Western NC Mountains 2018 First Quarter Numbers
A quick glance of first quarter Buncombe County and Black Mountain real estate sales numbers seems to indicate that the market may be shifting. For quite a while, the numbers have presented a textbook case of supply and demand economics. With decreases in the number of units sold and total sales volume year to date 2018, it could be argued that the market may be headed downward. With a more careful consideration of all of the statistics, however, it seems as if the market is still being supply driven. It’s important to breakdown the numbers to draw a more accurate conclusion of just what’s going on so far in 2018.
As mentioned, looking at the number of homes sold year to date in 2018 reveals a 10% decrease over the units sold during the same period in 2017, 754 units this year versus 836 units last year. At the same time, total sales volume decreased only 4% which indicates that home prices are still on the rise. Total sales volume in 2018 year to date, $252.9 million, declined by 4% from 2017, $262.8 million. That indicates that the average home price has risen, in this instance 7% to $335,381.
The remaining numbers vary only slightly in 2018 from last year. For example, days on the market (DOM) increased a mere two days, from 80 to 82 days. That represents a significant change from the peak in 2012 of 189 DOM. Units on the market declined only 2%, from 1635 in 2017 to 1602 in 2018.That figure is a bit misleading, however, when the number of homes under contract is considered. In 2018, there are only 2 less units on the market not under contract than there were in 2017. And so, supply remains tight and sales price/list price remains at 98%, indicating that buyers are paying very close to full price for the home they purchase.
Black Mountain homes sales numbers parallel those of Buncombe County, with some variations. For example, the number of units sold, 40, represents a 5% decline from the same period in 2017. Total sales volume, $12.4 million, is a 11% decline year to date. Of course that points to one difference from the county numbers. The average home price declined 7%, as opposed to the Buncombe County increase in sales price of 7%. It’s important to recognize the smaller sample size in Black Mountain, meaning that a few lower-priced homes can impact this statistic.
DOM rose slightly from 63 in 2017 to 79 in 2018. That figure is fairly close to the county figure of 82 days. The 79 DOM in Black Mountain still represents a very sharp decrease from the 2012 peak DOM of 204 days. The sales price/list price holds tight at 98%. In terms of units on the market, the 89 units is higher than the 2017 figure (81) yet lower than the 2016 figure (95). The percent of homes under contract, 74%, is very close to that for 2017, 73%. In short, supply in Black Mountain remains tight.
So, what’s going on in the western NC real estate market? And what can be made from these latest numbers? There are numerous theories to consider. First of all, it could be as simple as poor weather made it less likely that people were out house hunting in the first quarter. Of course, the weather is notoriously more challenging in the first quarter, so that may be a bit of a reach. Perhaps there are fewer homes, maybe even smaller homes, being put on the market right now. These homes may need more work or repairs or may not be in the most sought-after regions of the area. Is there a hesitation on the part of buyers to purchase a second home right now with the volatile stock market and the recent tariffs and international conflicts? Perhaps.
While land sales are tracked every quarter, it’s unusual to bring them into a discussion along with the real estate sales market. In this case, however, it may be prudent to bring them in now. Buncombe County land sales had a 13% increase in units sold, 185, with a 32% increase in sales volume, $$33.5 million. So, just maybe, prospective home buyers are turning away from the limited supply of homes for sale and making the decision to build their dream home.
With the current real estate market numbers, it’s a bit difficult to know exactly what’s trending. Right now, there seems to be a small decline in sales volume while the supply remains tight. It’s going to take a few quarters before an actual trend can be identified. As is well known, one can’t draw a line with one point. By the same token, it’s not possible to conclude a trend based on one shift in market statistics. Right now, it’s apparent that supply is short, and land sales are increasing. The home sales volume bears watching in the coming months. And if you have a home to sell, it continues to be a positive time to move that home onto the market.
At Greybeard Realty, the latest real estate market numbers are readily available on the website. If you’re ready to list your home for sale, please contact Greybeard, and we will assist you in the process of getting your home ready to sell. Also, take a look at Greybeard's exclusive western NC listings. While supply is down, we do have some incredible homes that are available for purchase. And, of course, if you’re someone who wants to create your own dream home in the western NC mountains, take a look at the Greybeard land listings. We feel like there’s never a bad time to move up into the Asheville area.