Almost daily, our clients share how much they appreciate our real estate guidance. Both buyers and sellers benefit when working with an agent who can correctly anticipate national and regional market shifts. Last year, 86% of Beverly-Hanks buyers shared with an independent research firm that their agent did an excellent job negotiating the price and terms of their purchase. It’s those kinds of results we strive to hear every day!
In that spirit, Beverly-Hanks President Neal Hanks, Jr. has delivered the end-of-year Market Report for 2018. Watch the video below or continue reading below for a summation.
Keep in mind that the market dynamics addressed here represent our regional trends and are not always evenly represented in each neighborhood. Read the full report or contact your Beverly-Hanks real estate expert to learn more about how your neighborhood is transitioning.
When examining our regional real estate markets, we consider sales pace, the supply of homes for sale, home prices, the and the availability of financing.
WNC Sales Pace
Last year, an impressive 9,200 homes sold. That amounts to more than 25 homes per day! But believe it or not, this figure represents a cooling of the market to a relatively flat sales pace (2% increase for the year).
Across the region, tight supply has reduced the number of homes selling for under $300,000. In places like Buncombe County, sales of more affordable homes were down by as much as 15%. On the other side of the coin, sales of homes priced over $800,000 were up 12%. In fact, homes priced in these upper tiers were up by 100% in several of the region’s counties. Of course, these more expensive properties can take almost a year to sell.
Buncombe and Henderson Counties remain two of the fastest selling counties in our area. Both average less than 75 days on the market before a property closes. Buyers looking to purchase in these markets must be well prepared and ready to act when searching for a home.
Take advantage of current opportunities in the market. Contact your Beverly-Hanks agent before the current demand pushes prices higher and supply lower.
WNC Supply of Homes
In 2018, there were 10% more homes available for sale across the nine-county region. However, with the supply of homes priced under $300,000 down by 4.4%, it is possible that certain communities no longer have homes available in the most affordable brackets.
Chances of finding an affordable home increase as you travel farther from our metro areas. Buyers willing to consider Rutherford County are finding plenty of affordable opportunities. As of the end of 2018, there was a 25% increase in the supply of homes priced under $300,000.
In almost every community, the biggest increases in supply occurred in homes priced between $300,000–$800,000.
Want to know how many homes are available where you are? Ask your agent for a print copy of the latest Beverly-Hanks Quarterly Market Report, or download a copy from the Beverly-Hanks Market Research Center.
WNC Home Values
Even with a slowing sales pace, the region’s tight supply and growing demand are pushing home prices higher. Demand is being driven by several demographic shifts: Millennials are approaching their peak home buying years, real estate markets in other parts of the country are becoming more expensive, and folks are continuing to move into the area. This combination is generating housing demands that outpace the number of homes for sale, adding to affordability concerns.
The Federal Finance Housing Agency reported that Asheville MSA’s home prices appreciated 9.5% over the last 12 months and 2.82% over the last 90 days. With no meaningful influx of supply on the horizon, we expect prices to continue to rise. However, supply concerns may also dampen enthusiasm for homeownership, which will likely slow price increases.
Buncombe County’s median sales price continues to lead the region at $293,950. Rutherford, Yancey, and Mitchell Counties are the most affordable at $174,000.
To explore the median sales prices for all of our other counties, refer to a complete copy of our latest Quarterly Market Report.
Availability and Cost of Financing in WNC
Attempting to forecast mortgage rates is a bit like trying to forecast mountain weather. As 2018 wound down, it appeared that mortgage rates were going to make good on last year’s projections, but now those trends are being reversed as rates fall. Investors are increasingly moving their money to safer investments like U.S. Treasury bonds.
There is growing economic uncertainty as the trade war continues, the effects of the government shutdown reverberate through the country, and forecasts continue for slower economic growth. All this has meant that mortgage rates are heading south. On the positive side, low mortgage rates are mitigating the declines in home affordability caused by escalating home prices.
With our short term economic future uncertain, we recommend working with a skilled loan officer who is able to partner with your real estate broker to ensure that you are well prepared when you are ready to act. Contact a Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services loan officer to learn more.
Our Real Estate Forecast for 2019
The prospects for our regional real estate markets look good. In 2019, we expect the markets to cool and move from robust recovery into a year more in line with historic norms. More balance between buyers and sellers will characterize this year’s market.
Buyers may have improved opportunities this year. And we expect the market to be driven by younger and first-time buyers. The number of homes for sale is increasing, and demographics and in-migration continue to support strong demand. But buyers in the lower price brackets will still likely have to contend with a limited supply of affordable inventory and escalating costs of ownership caused by increasing mortgage rates.
Healthy markets are also good news for people looking to sell their homes. While the Asheville MSA’s home affordability has become more challenging, it remains attractive to buyers from many other locales. Buyers are looking for livability in smaller markets, and often, that means moving from a high-cost/high-tax market to lower cost secondary markets like those in the Asheville MSA. This influx of out-of-town buyers should provide plenty of demand to maintain a healthy sales pace for the region.
All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. Learn how to find opportunity in today’s dynamic market. Request a Real Estate Review from your Beverly-Hanks & Associates real estate agent.