View of 2009 Land Sales in Western North Carolina

2009 was another year similar to 2008 with the volume of Land sales significantly below the highs of 2006 and 2007. The total units sold over 20 acres in the seven county region which includes Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, Rutherford, Polk, and Transylvania counties as reported through the North Carolina Mountains MLS was a mere 37. This translates into half the units closed in 2003 and a fraction of 2007’s 216 units. Many sellers are holding out for better times. The average per acre price (gross sales divided by total acres sold) is below 2006’s $8,959.

The factors driving this include a poor market for home sales over $400,000, a corresponding poor market for residential lot sales over $100,000, and a near absence of bank financing for land sales.

The rapid development of the past has come to a screeching halt. Several large developments are in foreclosure and/or bankruptcy. Frankly, there is no development end for the land right now. The buyers in the market today demand a bargain and are seeking land for specific personal use like a family compound, recreation, and long term investment. My counsel to sellers is to reduce your expectations and price to beat your competition. Seller financing is an option worthy of consideration. The alternative is likely a long wait.

To view Housing and Land Sale Trends from 2003-2009 look at page 10 of our 2009 Annual Marketing Report. Much of the data presented is for the region as a whole. We would consider it a privilege to assist you in analyzing a specific market or market segment, please do not hesitate to contact us. Begin your search of land for sale now.