When the global pandemic began to impact our corner of the world last year, there were (naturally) questions of how this new reality would impact life and business as we know it. Interestingly, the Swannanoa Valley and Buncombe County real estate market was one area that was impacted positively as we saw very high demand for homes and property in Western North Carolina.
By all indications, 2020 was a year of transition for many folks. For some home buyers that work remotely, this included a lifestyle shift from larger cities to smaller towns. Our mountain region is experiencing the impact.
One notable statistic in grasping our current market reality is the number of homes for sale in Black Mountain. This time last year there were approximately 93 homes on the market in the 28711 zip code. As of today, a year later, there are 20 – and inventories were already historically low in 2019.
Buncombe County statistics also reflect a tight real estate market. All data points are pointing to a tighter market with increased prices and lack of supply. In Buncombe County, the average sales price in 2020 increased from $367,730 in 2019 to $414,544 in 2020, or an increase of 12.7%. Cumulative days on market decreased on average from 81 days in 2019 to 59 days in 2020.
In a similar pattern to Black Mountain, the number of homes on the market in December decreased from 1,275 in 2019 to 669 in 2020. The increase in demand has greatly reduced the supply of homes for sale causing inventory of homes for sale in December to decrease from 3.6 months in 2019 to 1.7 months in 2020.
The historic low home inventory levels are corresponding with an increase in lot sales and unimproved land sales. In December of 2020, there were 27 land sales in Black Mountain and Swannanoa compared to 6 land sales in 2019. As a result of the increased land sales, the months of inventory of unimproved land in 2020 was 10 months compared to 56 months in 2019. Buncombe County is similar with 117 sales in 2020 compared to 52 in 2019.
I anticipate overall home sales to decrease in 2021 for our market unless there is a substantial increase in home listings. There just isn’t enough supply of homes to meet the surging demand. The decrease in supply we saw in 2020 may have related, in part, to homeowner concerns with showings and with letting interested buyers into their homes due to pandemic health concerns.
As we look forward to the remainder of 2021, one of the major takeaways is that this is an ideal time to list homes and land. The continued lack of supply will continue to put upper pressure on prices. If you do decide to sell your home, one consideration is that there may be challenges in purchasing a home in the same market due to home prices.