With real estate markets transitioning, Beverly-Hanks takes seriously the responsibility of keeping you informed. We know that for a majority of our clients, your home is the cornerstone of your household’s wealth.
When examining our regional real estate markets, we consider supply of homes for sale, sales pace, home prices, the and the availability of financing.
WNC Supply of Homes
For several quarters, continued declines in home supplies have been driving trends in Western North Carolina. In our nine-county region, there are 4% fewer homes for sale now than this time last year. However, the number of homes under $300,000 has dropped precipitously, by 12%. The lack of supply for homes under $300,000 is most pronounced in places like Buncombe and Henderson Counties.
Home buyers trying to purchase homes under $300,000 are having the most luck in places like Yancey and Madison Counties. In these counties, housing supply and demand are reasonably well balanced between buyers and sellers.
However, buyers still have a reasonable choice of homes in the upper brackets. The supply of homes priced over $500,000 remains sufficient to maintain a balanced market throughout the region.
WNC Sales Pace
Despite the tightening supply of homes for sale, the real estate sales pace remains strong for Western North Carolina. An impressive 2,418 homes have sold during the last 90 days. However, this figure is a turn from the record numbers we saw last year. In Q2 2018, 4% fewer homes sold compared to the same period last year.
There’s no question that the drop in total sales is the result of fewer buyers being able to find a home that meets their needs. We believe that the current cycle may have permanently altered the home types and places buyers can find homes in certain price ranges.
Homes that are selling are going fast. The average time it takes for properties to close remains around 90 days. However, properties in Henderson and Buncombe Counties are selling much more quickly—often in as little as 65 days. This is an intense pace, with many houses remaining on the market for only days before going under contract.
Using a combination of Beverly-Hanks’ tools, expertise, and creativity, our agents are successfully helping their clients find wonderful homes even in these frustrating conditions.
WNC Home Values
The shortage of homes for sale, coupled with steady demand, continues to push home values higher. The Federal Finance Housing Agency reported that Asheville MSA’s home prices appreciated 8.28% over the last 12 months. We expect this rate of appreciation to continue for at least the remainder of this year.
Price increases can be expected across the region, but will be most pronounced in communities with homes remaining under $300,000. Increasing home mortgage interest rates aren’t expected to have much of an impact on home ownership unless they crest 5%. Buncombe County’s median sales price continues to lead the region at $300,000. Yancey and Mitchell Counties are the most affordable at $168,750.
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
Mortgages for reasonably qualified buyers continue to be readily available, even for those with little money to put down. In fact, Freddie Mac recently published an article entitled “Debunking the 20% Down Myth.” The article revealed that “the average down payment for first-time home buyers in 2017 was 5%, and 10% for repeat buyers.”
Similar to the down payment, many buyers don’t know or are misinformed about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify for a home loan. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently approved loans, 52.7% of approved mortgages were for buyers with a credit score of 600–749.
Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Contact a Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services loan officer to learn more about low and no down payment programs.
Welcome to the Seller’s Market
The overall average supply of 5.4 months of available homes for sale has remained constant over the last 12 months. This indicates that we remain in a seller’s market. These conditions will lead to increasing prices for at least the next several months. However, as demand for housing continues to be strong, supply will not keep up. Increasingly motivated buyers will have to look to the counties surrounding Buncombe and Henderson Counties to find homes that match their needs.
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.
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.