November Real Estate Market Update for the Asheville, NC Area
November 9, 2023
Leaf season is officially over in Western North Carolina, but the balmy weather of late has kept tourism hopping. With tourism comes property showings, and the real estate market continues to be active. Of course, the pandemic boom is over and interest rates have lowered the market’s overall volume. But as we’ll discuss in a moment, home prices are still strong.
Interest Rate Update
Over the last month, interest rates have pulled back from over 8% to an average of around 7.6%. Well-qualified buyers may find an even better rate or closing cost incentives by talking to a few mortgage lenders. If you’re looking for a mortgage lender, we’d be happy to recommend a few.
Inventory is Increasing
It’s typical to see inventory increase beginning in February or March, and it usually peaks in September. This year, inventory was higher in October than September, which is a bit of an anomaly. The increase was only by 20 homes county-wide, but will it continue? History says it should drop now that leaf season is over, and the higher October inventory is likely due to fall listings taking longer to sell now that the market has cooled a bit. We’ll certainly keep an eye on this trend over the winter months.
Months Supply is Still Low
While the absorption rate (or months’ supply) of homes for sale has increased over the last few months, it’s only ticking up gradually. At present, there are 2.8 months’ supply of homes across Asheville, Black Mountain, and Buncombe County.
New Listings are on the Same Level as 2022
Despite high prices, the number of new listings to hit the market in October were almost exactly the same as in 2022. It’s the same story we’ve been posting about for months – sellers with low mortgage rates are feeling the “locked in effect” and don’t want to sell. For sellers who do want to sell, this limited inventory means competition is low and there is an opportunity to sell while prices are high.
Overall Sales Volume Leveled off in October
Despite a slower summer season in 2023 (compared to 2022), October volume was almost even with October 2022. In fact, October volume was just slightly below pre-pandemic numbers from 2018 and 2019, signaling a return to some normalcy in the market.
Buyers can Negotiate on Price
Price negotiation has become the norm again, with not as many homes having bidding wars. In most cases, buyers can make an offer below list price and still get a contract. There are still multiple-offer situations, but not as frequently as in the past.
Home Prices are Climbing Again
After being relatively stable since February, median prices hit new record highs in October across Asheville, Black Mountain, and Buncombe County. Average price hit a record in Buncombe County, while Asheville and Black Mountain ticked up in October (but not to new records).
Land Sales are Ahead of Last Year
Land sales recovered a bit in October, at least compared to October 2022. Still, the numbers are below pre-pandemic levels for October. We expect this is largely due to high building costs coupled with the rates currently available for a construction. But it’s good to see a slow recovery over the last 12 months.
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