Our quarterly market update starts below and was published on October 28, 2020. You can also skip down to our section of up-to-date Asheville & Black Mountain Area Real Estate Statistics.
Asheville’s real estate market continued its phenomenal growth in the 3rd quarter of 2020. The increased demand seen in the spring and summer continued and was met with only modest levels of inventory, leading to the strongest seller’s market in at least a generation. In our latest real estate market update, we’ll look at the numbers from the 3rd quarter and discuss the state of the Asheville market as we move into the winter.
Inventory Dropped to Historic Lows in Q3 2020
Generally, the listing season in Asheville begins around mid-March and continues into the summer, with the number of homes for sale hitting its peak sometime in the late summer or early fall.
However, in 2020, the number of homes for sale peaked in April. There simply weren’t enough homes listed for sale to meet the incredible demand seen since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
To illustrate just how low inventory levels were in Asheville this year, take a look at the high month for 2020 (April) with 1285 homes for sale countywide. Compare that to the low month of 2019 (January), when there were 1344 homes for sale. So the inventory was lower at the beginning of the typical selling season in 2020 than it was in the dead of winter in 2019!
This phenomenon was driven by both a record level of demand and an incredibly low amount of new supply. To explain, we’ll look at some statistics covering new listings and pending sales.
Homeowners are Holding onto their Properties
With the onset of the pandemic in March, many homeowners’ plans to sell in 2020 were delayed or put on hold completely. Now that we can look back at year-to-date figures, we can see that the number of new listings is down over 10% countywide.
Demand for Homes is Way Up
On the demand side of things, we see that the number of pending sales soared in 2020.
Anecdotally, most Asheville real estate agents would tell you that the number of pending sales would be significantly greater 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.
COVID-19 Has Driven Demand in the Asheville, NC Market
The COVID-19 outbreak has led many people to re-evaluate where they live and the type of home they live in. As many people have transitioned into working from home, many have also realized that working from home is feasible for the long term. These people have realized that their jobs no longer tie them down to just one place, and that they can really work from anywhere. For this reason, “Zoom towns” are booming across the country, and Asheville is no exception. A Zoom town is typically described as a smaller “gateway community” with access to national parks and other outdoor amenities, as well as good internet access.
Another story we have heard repeatedly is from buyers who had planned to move here in the next 2-5 years. But given the amount of time we are all spending closer to home and away from the office, many of those buyers have decided to make the move now.
And as North Carolina has moved into Phase 3 of its re-opening plan, Asheville, NC is a great place to quarantine, especially this time of year. Most restaurants are open in some form (even if only for carry-out or 50% dine-in occupancy). And you can still find a mountain bike trail, hiking trail, or some other form of outdoor recreation where it’s easy to social distance.
Late Fall and Winter Offer Sellers an Opportunity to Sell Quickly
Another interesting effect of the seller’s market this year is that it has reached even into the highest price ranges of our market. Even the Asheville luxury home market is desperate for inventory, and many luxury home buyers are missing out on properties that sell within just a few days or receive multiple offers. We wrote in a recent blog post about the opportunities for sellers to sell their home this fall and into the winter. That applies not only to the more affordable price ranges, but to the upper end of our market as well.
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.
Interest Rates Continue to Hit New Historic Lows
As we’ve discussed in previous market updates, interest rates have remained low. We’ve seen well-qualified buyers recently lock in 30 year rates for around 2.75% with zero points. We’ve never seen such attractive mortgage terms! Even many 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. Some of this demand is certainly due to buyers being unable to find a suitable existing home due to low home inventory levels. Countywide, the number of pending land sales is up 94.5% compared to a year ago!
Looking Ahead to the Fourth Quarter of 2020
Q3 was as hot of a real estate market as anyone could have imagined. There is still a lot of buyer activity in the market, with new listings continuing to sell quickly, and many going into multiple offer situations. Here are a few expectations for the market heading into the 4th quarter and early 2021.
- Low interest rates should continue to drive demand for homes.
- Pent-up demand will continue into the holidays and into 2021.
- New listings should continue to sell against an extremely limited amount of competition. This should result in multiple offers and minimal negotiation by sellers for correctly-priced homes.
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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.