Blog :: 2020

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

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.

The criteria:

  • 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

Swannanoa $230,000

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.

 

REAL ESTATE MARKET APRIL REPORT

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

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.

Haywood County

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

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.

Madison County

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.

 

 

 

WEEKLY MARKET UPDATE LAST WEEK OF APRIL 2020

I am comparing this week to last week stats for Buncombe County single family homes.  Buncombe Co. still has the #stayathome order in place.  This means that no one from outside our area is able to physically see houses.  If someone does come into Buncombe Co. then they need to stay in quarantine for 14 days.  This limits the number of buyers, so for this week the numbers we see should be local people buying and selling. Our Youtube channel also has weekly updates. 

BUNCOMBE CO

THIS WEEK Ap 24-May compared to LAST WEEK Ap 16-23

NEW LISTINGS 69

NEW LISTINGS 62

UNDER CONTRACT 84

UNDER CONTRACT 85

CLOSED 42

CLOSED 47

WITHDRAWN 23

WITHDRAWN 27

 As you can see we stayed on track from week to week.  The biggest difference is that the medium home price is moving up to the low $400,000.  We have a housing supply shortage in Buncombe Co. This will continue for at least the next year.  I expect home prices to continue to climb and by the end of summer that the the average sold price will be in the $400,000.

So if you are local and ready and able to buy then it is best to do so now. If you are planning on selling soon, then your house needs to be in the very best possible condition to get top dollar. 

If you have questions, comments, or would like to buy or sale, please contact me at mary@lovethegreen.org

April 25 2020 Weekly Real Estate Update

How real estate is currently doing depends on where you look and what you are looking for.

The Asheville Region report includes Burke, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey counties. Comprised of single-family properties, townhomes and condominiums combined.  Quick facts are computer generated from Canopy MLS.

Quick Facts:

• New Listings decreased 50.9% to 202

• Pending Sales decreased 37.7% to 160

• Inventory decreased 20.8% to 3,789

For the month of March:

• Median Sales Price increased 5.5% to $265,750

• List to Close decreased 0.7% to 136

• Percent of Original List Price Received decreased 0.4% to 93.6%

• Months Supply of Homes for Sale decreased 25.9% to 4.0

Looking at these stats can be confusing and frustrating. Combining rural counties with Asheville metro really skew the numbers.  Now more than ever it is important to compare apples to apples.  Keeping to the chart we used last week, let’s see what is happening in Buncombe county residential single home market.

 

THIS WEEK                                      LAST WEEK

NEW LISTINGS

 

68

NEW LISTINGS

 

63

UNDER CONTRACT

76

UNDER CONTRACT

 

78

CLOSED

 

28

CLOSED

 

51

WITHDRAWN

 

24

WITHDRAWN

 

18

 

When you look at the actual numbers rather than percentages, and compare last week to this week very little has changed in the new listing area.  Majority of the new listing are still in the $300,000 and are the majority of those that have gone under contract and those that have closed.  

Deciding a list price is based on the current market conditions.  Right now sellers are not lowering prices and while loans are still easy to get the housing supply in our area is still very limited.

The glaring difference this week is the number of closings.  This is where the Covid 19 stay at home rules are starting to show up.  Closing are still taking 30-45 days to close. So there defiantly was a slow down of buyers looking at houses and making offers during the time period Buncombe county stated the Realtors were non essential workers.  I expect this trend to be the same next week.   We will be more able to determine what is happening in the current market by mid May, when buyers have been able to physically view homes and make offers and moved to the closing table.

So what does this all mean for now?  Buncombe county has a major housing shortage.  The median house price is climbing to the mid $300K.  List prices are not dropping and as long as the seller does not have to sell it is still a seller market in our area.  Cash may start to be king for houses above $700K but as long as loans are still available anything under $400K is still closing close to list price.

For those of you who prefer a visual audio version visit Love The Green YouTube channel

If you would like pdfs with more stars just email me mary@lovethegreen.org .

 

April 17 2020 Weekly Real Estate Update

Buncombe County declared Realtors essential workers last week.  For the week of Ap. 10-17 2020 there was definitely more showing actions.  We will know next week if these showings will become pending with next weeks stats.  (Remember, our stats are based on the past week.)   I wanted to compare this week to the same time last year to see if there has been any real impact in our local real estate market. This week the stats are only for Buncombe County and single-family residential homes.  I created a table and chart using our regional MLS statics.  Be sure to look at charts and table to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

For this week I thought it would be interesting to compare the same week last year.  Amazingly there were an increase in new active listings for the 2020. The majority were in the price points between the $300K-$500K.  I think the large amount in one week was because sellers held off for a few weeks when the first Covid-19 restrictions were established. Now that buyers can actually see the house sellers are ready to list.  This is also probably true for listing that went under contract. Many buyers had seen a house online or had viewed it once and wanted to go back before making the offer.  Most of the houses that went under contract this week were in the $300K.  Withdraws were about the same in number between 2020 and 2019. The unusual part is that this week the majority of the listing that were withdrawn were in the $200K.

The very big difference was closing.  Only 24 this week and 77 last year!  This is the results of the “stay at home” restrictions.  Buyers who were looking and are not currently looking have put the search on hold. Again we see the average sales price being in the $300K.

I expect the next 30 days will show similar results with the closing being low but new listings and under contract continuing to be steady. What happens the next 30 days will affect our real estate market for the summer session.  It really is a wait and see.

Right now sellers are not ready to lower their price unless it is a hardship sale.  Cash is good but not king if buyers are still looking for a 30 day close.   Cash and fast close, 15 days or less is what sellers really want and if you can do that, then a buyer might get a very good deal.

Be sure to view Love The Green YouTube site for a verbal presentation.  

Subscribe for our blog for regular updates.

Stay safe and be kind to yourself and others.

WEEKLY MARKET UPDATE ASHEVILLE REGION MARCH 8 2020

 We are all adjusting to the demands and uncertainty of Covid 19.  At this moment the best we can do is live one day at a time and be kind to everyone.   I am a stat junkie. I like to review past trends to predict future ones.  However, since there has never been anything in our lifetime like this, looking at the past data is mainly for information.  So with that in mind, I wanted to share what has been going on in the real estate market in our area. 

On March 26, 2020 Buncombe County issued a Stay Home Stay Safe Declaration that was stricter for Realtors than the state mandate.  During this time period Realtors are not allowed to physically show the property to buyers. Virtual showings have become the new normal.  The fact that a buyer can not physically view a property will have an impact on pending sales, new listings, and closed sales if the mandate continues. 

These stats are for last week (since it takes 30-45 days to close. Real Estate stats are taken from past week and past month.)

• New Listings decreased 28.9% to 244

• Pending Sales decreased 32.4% to 167

• Inventory decreased 18.2% to 3,782

Now while this shows there is a slow down, when compared to last year this same time, overall the numbers are better than last year.  Our market was set to sky rocket at the beginning of March.

We don't know how long our #staysafestayhome orders will last so predictions are just that.  However, one thing that is assured for at least the next few weeks. Cash is king. A cash deal with fast close will be what most sellers are looking for.  So it is possible that some great buys could happen in the next few weeks.  

For a video update visit our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBQCN_u2AkiOflAQYGGjJ7libhuBVKwYz

If you would like a detailed analysis for this week please email mary@lovethegreen.org 

Stay safe and be kind to one another.

March 2020 Market Update

For those of you who prefer the video version go to our YouTube site Mary Love March 2020 Market Update Special Report.  If you would like to download the Market Report PDFS visit PDFs FOR MARCH 2020 MARKET REPORT

Usually in the spring I give an annual review and prediction of our local real estate market to our real estate investment group.  This year due to the Cornoavirus that meeting as well as many others has been cancelled.   Who knows, blogging, videos, and Google docs may become the new normal for getting this message out to our local folks.

We will review the greater Asheville Region, Buncombe and Henderson countries, as well as Asheville and Hendersonville city.  We will also take a look at the current rental market and the past week activity. 

 

The greater Asheville Region includes: Buncombe, Burke, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey Counties. The more remote counties do effect these numbers because the averages in places such as Swain County that has a 14 month supply is averaged into the big picture.  Since land is limited and housing cost is forcing people to look further out from Buncombe and Henderson county it is always good to see what is happening in the surrounding counties.

For the Asheville Region supply is still limited with the monthly inventory averaging 3.5. The combined average sale price was in the low $300,000.  So WNC is still a popular place and affordable housing is challenging due to the lower wages in the area and the lack of inventory.

It is good to compare Buncombe Co (BC) with the city of Asheville. We will work with percent change with year to date (YTD) as that helps recognize trending patterns:

Buncombe County/Asheville

New Listings: BC YTD - 6.3%      Asheville - 5.7% = housing shortage in all price areas

Pending BC: YTD  28.3%            Asheville 33%

Closed BC: YTD  22.8%             Asheville 15.8%

Median Sale Price: BC  YTD $309,000    Asheville $328,000

Average Sale Price: BC YTD $379,543    Asheville $409,555

Month Inventory:  BC 2.6

Take away is Buncombe Co not just the city of Asheville continues to see price increases.  Basic 3/2 homes that are in good shape are starting in the mid $300Ks.

It is good to compare Henderson Co (HC) with the city of Hendersonville. We will work with percent change with year to date (YTD) as that helps recognize trending patterns:

Henderson County/Hendersonville

New Listings: HC YTD - 7.1% Hendersonville -10.6%

Pending hC: YTD  15.8% Hendersonville 17.5%

Closed HC: YTD  20.8%      Hendersonville 19.3%

Median Sale Price: HC  YTD     $274,000 Hendersonville $263,000

Average Sale Price: HC YTD  $$298,929 Hendersonville $ 289,145

Month Inventory:  HC 2.6

Take is away is Henderville is experiencing the most growth.  Housing outside of the city limits is still affordable and may be good investments for rentals as well as first time home owners.

Haywood and Transylvania county continues to show growth.

While looking at the entire market with more detail, it is apparent that the list price is still over priced based on the number of price adjustments and final closed prices.  Sellers need to become more aware of this in order to move the house faster. The longer a house sets on the market the lower the closed price may be.

Monthly rent prices have increased throughout all of the greater Asheville region.

Now, with all this information what do that mean for the next few months in real estate?   Who knows?  This is not a typical down cycle in real estate nor is the stock market.  A pandemic is a global crisis and it may take a while to see the results.  So for the short term, here are my predictions and recommendations.

If you are a general buyer needing to find a home to live in, then keep looking. If you find anything you like then buy it now. The inventory is low and may become more difficult to find anything in your particular price range. The interest rates are low so buy now.  While prices may drop in a few months the inventory is still very limited so it is not worth the wait if you need a home to live in.

If you are an investor and want to hold for rentals, grab those mulit family units and take advantage of the low interest rates.  Otherwise wait for those vacation rentals to come on the market because they will.  Flippers hold your cash because it will be king again.

All sellers, price your property correctly now and get it sold asap.  

Be sure to tune into to our YouTube and FaceBook sites for weekly updates. 

Take care of yourself and others. Be gentle and kind to everyone.  We are all in this together.

Common Q & A for Buyers

Buyers usually have many questions about the process of buying a house. Love The Green Real Estate Consulting Firm offers detailed information on our website in the Buy Section and on YouTube. Today we thought we’d answer some of the most common questions.

 

What is the difference between a Realtor and an Agent?

Although both must be licensed to sell real estate, the main difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor is the latter is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. A Realtor must subscribe to the Realtor Code of Ethics which includes 17 articles. Many consumers only want to work with a Real Estate Agent who has sworn to treat all parties fairly and honestly.

 

When can I start looking at properties?

Several things need to happen before we start looking at properties.  First, if you are getting a loan, you need to meet with a lender (we can recommend some for you) to find out how much you qualify for.  Next, we will meet and talk about the home buying process in NC, and your wants and needs concerning your future purchase. Then you need to provide all the paperwork necessary to be pre-approved.   At this point if you are ready to buy in the next 90 days, then we will start looking at houses.   

 

If I call or email a Realtor about a house I saw online, who is the Realtor working for? 

If you have not signed a buyer agency agreement, the Realtor is working for the seller.

 

Can I work with more than one Realtor? 

It is possible that you may have some part-time or inexperienced Realtors who are willing to show you a few houses without requiring you to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement. However, they may not be working for you – they may be working for the seller.

 

How do I know if the Realtor is working for me? 

You will sign a Buyer Agency Agreement that states the time period and who you are working with. This agent or team will be your contact point for all homes you want to know more about, call for information on “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) properties, and stay in touch with you.

 

How does a Buyer's Agent get paid? 

Realtors are usually paid on commission at the close of the sale of a house. In most cases, the Buyer’s Agent is paid by the seller as part of the listing agreement. Top professional buyer agents and teams usually request a retainer fee from the buyer since real estate is their full-time business and are not in the learning stage. It is possible for Buyer Agents to be paid by the buyer at the beginning of the search.  This is part of consulting services and is often used by experienced investors.

 

Visit our YouTube channel.

2020 Real Estate Projections

World and national economics affect the housing industry, so we’ll start with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) forecast, then look at our local market.

Across the nation, there is still a housing shortage, which means new construction will continue to grow. However, new construction costs more than existing homes and we already have an affordable housing crisis. Mortgage rates are predicted to stay low, yet buyers’ wages limit loan qualification amount.

The consensus at the NAR Forecast Summit is that at best, there will not be a recession, at worst, a 29 percent chance.

Markets to Watch According to NAR:

  • Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Columbia, SC
  • Chattanooga and Memphis, TN
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  • Columbus, OH
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Ogden, UT
  • Boise, ID
  • Rochester, NY

So what does all of this mean for us? Well, pretty much the same thing.  The greater Asheville region will continue to have an affordable housing shortage. The average sale price for an existing 3 bedroom/2 bath home was $265,000, and $325,000 for new construction.  While these numbers may seem low to people moving into the area from larger cities, our local residents have a current living wage of $13.65 an hour, which makes it almost impossible to buy a house. The same holds true for most of the aforementioned hot markets.

Most buyers will either be second-time home owners or moving here from a large city.  Sometimes, out-of-state buyers are shocked by our prices. Houses $350,000 and under will go fast, so be prepared to make an offer as soon as you find one you like.  If you are looking for a home that doesn’t need any remodeling or repairs, be ready to pay $275,000 or more. Once you are in the price range of $400,000 - $600,00 and above, you have a little more time to make up your mind. That price point stays on the market an average of 50-60 days. The issue is that there is significantly less supply because many of the active listings are new construction and have not yet been built.

All of this should mean good news for sellers. However, the market is shifting.  We have leveled off on extreme price increases. The condition of the house critically affects the price.  No longer can you stick a sign in the yard and get a crazy amount for a pig with lipstick.

Buyers expectations have changed in the past 12 months.  New construction is often the competition, so existing homes need to be in generally good condition and ready to move in.  If you plan to sell your house for more than $275,000, you will need to do some upgrades and repairs.  Otherwise, buyers will be subtracting those improvement costs when they make an offer.

A noticeable trend is that many people are moving more than 20 minutes from downtown Asheville.  More of my clients are stating that they don’t want to live in town due to high prices and traffic. The same is true for Hendersonville.  Towns like Weaverville, Marshall and Mars Hill are becoming attractive due to price point, the sizes of homes and lots, and a “small town feel”.  Another trend is that investors have expanded their “sweet spot” locations to as far as an hour away for their home base.

Ironically, all of this means that it is the prefect time to both buy and sell in the greater Asheville area.  Historically, this area has continued to appreciate at 3+%. This means that house prices will always be going up, so if you want to buy, now is the best time.

For sellers, the factor to consider is that new construction will continue to come online and buyers will almost always buy new construction if the price is the same.  So now is the time to make those improvements and get top dollar for your house.

Real estate is cyclical and change will happen. Eventually, there will be a slow down in the market and interest rates will rise. Right now, 2020 looks like a good year for both buyers and sellers.

View the Real Estate Trend Indicator for Buncombe County for 2019 here.
View the Real Estate Trend Indicator for Henderson County for 2019 here.

If you would like more information about our local market, please contact me at mary@lovethegreen.org.