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Small Houses, Big Style

June 21, 2022

Anyone who has lived in Raleigh for at least 5–10 years (or longer) has seen the dramatic change in some neighborhoods, most notably Inside the Beltline and North Hills, for the amount of new construction luxury housing being built. While new home builds can be quite controversial, what can’t be ignored is the amount of money coming to this area and the related demands in housing. Housing sizes and housing prices are both increasing. Properties in Raleigh are still a deal compared to what you can buy in many other larger cities.

What was interesting to me was seeing the volume of the higher dollar homes, specifically $2M and above, because anecdotally, I know that we just haven’t had that kind of inventory in the past. At least not much of it. So I pulled some data:

City of Raleigh — sales of detached homes $2m or more

2022 — as of 6/21 = 30, with 27 pending

2021– 56 sales

2020– 24 sales

2019– 15 sales

2018– 7 sales

Looking at this might bring you to the conclusion that everyone wants a giant house.

While the volume of these larger home sales is increasing, there are also examples of smaller homes selling for a good price, showing that a high quality, smaller home in the right location has value, too. This is something that is personal to me, as this is what I was seeking back in 2011 when I bought and renovated a small home in the Village District / Cameron Village area.

Small houses are still in demand- and smaller homes always sell for a higher price per square foot. So don’t give up on that renovation just yet! For a small house definition, we used the criteria as anything under ~1500sf that sold for 600k or more.

A few recent examples from Q1 / Q2 2022:

While I never thought we’d hit $600/ft this quickly, it’s still better than the $1300/ft+ that I read about in San Francisco.

For the rest of Wake County, the median price per SF for the last 12 months has been $231/ft. So the locations of the sales above do represent a premium, as they are located within walking distance to Downtown Raleigh, Cameron Village, and/or Five Points.

See what properties are available in these walkable neighborhoods in Raleigh.

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