Savvy buyers working with Beverly-Hanks agents proved that the last decade was one of the best times in history to buy real estate in Western North Carolina.
To give you the rundown, Beverly-Hanks President Neal Hanks, Jr. has delivered the Year End 2019 Real Estate Market Report. When breaking down the markets, we examine four metrics: sales pace, supply of homes for sale, home prices, and the availability of financing.
Read the full report or contact your Beverly-Hanks real estate expert to learn more about the dynamics of your neighborhood.
WNC Supply of Homes for Sale
2020 promises to be even more challenging for buyers, not because of affordability but because of availability. A robust sales pace fueled by record rates of household formation, a robust economy, and the enduring appeal of our region will further intensify supply challenges.
The shortage of homes for sale intensified in seven out of our nine counties in Q4. Overall, there are 12% fewer homes for sale now than this time last year. However, this shortage is not occurring at all price levels. It remains a strong buyer’s market in every county at the luxury level, as well as many other brackets that are more location specific.
Yancey and Mitchell are the only counties in our region seeing more homes for sale now than at the end of 2018. The number of homes for sale there is up over 7%, and the market remains balanced or tipped in favor of buyers in all brackets above $200,000. Throughout the rest of the region, sellers are firmly in the driver’s seat for homes priced under $600,000.
WNC Regional Sales Pace
Increased wages and low interest rates will improve home buying power, but those improvements will also spur additional demand. In 2020, Freddie Mac forecasts that Millennials will form households at a burgeoning rate. Locally, a steady flood of buyers moving from higher- priced markets will also intensify our supply challenges.
We expect the flood of demand and limited new supply to form a tug of war between the generations. In the aftermath of the last housing crisis, home tenure has risen to an 18-year high. With more than half of existing homes owned by folks aged 55 and up and few economic reasons to move, these older generations are increasingly likely to age in place. It could be another 15 years before the demand/supply equation flips in favor of Millennials.
Total closed sales across the region were up 7% over the highwater mark hit in 2018. 9,849 homes sold last year. That’s nearly 27 homes every day! When paired with a declining home supply, this strong sales pace means that competition for your chosen home may be more intense than ever.
WNC Home Values
If you bought a house in 2010 for $250,000, today it would be worth $346,862. In just the last year alone, the median sales price for homes rose from $259,950 to $280,000—a 7.7% jump!
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 Federal Finance Housing Agency, Asheville MSA’s home prices appreciated 4.5% over the last 12 months.
Buncombe County’s median sales price continues to lead the region at $312,250. Yancey and Mitchell Counties are the most affordable at $191,000.
Availability and Cost of Financing in WNC
A year ago, many experts predicted higher mortgage rates by the end of 2019. It was expected that the economy would continue to build steam, making mortgage-backed-securities less appealing. It turns out those predictions were far off base. Rates dropped for most of the second half of the year, hovering near 3.7% with only days to go before New Year’s.
As last year proved, reliably predicting market-driven outcomes is hard to do. For several years running, we have looked to several reputable sources and drawn general conclusions about the direction of rates. Overall, the group believes 2020’s rates will remain low.
Don’t wait for rates to go lower in 2020. Lock in as soon as you can to protect against any unforeseen and unfavorable shifts in the market. Contact your Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services loan officer today.
Looking Back on an Unprecedented Decade and Forward to What’s Next
As we finish our 43rd year in business, we can confidently report that our region’s real estate markets are in great shape. Most homes sell in 90 days or less. And homeowners have, in many cases, reached all-time highs for accumulated appreciation.
It’s easy to forget that in January 2010, optimism for real estate was in short supply. Excess inventory remained at almost every price point, values continued to retreat, and anemic demand persisted. Today, it’s hard to imagine a market where every price point is oversupplied and the average time it takes to sell a home is close to six months. Not to mention, a market wherein sellers are wrestling with values dropping an average of 6% each year!
Even in difficult market conditions, our team never stops working tirelessly to provide exceptional service to our clients and communities. We know that every market holds opportunities, and it takes an experienced partner to make the most of them.
Ready to Learn More?
If buying a home is in your future, understanding the buying process and how to effectively negotiate is essential to your success. There is simply no substitution for professional, practiced experience on your side.
Beverly-Hanks is proud to be chosen by more buyers and sellers than any other firm in Western North Carolina. Our agents are ready to help position you for success during the next decade.
Real estate is always changing, but one thing stays the same—our commitment to our clients. Give us a call—We are here for you!
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. Request a Year End 2019 Real Estate Market Report from your Beverly-Hanks real estate agent.