95 1,411.53
163 Rutherfordton Rutherford 4,147 4,213 -66 -1.57% 4.13 1,004.12
River Road CDP Beaufort 4,124 4,394 -270 -6.14% 7.11 580.03
164 Elkin Surry & Wilkes 4,106 4,001 105 2.62% 6.63 619.31
165 Burgaw Pender 4,096 3,872 224 5.79% 5.46 750.18
166 Carolina Shores Brunswick 4,012 3,048 964 31.63% 2.56 1,567.19
167 Franklin Macon 3,993 3,845 148 3.85% 4.18 955.26
168 Weaverville Buncombe 3,981 3,120 861 27.60% 3.43 1,160.64
169 Shallotte Brunswick 3,970 3,675 295 8.03% 9.29 427.34
170 Gamewell Caldwell 3,946 4,051 -105 -2.59% 8.12 485.96
171 Wallace Duplin & Pender 3,938 3,880 58 1.49% 3.07 1,282.74
Mar-Mac CDP Wayne 3,924 3,615 309 8.55% 4.55 862.42
East Rockingham CDP Richmond 3,921 3,736 185 4.95% 3.41 1,149.85
Brices Creek CDP Craven 3,921 3,073 848 27.60% 7.84 500.13
172 Wingate Union 3,915 3,491 424 12.15% 1.99 1,967.34
173 Sunset Beach Brunswick 3,902 3,572 330 9.24% 6.45 604.96
174 Jamestown Guilford 3,814 3,382 432 12.77% 2.9 1,315.17
Rockfish CDP Hoke 3,810 3,298 512 15.52% 4.95 769.70
175 Windsor Bertie 3,769 3,630 139 3.83% 2.83 1,331.80
176 Lake Park Union 3,756 3,422 334 9.76% 0.78 4,815.38
177 Stanley Gaston 3,735 3,556 179 5.03% 2.68 1,393.66
178 Hudson Caldwell 3,725 3,776 -51 -1.35% 3.73 998.66
Sneads Ferry CDP Onslow 3,714 2,646 1,068 40.36% 3.8 977.37
179 Eastover Cumberland 3,713 3,628 85 2.34% 11.33 327.71
Westport CDP Lincoln 3,708 4,026 -318 -7.90% 3.67 1,010.35
180 Fairview Union 3,708 3,324 384 11.55% 29.92 123.93
181 Emerald Isle Carteret 3,704 3,655 49 1.34% 4.99 742.28
182 Lowell Gaston 3,698 3,526 172 4.88% 2.66 1,390.23
183 Benson Johnston & Harnett 3,697 3,311 386 11.66% 2.78 1,329.86
Elroy CDP Wayne 3,635 3,869 -234 -6.05% 6.59 551.59
184 Ranlo Gaston 3,625 3,434 191 5.56% 1.71 2,119.88
185 Southport Brunswick 3,625 2,833 792 27.96% 3.75 966.67
Mountain Home CDP Henderson 3,603 3,622 -19 -0.52% 3.77 955.70
186 Plymouth Washington 3,594 3,878 -284 -7.32% 4.03 891.81
187 Lillington Harnett 3,581 3,194 387 12.12% 4.56 785.31
188 Wilkesboro Wilkes 3,554 3,413 141 4.13% 5.9 602.37
189 Louisburg  Franklin 3,553 3,359 194 5.78% 2.71 1,311.07
190 Elizabethtown Bladen 3,544 3,583 -39 -1.09% 4.65 762.15
Tyro CDP Davidson 3,525 3,879 -354 -9.13% 12.85 274.32
191 Midland Cabarrus & Mecklenburg 3,501 3,073 428 13.93% 9.98 350.80
East Flat Rock CDP Henderson 3,500 4,995 -1,495 -29.93% 4.29 815.85
192 Kitty Hawk Dare 3,473 3,272 201 6.14% 8.11 428.24
Moyock CDP Currituck 3,456 3,759 -303 -8.06% 10.49 329.46
193 Polkton Anson 3,444 3,375 69 2.04% 3.18 1,083.02
194 Red Oak Nash 3,443 3,430 13 0.38% 19.52 176.38
195 Red Springs Robeson & Hoke 3,419 3,428 -9 -0.26% 3.5 976.86
196 Troy Montgomery 3,414 3,189 225 7.06% 3.59 950.97
197 Maiden Catawba & Lincoln 3,392 3,310 82 2.48% 5.52 614.49
Northchase CDP New Hanover 3,386 3,747 -361 -9.63% 1.73 1,957.23
Forest Oaks CDP Guilford 3,342 3,890 -548 -14.09% 4.85 689.07
198 Flat Rock Henderson 3,311 3,114 197 6.33% 8.11 408.26
199 Spencer Rowan 3,308 3,267 41 1.25% 3.06 1,081.05
200 Whispering Pines Moore 3,285 2,928 357 12.19% 3.39 969.03
Bayshore CDP New Hanover 3,283 3,393 -110 -3.24% 2.43 1,351.03
Mountain View CDP Catawba 3,276 3,552 -276 -7.77% 4.63 707.56
Lowesville CDP Lincoln 3,266 2,945 321 10.90% 6.8 480.29
201 Swansboro Onslow 3,173 2,663 510 19.15% 2.09 1,518.18
Lake Royale CDP Franklin 3,162 2,506 656 26.18% 6.47 488.72
202 Rural Hall Forsyth 3,158 2,937 221 7.52% 2.85 1,108.07
203 Warsaw Duplin 3,151 3,054 97 3.18% 3.05 1,033.11
204 River Bend Craven 3,128 3,119 9 0.29% 2.51 1,246.22
205 Landis Rowan 3,121 3,109 12 0.39% 3.49 894.27
206 Wallburg Davidson 3,082 3,047 35 1.15% 5.58 552.33
207 Locust Stanly & Cabarrus 3,066 2,930 136 4.64% 8.14 376.66
208 Murfreesboro Hertford 3,023 2,835 188 6.63% 2.24 1,349.55
209 Pembroke Robeson 3,009 2,973 36 1.21% 2.87 1,048.43
210 Granite Quarry Rowan 2,999 2,930 69 2.35% 2.87 1,044.95
Icard CDP Burke 2,971 2,664 307 11.52% 3.83 775.72
211 Mineral Springs Union 2,945 2,639 306 11.60% 8.14 361.79
212 Yadkinville Yadkin 2,926 2,959 -33 -1.12% 2.78 1,052.52
213 Nags Head Dare 2,916 2,757 159 5.77% 6.58 443.16
214 Southern Shores Dare 2,890 2,714 176 6.48% 3.95 731.65
Skippers Corner CDP New Hanover 2,883 2,785 98 3.52% 6.98 413.04
Fairview CDP Buncombe 2,815 2,678 137 5.12% 6.22 452.57
Fearrington Village CDP Chatham 2,797 2,339 458 19.58% 1.78 1,571.35
Enochville CDP Rowan 2,788 2,925 -137 -4.68% 4.41 632.20
215 Cajah's Mountain Caldwell 2,758 2,823 -65 -2.30% 3.39 813.57
Fairfield Harbour CDP Craven 2,749 2,952 -203 -6.88% 2.88 954.51
216 Wentworth Rockingham 2,748 2,807 -59 -2.10% 14.19 193.66
South Rosemary CDP Halifax 2,736 2,836 -100 -3.53% 6.12 447.06
217 Liberty Randolph 2,689 2,656 33 1.24% 3.11 864.63
Lake Junaluska CDP Haywood 2,682 2,734 -52 -1.90% 5.34 502.25
218 La Grange Lenoir 2,682 2,873 -191 -6.65% 2.3 1,166.09
219 Fairmont Robeson 2,678 2,663 15 0.56% 2.76 970.29
Buies Creek CDP Harnett 2,668 2,942 -274 -9.31% 2.29 1,165.07
220 Grifton Pitt & Lenoir 2,661 2,617 44 1.68% 2.05 1,298.05
221 Marshville Union 2,655 2,402 253 10.53% 2.21 1,201.36
222 Sylva Jackson 2,644 2,588 56 2.16% 3.19 828.84
Fruitland CDP Henderson 2,637 2,031 606 29.84% 8.03 328.39
223 Tobaccoville Forsyth & Stokes 2,609 2,441 168 6.88% 7.65 341.05
Glen Raven CDP Alamance 2,607 2,750 -143 -5.20% 3.52 740.63
224 Bermuda Run Davie 2,596 1,725 871 50.49% 1.65 1,573.33
225 Troutman Iredell 2,576 2,383 193 8.10% 5.36 480.60
226 Wrightsville Beach New Hanover 2,560 2,477 83 3.35% 1.4 1,828.57
227 Wilson's Mills Johnston 2,550 2,277 273 11.99% 4.5 566.67
Broad Creek CDP Carteret 2,525 2,334 191 8.18% 3.11 811.90
Horse Shoe CDP Henderson 2,509 2,351 158 6.72% 7.46 336.33
Avery Creek CDP Buncombe 2,493 1,950 543 27.85% 1.73 1,441.04
Dana CDP Henderson 2,486 3,329 -843 -25.32% 8.91 279.01
Plain View CDP Sampson 2,450 1,961 489 24.94% 16.62 147.41
Brogden CDP Wayne 2,364 2,633 -269 -10.22% 2.21 1,069.68

Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.

Home Loan Qualification

Conforming Mortgages

The 30-year fixed mortgage is the most popular type of mortgage loan in North Carolina. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage is a great way to build equity faster & save money on interest expenses if you can afford the higher monthly loan payment.

To qualify for a 30 year fixed loan, one must have a credit score in good standing and have solid employment history. Mortgage underwriters prefer debt-to-income ratios to be below 40%, but other factors are considered on the loan application.

A typical down payment is usually 20% of the value, however there are some loans that if you qualify you can pay less for.Keep in mind the less a down payment is, the more the borrower will be scrutinized by the loaner who will seek to protect their loan. The loaner may require private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect them from losses if the borrower cannot pay the 20% up front.

The piggyback loan can eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance by covering 80% of the home's value with the first loan, while the second loan helps to pay for part of the down payment. This mortgage is a good way to avoid the standard 20% down payment, which is required by most private banks.

Since most North Carolina real estate is quite affordable adjustable rate mortgages and interest-only loans are not common. Most buyers prefer a fixed-rate for the duration of the loan rather than having a looming risk of a rising rate & thus increasing monthly payments.

As of 2017 the conforming loan limit across the United States is set to $424,100, with a ceiling of 150% that amount in areas where median home values are higher. Jumbo loans typically have a slightly higher rate of interest than conforming mortgages, though spreads vary based on credit market conditions. Here are the conforming mortgage limits in different areas of the state.

County Metropolitan Designation 1 Unit Limit 2 Unit Limit 3 Unit Limit 4 Unit Limit
Camden Elizabeth City, Nc $625,500 $800,775 $967,950 $1,202,925
Currituck Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va $458,850 $587,400 $710,050 $882,400
Gates Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va $458,850 $587,400 $710,050 $882,400
Hyde Non-Metro $483,000 $618,300 $747,400 $928,850
Pasquotank Elizabeth City, Nc $625,500 $800,775 $967,950 $1,202,925
Perquimans Elizabeth City, Nc $625,500 $800,775 $967,950 $1,202,925

Government Financial Assistance Programs

Home buyers who don't meet these standards might qualify for attractive terms with a government program.

The Veterans Administration offers mortgages to previous members of the armed forces. The VA doesn't require any down payment, but it will charge a funding fee that ranges from 1.25% to 3.3%. Lower funding fees are available to borrowers who are able to put something down. For former members of the U.S. military, the Veterans Administration provides an unbeatable deal by offering mortgages with zero down payment required. There is a funding fee for veterans who choose this option, however. It is between 1.25% and 3.3% of the loan's value. Borrowers who choose to make a down payment are offered a lower funding fee. VA loans are underwritten by private banks, and insured by the U.S. government. To qualify for a VA military loan, one must have served 90 consecutive days active service during wartime, have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard, or are the spouse of someone who has died while on active duty or as the result of a service-related injury.

The Federal Housing Administration is another government agency that provides home loans. The FHA loan program requires a 3.5% down payment with just a 580 credit score. Insurance premiums are required by the FHA on any mortgage with a down payment of less than 20%.

USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan.

There are programs to assist people with mortgages such as the NC Home Advantage Mortgage. This program provides assistance for potential first-time and move-up home buyers for up to 5% of the loan amount. Repayment of the down payment is only required if the homeowner sells, refinances, or transfers the home before the 15 year mark. They have helped over 90,000 local familes buy homes.

The State also offers the Mortgage Prevention Fund. This program helps those who due to extenuating circumstances, cannot afford their mortgage payment. Families who qualify may be able to have their mortgages subsidized for a period of time.

There are federal programs offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs offer mortgages to lower income individuals or those with less than superb credit ratings. State programs include those such as the Greensboro Housing Coalition and the Durham Affordable Housing Coalition, which provides affordable housing for those at a disadvantage and combats homelessness.

For a person buying a house in a rural area, the USDA will guarantee a loan to qualified buyers allowing them to purchase a home with no down payment. The home must be located in an area of less than 10,000 people or in some cases small towns and cities with the population of 10,000 - 25,000 residents. They have over a dozen grants & loan programs covering everything from single family housing, farm labor housing, water well systems, wastewater, multi-family housing, rural energy improvement, home repairs & socially-disadvantaged groups.

Natural Disasters

Earthquakes

Most of North Carolina has a very low earthquake risk. The western border of the state near Tennessee has a low to moderate earthquake risk. Here is a list of counties with a risk level above very low.

  • low risk: Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Transylvania, Yancey
  • moderate risk: Graham, Swain

Standard rental and homeowner insurance policies typically do not cover earthquake damage, though they usually cover losses caused by fires which resulted from an earthquake. You can supplement your homeowner's insurance with an earthquake policy.

Flood Insurance

Most of North Carolina has a very low flooding risk. Here is a listing of counties with a flooding or hurricane storm surge risk profile above very low.

  • Low flooding risk: Anson, Avery, Bertie, Caldwell, Davidson, Duplin, Harnett, Johnston, Macon, Mitchell, Moore, Nash, Rowan, Scotland, Watauga
  • Moderate flooding risk: Beaufort, Edgecombe, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Jones, Lenoir, Madison, Onslow, Pender, Pitt, Yancey
  • High flooding risk: Brunswick, Craven, New Hanover, Robeson, Washington
  • Very high flooding risk: Carteret, Currituck, Dare
  • Moderate hurricane storm surge risk: Pender
  • Very high hurricane storm surge risk: Brunswick, Carteret, Currituck, Dare, New Hanover, Onslow

Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding.

Home buyers with mortgages in high-risk areas are required to buy flood insurance. Most flood insurance policies are sold by the United States federal government through The National Flood Insurance Program. Under-priced flood insurance in high-risk areas act as a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.

The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners don€™t incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the government€™s costs in the next disaster.

Typically, homes built after 2002, when building code regulations tightened, are subject to lower insurance rates than older homes. On the other hand, homes without hurricane straps, with roofs that do not meet current standards for wind, with older plumbing or with outdated electrical systems may be difficult €“ or very expensive €“ to insure.

Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common.

Wildfires

The risk of wildfires is considered moderate to very high across the southern portion of the state. Fire damages from wildfires & other types of fires are typically covered in most homeowner's insurance policies. If you own expensive items you may want to keep an up-to-date household inventory list which lists specific valuables, such as fine art & jewelry.

Tornadoes

The eastern portion of the state is considered to have a moderate tornado risk. A basic homeowners policy should cover financial damages from tornadoes.

Hail

Hail damage is not uncommon across the state. Damage from hail is typically covered by home insurance policies.

 

Real Estate Laws

Taxes

The average effective property tax across the state of North Carolina is 0.78%. This is the 17 lowest rate across the United States. Property taxes are determined at the local level “ad valorem” – based on the value of the property. Mecklenburg County taxes at a rate of 1.34% plus municipal service district rates around 1/10 of 1%. Wake County taxes at 0.85% with the city of Raleigh taxing at 0.98%. The median annual property tax payment across the state is $1,706, which is significantly below the $3,313 average across the US.

Foreclosures

In North Carolina, a lender can seek recourse to cover their losses. For instance, when a house is sold or foreclosed on, and the borrower doesn't produce enough money to cover the original loan, the lender can legally demand reimbursement. However, North Carolina does have laws that mandate how much a lender can demand, granting some protection to the borrower.

Nonjudicial foreclosures are most common in North Carolina. With a nonjudicial foreclosure, the lender does not have to go to court in order to foreclose on a home. However, they are required to go before a court clerk before the foreclosure sale.

NC law mandates that prior to foreclosure, residents must be given a 45 day notice of the default, a notice of the hearing (which can be extended if resolution is likely), and a notice of sale. NC law also forbids a nonjudicial foreclosure during or 90 days after a borrower's military service if they took out the loan prior to active duty. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a federal law with similar provisions protecting veterans which also applies in North Carolina.

Learn More

North Carolina is a growing state with a healthy, dynamic economy, and a booming real estate market. It has a diverse range of cities, attractions, and amenities, making it an attractive location. Despite high housing costs in some areas, North Carolina is one of the most desirable and sought-after destinations in the country.

Here are some resources that can provide more information on the housing market/housing assistance in North Carolina: