High Country Association of REALTORS News

Home sales continue to accelerate

Local Realtors sold more homes in August and September than any two-month period in at least 15 years, according to the latest real estate report by the High Country Association of Realtors.

The one-two punch powered sales for the year. They have grown 8 percent compared to 2018, and 20 percent compared to 2017.

The brisk business occurred as interest rates remained near record lows and inventory continues to turnover quickly.

Through the end of September Realtors sold 1,859 residential and multi-family homes worth $572.06 million, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It records all activity by Realtors located in Ashe, Alleghany, Avery and Watauga counties.

That’s well above the 1,776 homes worth $476.24 million sold in the first nine months of last year. The median sold price so far this year - the midpoint at which half of all homes sold above or below this year - is $237,000.

Forty percent of the homes sold through September were closed within the third quarter, the apex of the busy summer season. From July to the end of September Realtors sold 767 homes worth $241.78 million.

That’s an increase of 5 percent compared to the third quarter of 2018 (731) and an increase of 16 percent compared to 2017 (662).

August and September sales were individually the highest for all but one month in the past 15 years as Realtors sold 279 and 274 homes respectively. Only August 2018 was busier, with 295 homes sold.

The 274 homes sold in September were for a combined $88.37 million. The median sold price for the month was $247,000. 

INVENTORY. There were 1,657 homes for sale as of October 7, according to the MLS. There were just over 300 new listings added during September.

Inventory is tight given recent history. A year ago there was approximately 1,970 homes on the market. There were about 2,722 active listings in early October 2016.

One aspect of current market conditions is the quick pace at which they are selling. In September 2016 listings were on the market a median of 139 days. Last month that median was just 96 days.

From May to the end of September, the median days on market (DOM) was 85, the quickest turnover for listings in a five-month span since 2010.

ALLEGHANY COUNTY. Realtors sold 19 homes worth $3.5 million in September, matching a high for the year. The median sold price in September was $185,000.

There were also 19 homes sold in May, with a median sold price of $175,000.

Realtors also sold 10 land listings $440,940. It was the most such listings sold in the county since July of last year (10 listings for $640,000).

ASHE COUNTY. There were 41 homes worth $9.55 million sold in September, bringing to 317 the number of listings sold this year. The median sold price for the month was $217,000.

Listings were on the market for a median of 92 days in September, the second lowest in the four-county region.

AVERY COUNTY. Realtors had the most lucrative month in almost 10 years, selling 75 homes for a combined $28.4 million. That followed an equally busy August, during which another 75 homes worth $24.79 million were sold.

Going back to 2010, only in one other month have Realtors surpassed $20 million in home sales in the county - September 2017 ($21.1 million).

Listings sold in September included five for more than $1 million; one of which went for more than $2 million.

WATAUGA COUNTY. Listings within the county are not available long, as evidenced by a median of just 89 days on the market in September. In June they were on for only a median of 63 days, the quickest turnover for a month in the county since at least 2010. The metric increased to 65 and 77 in July and August, respectively. 

There were 123 homes worth $44.49 million sold in the county in September. The median sold price was $293,000, the third month this year the metric surpassed $290,000.

Five of the listings sold were for more than $1 million.

INTEREST RATES. Interest rates bumped up briefly in September before declining by the end of the month. The average 30-year fixed rate was 3.65 percent as of October 3, as measured by Freddie Mac. It was 3.73 percent September 19.

The latest 15-year fixed rate was 3.14 percent.

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