Chapel Hill residents are struggling to find housing as interest rates and house prices continue to rise.

Since 2017, the average rent in Chapel Hill has increased by 37%, according to the 2022 Annual Affordable Housing Report for the City of Chapel Hill.

Michele Burris, management broker and owner of Local Market Realty in Chapel Hill, said demand for homes in Chapel Hill exceeds supply. More people are moving to Chapel Hill, increasing demand for housing, she said, but new construction cannot keep up with the growth.

Burris added that there are a number of things that make residents nervous about the housing climate.

“What I see right now is that we basically have buyers who are anxious and worried about interest rate hikes, as well as stock market instability and election instability,” a- she declared.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, interest rates were low. Burris explained that people often raise the price of their homes because interest rates are so low.

After the peak of the pandemic, Joan Mueller, a real estate agent and broker in Raleigh and Durham, said more and more people are realizing the flexibility of remote working. People have also moved to be closer to family and have space to work from home, she said.

“That’s what really drove real estate demand,” she said, “coupled with the fact that rates have really changed,” she added.

Muller added that it is much more expensive to buy a house this year in the Triangle because interest rates have gone from around 2% to around 7%.

“Rates are, in effect, double what they were last spring,” she said. “So that’s a significant jump in a monthly payment which is a hard pill for a lot of us to swallow,” she added.

Daniele Berman, communications and marketing manager at Community Home Trust, echoed Burris’ sentiments, saying there is more demand for housing in Chapel Hill and Carrboro than supply, particularly when it comes to homes. affordable housing.

The CHT is a community land trust that strives to provide permanent affordable housing, primarily in Carboro and Chapel Hill, she said.

The organization also administers the City of Durham Down Payment Assistance Scheme, which supports shoppers in the Durham Private Market.

The CHT has a home-buying waiting list of about 300 people and sells about 20 homes a year, Berman said.

“So you can imagine how long that waiting list is compared to what we’re able to provide,” she said.

She added that the CHT has about 50 rental units and a waiting list of about 100 to 200 people to rent these units.

“It feels like, overall, people looking for affordable housing are waiting a very long time,” she said.

Emily Holt, Affordable Housing Development Officer for the Town of Chapel Hill, said Chapel Hill needs more housing. She said she had not seen such a severe housing shortage since moving to Chapel Hill.

“This is when the needs are greatest,” she said.

Holt noted that rental prices as well as roaming rate go up. If people are displaced from their homes, there is often nowhere to go, she said.

The Town of Chapel Hill has allocated funds to local organizations to improve affordable housing in the area. Local non-profit organizations like the Interfaith Council for Social Services are also working to provide housing, food and financial resources to people who may be homeless due to rising prices or other hardships. .

Holt said she’s been running affordable housing projects with the city, but rising construction costs and interest rates are “crippling.”

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