The housing market improved slightly in March, according to data collected from the Triangle Multiple Listing Service.
Closed home sales were up about 11 percent from March a year ago. Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties all showed increases in sales over the last year, with Durham leading the bunch with a 21 percent gain.
Sales in North Durham, specifically, improved by almost 81 percent from March 2011. Wake County, which showed the smallest improvement in sales, had a gain of about 13 percent.
Pending sales, in which homes are under contract but the sales have not closed, were up about 17 percent since March 2011.
"Recent improvements suggest that there may be a stirring of optimism in the center of this market," said Ray Larcher, president of the listing service.
New listings in the Triangle shrank by about 12 percent, and inventory levels in the region decreased by about 28 percent. And for the first time in nine months, housing prices increased in March. The median home price increased by 1.6 percent to $185,000 since last year, and the average home price increased 2.6 percent to just over $218,000.
The listing service collects information from properties in the 16 counties that comprise the greater Triangle area.