The first quarter home sales numbers continue the pattern of the last year with steady increases in the number of homes sold. That trend, in turn, is matched with a steady decrease in the number of units on the market over the last year. And as occurs in Econ 101, that means the average price has risen as well. It’s a classic case study for supply and demand.
In Buncombe County, the number of homes sold increased 7% from the same period in 2016. For 2017, 836 homes were sold after spending an average of just 80 days on the market. At the same time, the average price per unit increased 8% to $314,354, which of course resulted in an increase of total sales volume of 15 % from last year’s first quarter, growing from $227.5 million to $262.8 million in 2017.
Significantly, the sales price/list price ratio increased to 98%, indicating that sellers are getting very close to full listing price in today’s tight market. And as has been the case for the last year, the number of homes on the market is tightening further. For the first quarter of 2017, there were 1635 units on the market, a 3% decrease over the same time period in 2016. Interestingly, both years had more than 30% of the listed units under contract at the time the statistics were recorded.
The County numbers illustrate the impact a tightening market with a shrinking supply has on price. Buyers entering this market need to know how much they can invest in a home and be prepared to make an offer. With homes on the market for less than 90 days, the competition can be fierce for a very desirable home.
In Black Mountain, the story of the numbers is even more intense. With the smaller sample size, however, it’s important to temper any firm conclusions. For example, in the first quarter of 2017, there was an increase of one unit sold, from 41 in 2016 to 42 in 2017. The percentage increase is then 2%, but that’s a very small sample. In addition, the average price of homes sold soared in Black Mountain, up from $245,580 in 2016 to $331,904, an increase of 35%. That’s when it’s very important to keep the sample size in mind.
The number that stands out, however, is the days on market (DOM) which is down to 63 days from 86 a year ago. That number indicates just how tight this market is with a limited supply of homes available. The number of homes on the market decreased 15%, from 95 in the first quarter of 2016 to 81 in 2017. It’s very important to note, however, that in 2017 there were 27% of that 81 under contract, compared with 36% of the 95 listed homes under contract in 2016. That may indicate a slight easing in the supply, although it’s not possible to draw a firm conclusion with one quarter’s statistics in such a small market.
So, what can be made of the first quarter numbers for real estate sales in 2017? As has been the case, supply is tight, particularly Black Mountain listings, and demand is high. If you’ve got a home you’d like to list, now is the time to get on that. And if you want to enter the buyers’ market during 2017, there are a few steps that will help you with that process. Know your budget. Know the market so you’ll know the fair asking price. And if you’re in love with a particular home, be prepared to make a quick, solid offer on the home. Unlike seven or eight years ago when a buyers’ market allowed for negotiating and taking your time to select, the 2017 market seems ready to move. And if you want that dream home, you need to be ready to go as well. Contact Greybeard Realty for more information.