By Erica Jevons Sizemore
Featured Photo: Artsplosure Art Festival in Raleigh; By Wileydoc/Shutterstock.com
This is part of an ongoing series: What is Making the Triangle Area so Desirable?
North Carolina is known across the country as a popular vacation spot for its quaint beaches and picturesque mountains, but it’s our own capital city that was recently recognized among top travel destinations. Raleigh landed the #2 spot on AirBnb’s top trending US cities for Labor Day weekend, according to a report released just before the annual holiday. AirBnb ranked cities based on bookings made over the September weekend, and Raleigh had among the most nights reserved. Other top booking locations were found in Columbus, OH, areas of Florida, North Charleston, SC, Reno, NV, San Francisco, Cambridge, MA and North Kingston, RI. While this news may be a surprise to some, the area offers a plethora of entertainment, among them, an array of museums, excellent dining, awesome festivals and events, seasonal fun and collegiate sports.
AirBnb reported that Labor Day weekend 2021 hosted the largest number of US destination check-ins as compared with other parts of the year, and Raleigh hosts earned more than $170,000 with a median payout for the weekend of $460. Single trip bookings also increased over 20 percent over last year for the 2022 holiday weekend.
According to a survey by AirBnb, 41% of hosts say they use AirBnb to cover the rising cost of living. Though the latest market data shows that housing prices may no longer be skyrocketing and we are experiencing a slowing, consistent with historical and seasonal norms, housing affordability in the Triangle has still worsened in recent months. Homes priced correctly are still selling quickly but not as quickly as at the beginning of the year. And while prices and rental rates are subject to a slight dip this time of year with the seasonality of the markets, one area of housing that hasn’t weakened as much is the Triangle rental market.
In the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan statistical area (MSA), rental growth remains with median rent rates up 31% since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. In Durham County, rents continue to rise and over the same period have moved up 27.6%. In July, Durham ranked 5th and Raleigh 13th among the nation’s 100 largest cities for month-over-month percentage increase in rental prices, according to Apartment List. Demand is still high and supply of both long and short-term rental options at an all-time low is driving up prices. There has also been a significant increase among investors buying new to rent properties as many see the appreciation and economic development across the region as attractive investments. In an article by WRAL, Brian Leary, COO of Highwoods Properties, a local commercial real estate developer and leasing company, noted that we would have to add at least 10,000 market rate rental housing options within the area downtowns in order to boost market competitiveness and stifle rising monthly rental rates.
Further, a forecast from Realtor.com published last year, expected rents nationally to continue to rise in 2022 but at a rate not quite as steep as was experienced in 2021. The overall forecasted median rental rate price increase was 7.1% for 2022 and it appears we will likely reach if not surpass that in many localities.
After Labor Day, fall beckons locals and travelers to the area with everything from football to festivals. Whether it is for a long weekend or long-term change, those choosing to rent are finding that the Triangle is increasingly popular as a place to enjoy access to a variety of amenities. As the #6 best place to live in the country, according to US News & World Report, the ‘City of Oaks’ has become a hot spot for tourists for many of the same reasons the area’s population growth has accelerated in recent years. Efforts have been made to help make the city more attractive to visitors, with a focus on more attractions and local events. Dennis Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, is thrilled and says of the rankings, “…It speaks to the variety of activities we have for all visitors who are coming to the area – whether it’s our museums, cultural attractions, sporting events, culinary or craft beer scene.” And he continues, “It helps validate that Raleigh has become a true destination for leisure visitation.”
As we reach the official end of summer and squarely stare down fall and winter holiday calendars, it’s a great time to book a trip to the region or get out and explore all the area has to offer! Whether looking at checking out the downtowns, midtowns or small towns, the area hosts a variety of sites, activities and venues to explore. And if visiting, be sure to reserve your stay early to ensure your desired locale is available.
If shopping and dining describe your ideal escape, the Triangle boasts a number of options including North Hills and the Village District in Raleigh, and American Tobacco Historic District, Southpoint Mall and Brightleaf Square in Durham. Venture to the Warehouse District or the new social district along Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh for a cocktail. Head over to the Transfer Co, Morgan Street and Durham Food Halls and choose from a plethora of eateries. With many restaurants to choose from throughout the area, you will find exactly what you are looking for and please any crowd. While you are out, grab a ticket to a performance at the Red Hat Amphitheater, Durham Performing Arts Center, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts or PNC Arena with a host of sports and live entertainment.
Among the attractions you might want to put on your calendar, the second-ever Dreamville Fest, held in April at Dorothea Dix park in Raleigh, brought 80,000 attendees and an economic impact of $6.7 million to the area in 2022. Downtown Raleigh has also hosted Artsplosure, Brewgaloo, the Hopscotch Music Festival, IBMA World of Bluegrass and Wide Open Bluegrass Festival; and Durham’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, American Dance Festival and CenterFest Arts Festival are popular among residents and area visitors.
The Triangle region is rich in the arts and culture which can be appreciated by locals and tourists at one of our many local museums. Even just the change of seasons or a visit to the local parks is worth a trip.
Area universities give fans the opportunity to cheer on a menu of collegiate sports although football and basketball are notably the biggest draws here in the Triangle; whether looking to tailgate or simply spectate, you won’t be disappointed. Check on one of the area sports calendars to take in a game!
- North Carolina State University Football www.gopack.com/sports/football
- University of North Carolina Football www.goheels.com/sports/football
- Duke University Football www.goduke.com/sports/football
Each October, the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes (www.nhl.com/hurricanes/) take to the ice in front of over 20,000 spectators at the PNC Arena located in Raleigh. Having won the 2006 Stanley Cup, the team gave the state of North Carolina its first major professional sports championship and its only major championship to date. And come spring, fans can be found cheering on the Durham Bulls Minor League Baseball at their homebase in the American Tobacco Campus in Durham.
In the new development partnership between Steve Malik, owner of the Cary NC Football Club and NC Courage, and Kane Realty Corporation, Downtown South (www.visitdowntownsouth.com) will establish a mixed-use community and ‘Southern Gateway’ to downtown Raleigh, where another stadium is planned which hopes to be the future home for another professional sports team, concerts and numerous other community events.
Whether you are planning a staycation or chose to visit from afar, there is something for everyone in the Triangle. While not necessarily known historically as a top travel destination, the area is becoming increasingly popular and area growth, housing appreciation and rent rates are evidence that the word is out! From just about anywhere, you are just minutes to a local park, fantastic dining, dynamic entertainment, community events and cultural gems. For the sightseer, the investor or the homeowner, the opportunities abound to enjoy!
The North Carolina Museum of Art (www.ncartmuseum.org) features a dynamic permanent collection of exhibits as well as temporary exhibits, acres of parkland and frequent programming.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science (www.naturalsciences.org) is an incredible resource for learning about the earth and popular with children and adults alike.
At the North Carolina Museum of History (www.ncmuseumofhistory.org) you can explore the story of North Carolina and the generations who have called it home.
NC State’s art museum, the Gregg Museum of Art & Design (www.gregg.arts.nscu.edu), sparks creativity and encourages exploration with exhibition openings, lectures and symposia, providing students and the public an opportunity to interact with art and the artists.
CAM Raleigh (www.camraleigh.org) curates the contemporary works of art and design and is focused on new and emerging trends.
The City of Raleigh Museum (www.cityofraleighmuseum.org) works to collect artifacts and exhibits to highlight Raleigh’s history and heritage.
Marbles Kids Museum (www.marbleskidsmuseum.org) knows play is how kids learn best and features innovative hands-on exhibits and award winning programming.
The University of North Carolina’s permanent collection of over 17,000 works of art can be found at the Ackland Art Museum (www.ackland.org) which also organizes numerous special exhibits each year.
Kidzu Children’s Museum (www.kidzuchildrensmuseum.org) boasts 8,500 square feet of multi-sensory, play-centered space providing children and their families an ever-changing menu of programs to inspire creativity.
With a two-story science center, butterfly conservatory and habitats for 60 species of animals, the Museum of Life & Sciences (www.lifeandscience.org) is just blocks from downtown Durham.
The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University (www.nasher.duke.edu) is dedicated to building a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art and also emphasizes works by artists who have been historically underrepresented.
The Museum of Durham History (www.museumofdurhamhistory.org) uses stories about people, places and things to promote an understanding of perspectives about the Durham community and its history inside and beyond its walls, with exhibits also planted throughout the downtown area.
Erica Jevons Sizemore
Broker, Realtor and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS)
KWSE, Director of Luxury, Keller Williams Raleigh
Erica’s background in finance and marketing is matched with a personal passion for an unparalleled experience, love of home design and inability to sit still – always brainstorming how to better position her gregarious clients real estate investments to support their lifestyle and financial ambitions. After 12 years in wealth management at Morgan Stanley, Erica returned to real estate in residential and luxury home sales at Keller Williams Raleigh. With a love of North Carolina and all things Raleigh, she has been an active volunteer and committee chairperson at many of our local area community standouts, among them the North Carolina Symphony, Carolina Ballet, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, House of Hope NC and the RRAR Raleigh Giving Network.