Summer is a perfect time to take stock of our forecasts and determine if Western North Carolina’s real estate markets are shaping up as we expected. Overall, the markets are active and are providing a lot of opportunity.
To give you the rundown, Beverly-Hanks President Neal Hanks, Jr. has delivered the Q2 2019 Real Estate Market Report. Watch the video below or continue reading for a summation.
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.
When breaking down the markets, we examine four metrics: The supply of homes for sale, sales pace, home prices, and the availability of financing.
WNC Supply of Homes
After a long period of decline in our nine-county region, the number of homes for sale is beginning to increase. There are overall 3% more homes for sale now than this time last year. However, this increase is not occurring at all price levels. The number of homes under $300,000 remains 3% less than this time last year. When you dig into the data county by county, this decrease is being felt the most in Buncombe, Haywood, and Transylvania Counties. Opportunities to purchase a modestly priced home are going to be most available in Rutherford and Yancey Counties. In these two, the median sales price is lower and the number of houses for sale has increased over this time last year.
Much of the demand for housing over the past couple of years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home. Many of the more expensive homes listed for sale have experienced higher than average days on market. Today, these dynamics are creating opportunities at the higher end. This is great news for homeowners wanting to move up to their dream home.
In contrast, the uniqueness of luxury properties often prevents them from being easily substituted for one another. An experienced luxury agent is essential for understanding the nuances of this niche.
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 Sales Pace
Overall, the sales pace remains strong for Western North Carolina. More than 2,600 homes sold during the last 90 days. That’s nearly 30 homes every day!
Since last December, interest rates have dropped to their lowest rate in three years. The drop is spurring buyer demand, not just for first-time buyers, but also for second- and third-time buyers who currently own a house and are ready to make a move. These interest rate drops are likely motivating current sellers to move up, creating a cascade of opportunities in our markets.
Many counties experienced a significant increase in sales, as a result. Buncombe, Haywood, and Rutherford County sales paces all increased between 10–14%, and Polk County’s pace went up 25%! However, not every county saw increases. It’s difficult to identify one reason why some counties were up and others were down. We believe the markets are shifting, and with that transition comes variability.
To see which counties experienced sales pace decreases and by how much, download a copy of our report at beverly-hanks.com.
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.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that Asheville MSA’s home prices appreciated 5.75% over the last 12 months. We’re expecting the rate of appreciation to continue to slow towards historical levels. The appreciation rate for the last 90 days was .91%. When annualized, this suggests a pace closer to 4% for 2019.
Buncombe County’s median sales price continues to lead the region at $315,000. Rutherford County is the most affordable at $178,000.
To explore the median sales prices for all of our other counties, refer to a complete copy of our latest Quarterly Market Report. If you’d like to know your home’s current value, call your Beverly-Hanks agent and ask for a FREE Buyside monthly report.
Availability and Cost of Financing in WNC
After many volatile predictions, interest rates remain close to historical lows. In fact, rates have been dropping since late 2018. Lackluster economic data spurred the FED to issue a post-meeting announcement that basically told markets a cut was coming. Since markets are forward-looking, mortgage rates have already fallen to fresh lows in anticipation of the new FED paradigm.
All that means that originally predicted rate increases could be much more subdued than first thought, if rates increase at all. And it means that all home buyers currently have an opportunity to reduce the cost of ownership via these historically low rates.
Don’t miss this unexpected opportunity!
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.
What’s Next?: Supply will Remain Tight for the Foreseeable Future
As a whole, the first six months of the year were some of the most active on record. 4,400 houses have sold since January—That’s 25 houses selling every single day so far this year!
At Beverly-Hanks, we believe the second half of this year is going to be even stronger. Chief economists at Realtor.com, CoreLogic, and Freddie Mac are all saying the same thing: Low mortgage interest rates, higher wages, and an increasing supply of homes for sale will create opportunities in the real estate markets during the second half of 2019.
In WNC, we are expecting home values to continue increasing at a modest pace until demand and supply become more balanced. With no meaningful influx of new residential listings on the horizon, we believe demand will push home values higher in the short term. These affordability concerns may depress the overall regional sales pace, but when individual price brackets are considered, their impact will be largely confined to lower price points.
Ready to Learn More?
Having access to the most current neighborhood information is key to beginning any real estate decision. Our Beverly-Hanks Q2 2019 Real Estate Market Report is a great starting point. But a conversation with your Beverly-Hanks agent will ensure you have the information you need to be successful.
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.