Blog :: 08-2013

Getting to Know the Asheville Area: It's Off to the Races

The Asheville area has a large number of road races and trail runs coming up, and runners will tell you that training for those events is a great way to get to know different neighborhoods. If you're into running, either on the road or on the trails, it's hard to beat Asheville as a place to live.

Train and Tour Asheville

Train and Tour Asheville

Although almost all of the extended Asheville area is good for running and training, there are a couple of communities that stand out in particular.  If you want to live somewhere where you can just lace up your running shoes and step out the door, consider homes in Montreat. In addition to the circuitous sidewalks through the community, there also are a number of hiking/running trails. Greybeard Realty has free trail maps if you want to come by and pick one up. In addition, South Asheville and Creston are two other western NC communities for buyers looking for running-friendly places.

If you want to know about the latest road races, need some new training equipment, or would just generally like to know what's going on in the Asheville area running community, there are two great places to check out. Black Mountain Running Company has great folks. On their website, they promise to be all things running to Black Mountain. Jus' Running, in Asheville, also has extensive equipment and information; their website states they are "western NC's running headquarters". Both companies are home grown and very familiar with what's happening for runners in western NC and what living in the area is like. So get your running shoes on, hit the road, and start checking out the neighborhoods.

Landscape Improves for Asheville Land Sales

If you read the recent Greybeard blog on the increase in local construction permits, you may have wondered where all these new residential permits are being put to use. If the July MLS statistics on land sales are any indication, we may have found the answer.

Asheville land sales on the rise.

Asheville land sales on the rise.

Land sales in Asheville increased from 181 units sold year to date last year to 309 units for the same period in 2013. That represents a 71% increase for year to date from 2013. Black Mountain had a 20% increase year to date in land sales, from 15 units to 18 units. In terms of dollars sold, both Asheville and Black Mountain had increases that paralleled the number of units sold. Asheville showed a 69% increase while Black Mountain had a 23% increase.

One reason for this increase may be the tightening of supply of homes in the Asheville area market. As was discussed in a recent Greybeard blog on real estate trends, the number of homes on the market in the Asheville area is decreasing as well.  It may be that home buyers are becoming home builders to build the home of their dreams when they can't find it on the Asheville sales market.

Even with the large increases in land sales, the market has not returned to its peak of 2006. In that year there were 565 units sold year to date in Asheville and 54 land units sold in Black Mountain.  It will be interesting to track land sales over the next few months to see if the current trend holds. For more information, check out Greybeard's current market reports which updates frequently and will let you track Asheville market trends.

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood in Asheville

A recent readers' choice survey in Conde Nast Traveler rated Asheville one of the friendliest towns in the United States. The survey asked readers to rate US cities on a number of qualities including "friendliest", and Asheville placed fourth in the survey.

Won't you be our Asheville neighbor?

Won't you be our Asheville neighbor?

Asheville visitors who participated in the survey not only ranked the cities but also provided comments as to their choices. Glancing over their observations, it is very difficult to disagree with their statements.  One reader observed the city has "hidden treasures around every corner." Another credited the high scoring with Asheville's great combination of "free thinkers and Southern hospitality." The magazine itself points to our remarkable local art scene and local microbreweries as another compelling reason to visit the city.

With our own experiences in the River Arts District and our research for our blogs on microbreweries in the area, we have to say we agree. The magazine goes on to talk about our "great locally sourced food and friendly people".  And while the survey respondents were Asheville visitors, the greatest attraction seems to be the city residents. According to Conde Nast, "above all, it's the "conscientious locals" who truly make this "welcoming" metropolis a "fun, quirky place to visit."

To that, we at Greybeard Realty say, "hear, hear!" We couldn't agree more that Asheville locals are what make this place so special. For those of us who already live in this area, give yourselves a pat on the back for making Asheville such a friendly place to be.  And for those of you who are considering Asheville as an option for relocation, what are you waiting for? Come on! Won't you be our neighbors?

Asheville Area Home Sales Make a July Jump

Ah, summer. Temperatures rise and so do home sales in the seasonal Asheville real estate market. That's why it is imperative that you consider equivalent months and year to date statistics when studying the area trends. Even a quick glance at the most recently released MLS numbers, however, indicates some very strong signs for 2013.

Checking the temperature of Asheville real estate.

Checking the temperature of Asheville real estate.

Black Mountain Real Estate Trends

Black Mountain home sales volume increased 13% over the same period last year. While still 19% below the peak market of 2007, the number still indicates substantial growth for real estate in the town. Also increasing was the total number of homes sold, up 29% in 2013. Interestingly, the largest change in observed statistics  is a decrease of 22%. That downward shift is considered a positive stat for sales, however, as it is the number of units on the market.  Compared to 2012 when 167 units were listed, there were only 131 homes on the market which points to the tightening supply in the area.

Buncombe County Real Estate Trends

Buncombe County also had a hefty decrease in inventory, down 19% from 2012 numbers, with 2144 homes on the market in July 2013 as compared with 2644 units in 2012. And county home sales volume outpaced those in Black Mountain, increasing 30% year to date in July 2013 with a 28% increase in number of homes sold. As with Black Mountain, these numbers are still off the peak numbers of 2006 but illustrate how solidly the real estate market is growing. Days on the market in both Buncombe County and Black Mountain decreased year to date in 2013 for the first time since before 2006. That statistic means that homeowners putting their houses on the market generally have to wait a shorter time to sell their homes than they have in the past few years.

Home Prices in the Asheville Area

The town numbers and the county numbers diverge when it comes to average and median price, with both categories showing a very modest increase in Buncombe County and a decrease in Black Mountain. It is possible that retirees, who make up a large portion of Black Mountain homebuyers, are considering smaller homes for their retirement. Also, it is possible that several smaller, lower priced homes in Black Mountain have sold, driving down the average price per home. It may take a few more months to see if this decrease is a downward trend or more likely some market blip that will reverse itself in the next couple of months.

There are a couple of things that can be known for sure. The summer months are warmer in our area than the winter months, and with the market inventory shrinking in our real estate area the prices should begin to rise. So, if I could suggest, it may be time to take advantage of our good weather and head on out to select that Asheville area home you've always wanted. And with sales inventory decreasing, it may also be a good time to put your home on the market. For information about how to get your home market ready, please check out our home staging tips. As the old song goes, "Summer time, and the living is easy." So perhaps is the selling and the buying in the Asheville home market right now.