Our quarterly market update starts below and was published on January 27, 2021. You can also skip down to our section of up-to-date Asheville & Black Mountain Area Real Estate Statistics.
What a year it was! In 2020, we saw a global pandemic, a general election, historically low interest rates, and the hottest real estate market in decades. As we look back on the year, we see the that it was a true seller’s market as reflected in every statistical category.
Inventory Dropped to Historic Lows in 2020
In our previous quarterly newsletters in 2020, we discussed the lack of inventory for sale. Now we can look back and see just how low it was. At the end of the year, Buncombe County’s inventory of single-family homes, condos, and townhomes was down 44%. Some smaller markets were down even more. For example, Black Mountain’s inventory was down 68% compared to December 2019.
These low inventory levels have made even the winter season a great time for sellers to put their homes on the market.
Homeowners are Holding onto their Properties
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic severely dampened sellers’ plans to list their homes. Over the course of the year, many of those listings did eventually make their way to the market, but overall the number of homes listed was still down significantly from 2019. Countywide, there was a 5% decrease in homes listed for sale in 2020.
Demand for Homes was Way Up
The decrease in new listings was not nearly as severe as the increase in demand in the Asheville market. If we look at the data for the number of closed sales in 2020, we see that there were over 4500 home sales in 2020, an increase of 7.2% countywide.
The number of closed sales would likely have been much higher if there was suitable inventory for buyers to purchase. But due to limited inventory to choose from, much of the unsatisfied demand from 2020 will have to carry over to 2021 in hopes of inventory levels typical of a more traditional listing season.
Multiple Factors are Driving Demand in the Asheville, NC Market
Buyers continue to reevaluate what they want or need in a home. Home offices and Zoom classrooms continue to be the norm as we near the 1-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic. But it’s not just the virus that’s making people want to live in the mountains. We’re also being told by buyers from areas like California and New York that they’re moving to Asheville to avoid exorbitant tax rates. And buyers in hurricane-prone areas like Florida are looking for 4 seasons and reasonable property insurance rates.
Add in record-low mortgage rates, and many buyers have more than enough reasons to make Asheville their new home.
Late Winter and Spring of 2021 Could see Record Sales Figures
Historically, the first quarter of the year has been the slowest time of the year for Asheville real estate. Even in a good year, January, February, and March have been a time for real estate agents to catch their breath and for sellers to begin planning to list in the spring. But 2021 has started off with a bang. There has been no seasonal slowdown. Buyers remain active in the market; they’re pre-qualified and ready to jump on a new listing when it hits the market. For sellers, the first quarter offers a great opportunity to sell against limited competition, and also to free up equity that can then be used to buy a replacement home when more inventory hits the market in the spring.
If you’re considering selling your home in the next few months, here are a couple of key metrics that show what a homeowner selling a home in Asheville might expect.
The first is the ratio of sale price to list price. This stat is trending up, with sellers negotiating less now than they were pre-COVID.
Next is the expected selling price. Asheville real estate prices are at all-time highs and the trend is still going up.
No seller wants their home to languish on the market. Another encouraging aspect of the current seller’s market is the short amount of time it typically takes to sell a home, assuming it’s priced correctly. Right now, a well-priced home is likely to sell in less than a month. You read that correctly – in the middle of winter, homes are selling in less than a month!
Interest Rates Continue to Hit New Historic Lows
As we’ve discussed in previous market updates, interest rates have remained low. We’ve had clients purchase homes with 30 year mortgages with rates under 3%. We’ve never seen such attractive mortgage terms! Even some buyers that can afford to pay cash are opting for the nearly free money they can get from lenders. If you’re looking for a local lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, reach out to us for some recommendations.
Land Sales Have Steadily Increased
Pending land sales across Asheville, Black Mountain, and Buncombe County have continued to rise since April. Much of this demand is certainly due to buyers being unable to find a suitable existing home due to low home inventory levels. Of course, building a home means you need a builder. If you’re considering building in the Asheville area, check out our list of some of Asheville’s most reputable home builders.
Take These Steps Before you Buy or Sell in 2021
2020 was a ridiculously hot market, with multiple offer situations leaving many buyers left out. To be sure you can find the right property in 2021, buyers should take the steps to get pre-qualified before they enter the market. If you want to focus on a specific Asheville neighborhood, be sure to let us know so that we can ensure you’re aware of new listings.
For sellers, winter is a great time to discuss your options for selling, including how to prepare it for the market, how to price it correctly, and how we can market it.
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Asheville & Black Mountain Area Real Estate Trends and Statistics
At Freestone Properties, we’re a little bit geeky. We love statistics, especially when they help to identify trends in the market. The statistics in this section of our website are updated in real-time. We’ve included many different charts and graphs based on geographic area, price range, square footage range, and other factors. The graphs are interactive, so hovering your mouse over the graphs will show the detailed figures.
We hope you find this information useful if you’re considering selling your home or considering moving to the Asheville area. Keep in mind that statistics such as days on market, sale-to-list-price ratio, price per square foot and other figures can vary greatly depending on a lot of factors. Each property is different, so contact us to discuss a specific property.
Residential Real Estate Statistics and Trends by Geographic Area
Residential Real Estate Statistics and Trends by Property Type in Buncombe County (Countywide Data)
If you’d like to see a specific statistical graph that we haven’t provided, please ask us to create it.