For several quarters now, signs have been pointing to a shift in the western NC housing market. The 2019 first quarter numbers further indicate that supply continues to increase while average price is holding steady or decreasing. A closer analysis of these 2019 indicate that these and other numbers support the notion that the western NC housing market is slowing a bit.
In Buncombe County in the first quarter of 2019, the number of homes sold increased 4%, up to 786 units as compared to 754 homes in the same period for 2018. While that number may seem modest, it represents a steady increase in the number of homes sold since 2012 when only 535 homes sold during the first quarter. In terms of total sales volume, the market increased 4% as well in 2019, growing from $252.8 million to $264.1 million. Interestingly, the figure is almost double the 2012 first quarter total sales volume of $133.5 million. The average home price of $336,074 shows no measurable increase from 2018 numbers. That number, again, represents a substantial increase from the average home price for the first quarter of 2012 which was $249,513.
Another key figure to consider is Days on Market (DOM) which increased from 80 days in 2017 and 82 days in the first quarter of 2018 to 90 in the same period in 2019. While that represents a slight increase from last year, the DOM figure still falls significantly below the 189 DOM seen in 2012. The 2019 number of homes on the market, 1931 units, shows a 21% increase over the number of homes on the market in the first quarter of 2018. In both years, of the number of homes listed, 70% were not under contract. By contrast, the number of homes on the market in the first quarter of 2012 was 2422, a much larger figure than seen in the market in 2019.
In the Black Mountain housing market, which is notably a smaller sample size than the county, the number of homes sold increased 13% from 2018 to 2019 with 45 units sold in the latter year. It is interesting to contrast that with 2012 first quarter unit sales, the lowest figure in the last 8 years, when only 27 units sold. At the same time, total sales volume increased 9% to $13.4 million in 2019, up from $12.4 million in 2018. That 2019 figure represents more than 100% increase in total sales volume from the 2013 first quarter total sales volume of $5.99 million. At the same time, the average price per home in 2019 actually decreased by 3%, down to $299,465 from 2018 figure of $309,685. In contrast, the lowest average home price in the last eight years occurred in 2013 when average price was $213,983.
As was the case in the Buncombe County numbers, Black Mountain’s DOM increased as well, rising to 111 days in 2019 versus 79 in 2018. While this increase is steeper than the county figure, it still falls well below the 2012 first quarter DOM number which was 204 days. One final interesting number for Black Mountain is the number of units on the market for the first quarter. That number, 128 units, represents a 44% increase over 2018 first quarter’s 89 units. This increase, while again substantially higher than the county percentage increase, still falls below the 132 units listed in 2012.
As stated earlier, the loosening of supply and the slowing or turning of the average home price are both indications that the housing market pace has slowed. Add to that the increase in both the county and the Black Mountain market DOM numbers, and it seems appropriate to begin to talk about an early trend toward a market slow down. Now, it seems that all eyes will be on the next few quarters to see if this is a natural and expected settling of the market or perhaps more of a solid downturn. And as usual, a few more quarters of numbers are needed to make that determination. For more information about market trends, please see the Market Numbers link. And if you want to list your home, please check out the selling your home link at Greybeard Realty. You can find all of Greybeard Realty's exclusive listings here. And please contact Greybeard directly for more information about the western NC real estate market.