What’s the State of the Luxury Real Estate Market in WNC Right Now?

The Western North Carolina housing market was a wild ride in 2020! This was especially true for our luxury market segments, which showed remarkable growth as affluent buyers chose to leave larger metros for the peace and solitude of our mountains.

We’re not even through the first quarter of 2021, but we’re already seeing that 2020’s trends are very likely to continue for the luxury segment. Today, we’re answering your questions about where the luxury real estate market is in WNC right now.

What does the Average WNC Luxury Home Look Like?

While some sales certainly top the $3 million mark, local luxury home sales are overwhelmingly in the $1.0–$1.5 million range. And 78% of them occur in the immediate Asheville area. Over the last five years, WNC’s median luxury sales price has remained remarkably consistent around $1,300,000. And this year, we’re not seeing much change, with a median sales price for 2021 so far of $1,325,000. During 2020, 19% of luxury home sales in WNC were for condos and townhomes. However, there has only been one condo sale over $1 million to date in 2021. 

Luxury homes in WNC average 4,500 square feet, and are often more than 20 years old. (In the last 20 years, there has been relatively little new construction due to land use limitations and controls.) Sold properties typically include a median acreage of 1.4 acres.

During 2020, the number of luxury new homes expanded significantly to meet the burgeoning demand. All indications are that this trend will continue into 2021. In 2020, one highly amenitized golf community represented almost 40% (14 of 36) of luxury new home sales in the region.

What has Sales Activity been Like in the WNC Luxury Real Estate Market in Q1 2021?

Over the last five years, we’ve seen the sales of luxury homes in WNC (priced at $1 million or more) shoot up by 200%! Sales across the nine-county region have increased by 19 units to 57 units in Q1. 

Since 2017, the median Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) has been 137 days. During 2020, the median time on market dropped to 100 days. So far this year, we’re seeing that figure rebound a little to 125 days. And the list-to-sell ratio has steadily increased by 8% over the last five years to 91%.

With so little new luxury inventory being introduced to the market in the last ten years, buyers’ appetites for new homes can be better understood by also considering luxury lot sales. In 2020, lot sales priced over $350,000 were up 73.8%. 2021’s sales pace suggests that this trend will continue and likely intensify. 

How does Luxury Home Inventory Look so far for Q1 2021?

Across WNC, the inventory level of luxury homes is essentially flat when compared to the average over the last 5 years. We’ve averaged 287 active units at a time during this period. As of February 28, 2021, we recorded 290 active luxury homes for sale.

Our agents report that their listing activity is on par with recent years. However, buyer demand is outstripping available homes for sale. 

Where Geographically are Luxury Home Buyers Coming from Right Now?

Our web analytics do a reasonable job of representing our inmigration. According to the numbers, more than 30% of luxury home buyers are local to North Carolina. Another 15% are moving to the state from Florida. Other states sending significant luxury buyers our way include New York, South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Washington, California, and Texas. Changes to workflow due to the pandemic, as well as changing climates and real estate markets across the country, are sending more luxury buyers our direction.

LuxeAnalytics*Google Analytics
NC 30.8%NC 54%
FL 15.3%TN 9.02%
NY 4.6%FL 5.35%
SC 4.6%GA 4.36%
GA 4.4%CA 4.19%
IL 3.7%SC 3.87%
WA 3.2%NY 2.62%
CA 2.9%VA 2.36%
TX 2.8%TX 1.36%
*via Luxury Portfolio International

What are High-End Clients Looking for Right Now in a Luxury Home?

In the mountains of Western North Carolina, luxury buyers are primarily looking for prime locations with privacy and space. The relaxed mountain lifestyle drives buyers toward open layouts with gentle transitions between spaces, more now than in the past. Like all luxury buyers nationally, local buyers enjoy turnkey homes that include furnishings and/or require few updates.

Luxury buyers in WNC want long-range mountain views, along with properties that make them feel cocooned by nature and close to the many outdoor activities our region offers. They also want to be close to Downtown Asheville’s galleries, restaurants, and theatre scene. 

Even though we have wonderful access to hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities, luxury buyers still desire space for a home gym. Smart home technology is especially popular with many second and third homeowners who want to easily manage their property long distance from their phones. 

What are the Best Predictions for the WNC Luxury Real Estate Market for Q2 2021 and Beyond?

The pandemic enhanced trends that were already present in our markets. For years, Western North Carolina has been known as a destination for people seeking relaxation and personal wellness. The Asheville market areas that experienced the most significant growth could be characterized as being highly amenitized or enjoying easy access to the region’s world-renowned outdoor and cultural resources.

The overwhelming majority of luxury home sales are purchased as primary residences. But, as the price point climbs above $1.75 million, it becomes increasingly likely that a home will be a second or third residence. With attitudes changing towards remote work, we expect that many of these homes will begin to serve as primary residences for at least a portion of the year. 

We expect these sales trends to continue for the next 12–18 months. With the low supply levels driving market conditions, we anticipate increased upward pressure on sales prices and optimal conditions for luxury home sellers.

Begin Your WNC Luxury Home Search Today

We’re here to make your luxury lifestyle dreams come true with minimal challenge or frustration. Our services are distinctive, extensive, and tailored to you and your unique lifestyle needs.

The Beverly-Hanks real estate search engine is regarded as the best and most intuitive search tool in the area. Whether your passion is golf, horse farms, boating, fishing, or urban nightlife, we help you match your interests to local luxury listings. Not only can you save your searches, but we can alert you when listings become available that meet your criteria.

To begin your luxury home search, visit our search page, select your property and community parameters, and let us do the hard work for you. Find your luxury dream home today.

2 Responses to “What’s the State of the Luxury Real Estate Market in WNC Right Now?”

  1. I like that you pointed out that luxury home buyers would still want to have their own gym even if the house is located in a place where you could hike. Personally, I would also want that for my own since there are times that I get too cold to go out. So I need to do my workouts indoors. Hopefully, I can buy my own luxury home that has a gym as well, soon.

  2. It’s interesting to know that the demand for luxury homes is still high from 2020 to 2021. My cousin would be thrilled to know that because she plans to buy one this year. It has been her goal ever since she graduated so that she and her family can finally live comfortably, and she plans to buy one this year.

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