Written by Bill Fishburne
You Snooze, You Lose
Last year, 2017, was another banner year for real estate in Western North Carolina. In 2016 we reached and exceeded pre-crash sales levels in all measures. In 2017 we exceeded 2016 in every category except inventory, which was down 10.9% from the year-before period. But as indicated by record sales, buyers are still finding their dream houses in the mountains, so the tight inventory has not yet damaged sales.
Defining the Terms
The Western North Carolina Regional MLS (WNCRMLS) system includes Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Transylvania, Polk, Rutherford, and Madison counties. The larger metropolitan areas and townships are Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Brevard, Saluda, Lake Lure, Weaverville, Rutherfordton, and Black Mountain, plus other named locations that may not be populous, but do have their own local flavor. Who’s in and who’s out of the system is determined by the local Boards of Realtors. Some determine to affiliate with WNCRMLS, while others, in Boone for example, choose the more local High Country system. We can’t cover the entire state in this roundup so we limit ourselves to the WNCRMLS system, which in turn is managed for the local board of Realtors by the Charlotte Regional MLS.
Our survey includes all single-family dwellings and condominium units. It does not include apartment houses or multi-unit condo buildings. Sales in 2017 were so good that they clearly exceeded those for any previous year, going back to the first days they started counting. Sales prices were also higher and there were fewer distressed property sales than there were at any previous period, including the real estate collapse of 2006-13. Finally, the outlook for future sales is better than at any time in the preceding 12 years.
This report focuses on what did and did not sell, what is still on the market, and what expectations we have for the market in 2018 based on the market history and trends along with current U.S. economic trends (both positive and negative). Please recognize that these figures are subject to adjustment even as the data is presented. Sales reported in late December are volatile as the first two or even three weeks of 2018 roll by. Our snapshot data and charts were taken with sales as reported through January 5, 2018.
With that, let’s get started.
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