In Buncombe County, for example, the number of homes sold has decreased 27% year to date from January to June 2008 (the most recent numbers available) compared with January to June 2007. Similarly, in Black Mountain, the number of homes sold has decreased 28% over the same period versus last year.
Despite those numbers, however, I can still see some positive signs within the market. While the average price of homes sold nationally year to date through May (the latest numbers available) is down 6% when compared with the similar period from 2007 and Buncombe County numbers are down similarly, within Black Mountain, prices have actually increased a dramatic 31% in 2008 year to date as compared with similar dates from 2007.
There are no statistics to support my theory specifically, but I feel as if that increase is due to the more expensive homes that have been built in our area in the last 10 years which are now coming onto the market. In addition, we are seeing many out of town folks moving here, relocating or purchasing retirement homes for near future use. For this reason, I feel as if we remain a solid real estate market.
Unfortunately, land sales are also down for the latest period, although again Black Mountain, down 28%, still shows more strength than the Buncombe County numbers, down 42%.
So why, given some of these downward turning numbers, do I remain positive about Black Mountain? First of all, within our real estate firm we continue to see very positive traffic of buyers coming through. In addition, people who want to sell are beginning to offer some deals which should help the market increase as we move forward. And lastly, we have held our own for quite a while as other markets across the country have been experiencing a downturn. The markets such as ours that are the last to see the negative impacts are generally the first to recover. I certainly expect that to be true for our solid Black Mountain real estate market.