Home value rates fluctuate

RALEIGH According to Birch Appraisers the Raleigh neighborhood of North Hills still tops the list of Wake County areas with the best real estate appreciation.

North Hills' home values have risen 12 percent over the last year, even with the recession.

Home values have gone up 10 percent in Sunset Hills. And just over 9 percent in the Raleigh neighborhood known as Georgetown North.

But some areas are struggling, including some neighborhoods with million dollar homes.

North Raleigh's Bedford sub-division is filled with homes valued at half-a-million dollars and more.

Retirees Joe and Kathleen Norowski paid half-a-million for their home, but new neighbors in recent months have paid much less. And their house might be worth 25 percent less than what they paid for it less than a year ago.

Three doors down, the builder listed a new house for $535,000, but sold it for $427,000 --a 20 percent discount.

The house next door to Norowski listed for $525,000, but sold more than a year later for 23 percent less at $405,000.

And a few blocks away, a house originally listed at $595,000 actually sold for $450,000 --24 percent off the original asking price.

"Shock, really surprised," Kathleen Norowski said. "I was really surprised it would go that low."

List-2-sell Realtor Cory Barnett says he's not surprised to see some home values fall.

"It started in California, Florida, all the hot markets, it's finally reached us," Barnett said. "It's bound to come this way."

Other realtors say some discounts are deceiving, because some asking prices are not realistic. But no doubt, it's a tough time to sell.

Bedford home sellers are competing not just with existing homes, but other homes still to be built.

"It is disturbing though, to read about this, and now to see it firsthand," Joe Norowski said.

Across the Triangle, the average home value in January was down about 3.5 percent from the same time the year before.

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