Understanding the various dynamics of our regional real estate markets is something we take seriously at Beverly-Hanks. And it’s during times of transition when our agents’ expertise becomes invaluable.
Right now, there are confusing economic and housing headlines in the national news. There’s no question that macro trends impact our local real estate market conditions, but at the end of the day, all real estate is local. Through a combination of training, tools, and old fashioned experience, our agents are ready to help you to interpret the national headlines and put them into context for our region.
To get you started, Beverly-Hanks President Neal Hanks, Jr. has delivered the Q1 2019 Real Estate Market Report. 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 the dynamics of your neighborhood.
Let’s dig into the metrics that help describe out local real estate markets: Home prices, sales pace, the supply of homes for sale, and the availability of financing.
WNC Home Values
The Home Price Index provided by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is one of the most accurate in the industry for home values. However, it does lag our local MLS data by one quarter. According to the FHFA, prices in the Asheville MSA increased 7.53% during 2018. But change may be on the horizon. They also reported a 0.58% decrease in home prices during Q4 2018, which may be signaling a change. In contrast, entities like Zillow continue to predict a 2.6% increase for the Asheville area over the next 12 months.
Buncombe County’s median sales price continues to lead the region at $280,000. Rutherford County is the most affordable at $173,000.
We remain dedicated to making sure you have accurate information for confident real estate decision making. All of our Beverly-Hanks agents are equipped with a tool called Buyside, which monitors your home’s value on a monthly basis. Call your Beverly-Hanks agent and ask for a FREE Buyside monthly report.
To explore the median sales prices for all of our other counties, refer to a complete copy of our latest Quarterly Market Report.
WNC Sales Pace
In a trend that began in the summer of 2017, the regional sales pace growth slowed to 0.3% over the last 12 months. A supply shortage in certain price ranges is creating drag on the overall growth of the region’s sales pace. Overall, we expect the sales pace to remain at a level on par with 2018 for the coming quarter.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that even during the first quarter, when sales pace is at its slowest, 590 properties sold each month. That’s nearly 20 every day!
While the regional sales pace was flat, Transylvania and Yancey/Mitchell Counties reported double-digit increases over last year. This is likely due to the availability of homes in the lower price ranges. The outlying counties continue to outperform Buncombe, Haywood, and Henderson.
Competition among buyers is most intense in Haywood County, where homes average 26 days on the market before closing. 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 in your desired neighborhood.
WNC Supply of Homes
Throughout the region, there continues to be an ample supply of homes for sale over $750,000. With the exception of Buncombe County, most counties are also well supplied in the moderate price ranges.
The ongoing shortage of homes priced under $400,000 is most pronounced close to town centers like Asheville, Brevard, and Hendersonville. But this shortage now extends into most surrounding communities, as well.
We don’t expect this trend to change in the short term. True to fashion, several Beverly-Hanks agents have stepped up and are now serving on local boards and leading efforts to find solutions for the ongoing popularity of our region’s lifestyle and the shortage of affordable housing. Hats off to the their leadership.
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.
Availability and Cost of Financing in WNC
If you follow mortgage forecasts, you know how volatile predictions have been in recent months. With mortgage interest rates defying all conventional wisdom, where they head during the second quarter is anyone’s guess. The only certainty is that rates will change.
Here’s what we know: Mortgage rates haven’t been this low since the week of February 1, 2018. Early forecasts for mortgage rates had them closing out the year around 5%. Many of those predictions have been modified and now have rates finishing the year around 4.5%.
Despite the economy’s current rosy disposition, there’s no question that the Federal Reserve is concerned about its long-term prospects. After its March meeting, the Fed scrapped all plans for additional rate hikes in 2019.
Mortgage interest rates love this kind of news. If you are considering a mortgage in the near future, it is far more likely rates will rise rather than fall. Could this be the best time for you to buy a home?
For real-time advice on current rates and the best time to lock in that financing, our loan professionals are available in most of our branches across Western North Carolina. Contact a Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services loan officer to learn more.
Will this Market Stability Remain over Time?
All told, Western North Carolina real estate markets are dull—meaning stable. After years of pendulum swings as the markets searched for balance, it appears we are closer to market equilibrium than we’ve been in almost a decade. Mortgage rates are staying low, national experts are not predicting a noticeable drop in unit sales, and our regional sales pace has remained consistent with last year’s pace.
Based on local data, conversations with many of our 375 agents, and the expertise of our builder partners, our regional markets are on a similar trajectory with 2018. Pending any unforeseen economic event, we will experience slower price appreciation and a sales pace consistent with last year.
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 real estate agent.