The stats for Feb. 2021 are now available. This month we will be using my new chart. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive monthly notifications about our updates. For those of you who like numbers and stats, please view Asheville Region Update Feb 2021
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October is one of Asheville NC busiest real estate months. In the past many people who visit Asheville during the leaf season decide to go ahead and purchase a house while they are here. Others have been planning to move here for years and finally take that leap of faith. This year the effects of global warming and the pandemic have caused even more people to come to Asheville. Over the past decade we have seen housing prices climb and inventory slack. Now we have a serious affordability issue based on our local average household income level.
If you are moving from CA, NY, FL, CO, or a place that has extremely high house prices, and made a large amount from the sale of your property, you may think that you can find a similar house for much less. I often have clients who are sticker shocked based on exceptions rather than the actual price. So is important to be knowledgeable about the area when you get ready to purchase a home.
Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Marshal, and Brevard have all been long time popular cities due to their great outdoor beauty and ethic art and music venues. Eventually, the people moving here had to expand out to our areas within the counties of Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, and Transylvania.
Today, if you want to buy land “to do a mini farm” or to “have privacy” and your budget is below $300,000 you probably will need to look in McDowell, Rutherford, or Polk. For most people that is not what they were thinking of when wanting to be near Asheville. Western North Carolina is a mountainous area and there is a limited about of land that is farmable or buildable and that comes with a choice of paying more or moving farther out.
Many people who move here just want a house and a yard. They really don’t have a concept between a quarter or one acre really is. Plus, it really depends on where the house sets on a lot as to how big the yard feels. It is important to realize that the median home price in Buncombe county and the surrounding counties have been climbing at a very fast pace since the beginning of the pandemic. In my most recent, Real Estate Market Update Report, Buncombe county median home price had climbed to $342,000. That is still a good deal if you are moving from Denver, New York City, or LA. It might be a big sticker shock if you are moving from other areas.
Another, thing that people looking to buy in the Asheville area need to be aware of is that they must move quickly on a house when they find one, they like. Multiple offers are occurring in all price ranges. Even houses in the $700K+ are on the market less the 90 days. Bottom line if you are not ready, willing, and able to buy in 90 days you are just looking, because what you liked will be sold or under contract.
The rental market here is also very tight. So if you are planning to rent before you buy, you need to start looking for a place immediately and be willing to put up some money to hold your spot.
I think the most professional thing I can do is to set realistic price understanding at the beginning of our relationship. Early, in my career I had to do this with first time home owners. Back then I would say now if you qualified for $400K you could have everything. Now I have to tell my clients that the $400K cash they have will not buy everything on their dream list. There are homes currently on the market priced between $225K-$275K. They just may not meet your expectation.
Once people understand what their “qualified/willing” amount to spend will buy them, one of two things happen. Either, they adjust their needs/want list or they come up with more money. Regardless, of the result, I think it is my job to help you as the buyer to come to Asheville with realistic open-minded concept of buying in this area. This is accomplished by a few steps. First, you must be pre-qualified or actually have the proof of funds. We need to know how much you can spend before we can decide what that will buy. Also, most sellers require this before allowing a physically showing. Second, we make a wish/must have list. I will help you fine tune this before we start looking. This is important because if a garage is a must then that limits your selection in our area. However, is storage is what is really important then that opens us up to more houses. Third, I’ll create a MLS search engine for you that is in real time and updated daily to ensure the house you like is currently active before we schedule an appointment. It can be so frustrating to like a house that Zillow or Facebook says is active only to find out it went under contract five days ago. Fourth, I will review houses with you per Zoom so we can fine tune that must/want list. Most of our local sellers require a drive by before requesting a showing. This is a good way for you to get to know the area and worth doing your first few days in Asheville. All this primarily work will help you be prepared to make a realistic offer quickly when you find a house you like, hopefully affording the disappointment of not having your offer accepted.
Asheville is a wonderful place to live. The greater Asheville area is also a beautiful place to live. Prices will continue to climb as more and more people move here. Currently the interest rate is low and helps offset the monthly payments, in some cases it may be lower than rent. So if you are even thinking about moving here, now is the time to start taking an active role in understanding this market. I certainly, don’t want to scare you away from our lovely area, I just want to establish realistic exceptions. Of course, the best thing to do is schedule a time to talk and we can help you match your exceptions with your budget. I also have an extensive Realtor referral resource, that will be glad to help you with the surrounding outer counties.
Nationally as well as locally, the month of June reflected a pent-up demand by prospective home buyers. New Listings were down in the Asheville region by 7.0 percent to 1,430. Pending Sales increased 33.1 percent to 1,509. Inventory shrank 38.0 percent to 3,354 units.
Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 3.7 percent to $280,000. Days on Market decreased 5.9 percent to 64. Months Supply of Inventory was down 42.6 percent to 3.5 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.
Buyers are eager to purchase as fast as possible. Those who have returned to work want to find a house and move NOW!
Sellers are more reluctant to list right now. Many are in a wait and see mode. They want to make sure they have a place to live if a second wave of Covid 19 hits. Until sellers regain confidence, housing inventory will continue to remain low and force prices upward.
Buncombe and Henderson County have limited inventory in all price ranges with the medium days of market of only 18 days. In houses less than $300K, the majority are under contract within 4 days and often involve bidding wars, if the houses are in good condition.
Even with the shortage, buyers are still being choosy and want homes that are in good condition and have some upgrades. The higher price point makes it less likely buyers will have extra money for improvements. If seller’s want that top dollar they will need to put some money into the home to have it in good condition and staged attractively.
I am encouraging sellers, to make the improvement as fast as possible and get their house on the market NOW!
Who knows what this fall will bring?
Source: Canopy MLS, and the NAR (National Association of Realtors) reports and surveys.
You have probably heard the quote, “location, location, location”. It really is all about location. An identical house in downtown Asheville, NC will sale for several thousand dollars more than the same house located in Candler, NC. Currently, people want to live as close to downtown Asheville as possible. The majority of people moving to the area want to partake in the food, fun, and events that occur downtown. If they can afford it they would like to be able to walk to restaurants and pubs.
This week I did something different for the YouTube video update. I used a program I have to compare apples to apples and see what a difference location makes. I was comparing the median home price for May 2020. I reviewed different cities and towns in Buncombe Co. NC.
3 bedrooms/ 2 baths
Tradition (not distressed) resale existing homes (currently new construction is always more then existing homes)
1,000-2000 square feet
Asheville city $314,500
Alexander $ 260,450
Black Mountain $198,650
As you can see there is a big difference between Asheville city proper and the surrounding towns. The same holds true for increase resale value. While you may end up paying more for the city limits of Asheville, in most cases you will also end up selling it for more.
This is important for sellers whose house is only 20 minutes from down town Asheville. An appraiser will compare houses closest to you because location does make a difference.
This is also important for buyers. Depending on what you want and if living in the city is not important to you then you can get a bigger yard and maybe a bigger house for the same price of that house on the infield lot.
Be sure to view this week’s YouTube update and subscribe.
We have been looking week to week concerning our local real estate market. Now it is time for the more comprehensive update. The data is collected from our local Canopy MLS. Now that the Covid 19 crisis has had a full month run in real estate it is important to examine our Greater Asheville region, which includes Burke, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey.
Canopy’s April report stated: “Year-over-year sales declined 14.5 percent in April 2020 across the 13 counties, with 737 homes sold. Compared to March 2020, sales were down 12.1 percent. Year-to-date figures for 2020 show the Asheville region with sales still positive and up 6.9 percent compared to sales during the first four months of 2019.
Pending contracts, the metric that indicates buyer demand, declined 21.3 percent year over- year with 840 contracts written in April, while new listing activity had a deeper decline with listings down 43.9 percent year-over-year with 936 homes listed. There were 1,667 homes listed for sale during the same time last year. Prices across the region increased, with both the median sales price ($266,500) and the average sales price ($315,167) rising 4.5 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.
The Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had year-over-year sales decline 20.9 percent in April 2020 with 483 homes sold compared to 611 last year. However, sales during the first four months of the year compared to the same period last year rose 4.8 percent with 2,099 properties sold. Stay at home orders forced buyers to the sidelines as pending contract activity fell 27.3 percent year-over-year in April; while new listings had an even sharper decline of 41.3 percent year-over-year. As inventory continued to fall (down 24.7 percent year-over-year at report time), prices rose in April, responding to seller’s market conditions that have been prevalent for the past few years. Both the median sales price ($294,500) and the average sales price ($341,129) rose 6.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. Homes averaged 69 days on market in April and the MSA has 3.3 months of supply of homes for sale at report time.
Buncombe County, with its stronger stay at home order, saw sales decline 27.8 percent year-over-year as 236 homes were sold in April 2020 compared to 327 sold last April. Year-to-date sales show the county’s sales up 3.5 percent compared to sales during the first four months of last year. Both pending contract activity and new listings activity had sharp declines in activity year-over-year, with pending sales falling 30.2 percent and new listings down 39.5 percent. Prices continued to rise in response to seller’s market conditions. Both the median sales price ($309,000) and the average sales price ($373,598) increased slightly, up 1.3 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. Inventory was down 23.8 percent year-over-year in April, leaving the county with 3.2 months supply of homes for sale. Homes sold quickly during the month, as days on market averaged 51 days in April 2020 compared to 61 days in April 2019.
Sales in Haywood County fell 9.8 percent year-over-year with 92 homes sold during the month compared to 102 homes sold last April. However, year-to-date figures show sales up 14.3 percent compared to the first four months of last year. Pending sales declined 18.4 percent year-over-year in April with 80 contracts written, while new listing activity was nearly half of what it was last year, falling 48.4 percent with 81 homes listed for sale compared to 157 last year. Prices increased modestly year-over-year with the median sales price ($225,000) and the average sales price ($268,807) rising 1.1 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. Inventory was down 25.3 percent year-over-year with 348 homes on market or 3.6 months of supply. There was no change year-over-year in days on market, which averaged 95 days in April.
Henderson County’s sales were down 15.2 percent year-over-year in April 2020, with 140 homes sold compared to 165 homes sold during April 2019. Year-to-date figures show sales still positive and up 2.9 percent over sales during the first four months of last year. Pending contract activity declined 24.4 percent year-over-year with 146 contracts in the pipeline compared to 193 contracts written last year. New listings also declined 40.2 percent year-over-year, with only 174 listings added to the market compared to 291 that were listed last year. Prices rose sharply as inventory declined 27.4 percent yea over-year, leaving 515 homes for sale at report time. The median sales price of $316,950 increased 13.2 percent compared to last year, while the average sales price of $341,941 rose 14.7 percent over last year. Days on market averaged 67 days in April compared to 72 days on market a year ago, and the county had 3.0 months of supply of homes for sale at report time.
In Madison County sales were down 11.8 percent year-over-year in April 2020 with 15 homes sold, while year-to-date figures show sales are up 1.8 percent with 57 homes 3 sold compared to 56 homes sold during the first four months of 2019. Pending sales, which only totaled 12 in April, fell 36.8 percent year-over-year, while new listing activity declined 47.7 percent year-over-year with just 23 homes newly listed compared to 44 last April. Both the median ($228,500) and the average ($266,293) sales prices rose 69.3 percent and 54.8 percent year-over-year in April, respectively. Madison County is a buyer’s market with 7.4 months of supply and 137 homes for sale compared to 171 homes for sales in April 2019. Properties averaged 212 days on market in April compared to 73 days this time last year.”
The city of Asheville usually has the larger percentage of price point and numbers in the region. New listings were down for the month of April and with that so is the inventory. Therefor the average list price continues to climb in Asheville city limits.
The city of Hendersonville saw a 14.7% increase in the closed prices, in the month of April.
If you would like the pdf reports which includes charts and graphs for all of the great Asheville region, please email me.
Please watch this video for my interpretation and predictions of our local real estate market.