Written by Bill Fishburne
We present our annual overview of real estate in Western North Carolina for the year just finished, additionally taking note of how our region fits into some significant market trends that will be operative during the year to come.
While running for Vice President in l992, Tennessee Senator Al Gore famously stated that, “Everything that ought to be down is up. Everything that should be up is down.”
Twenty-six years later, what should be up is up and what should be down is down. Mostly down. (Mortgage rates are climbing slowly as are all the rivers, creeks, and ponds in our area. But that’s another story.)
Overall, the residential real estate market was good in 2017, better in 2018, and will continue to be good in 2019. Local trends are positive for stable unit sales, dollar volume, and home value appreciation. The Asheville area continues to gain in population; business and industry are expanding; the arts are growing; and real estate prices have increased at a steady rate every month since April 2013.
Residential home sales, including single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums, declined slightly in 2018 in the regions of interest to most Western North Carolina residents, but were still very strong. Buncombe County sales wrapped up the year with 3,868 units sold vs. 4,074 in 2017. That is a decline of 5.1%. Haywood County unit sales dropped 3.3%, to 1,091 units; while Henderson County unit sales increased 1.8%, from 2,054 to 2,091.
The WNC Regional Multiple Listing Service defines the term “Asheville Region” to include all the counties in Western North Carolina. A separate measure, the Asheville Metro Area, cuts that down to just Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, and Transylvania counties—those where Asheville is considered the economic, cultural, and social hub.
Our region’s relatively flat sales mirror the Realtors Confidence Index – Six Month Outlook, which registered 49 for detached single-family homes at year’s end. A score of 50 or higher indicates market conditions are expected to improve. The outlook for townhomes was 42, indicating a more difficult sales market, while condominiums scored 40 on the chart. All three numbers are in keeping with previous outlooks on this charting tool.
Bill Fishburne is a Realtor with Beverly-Hanks & Associates
in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is a two-term
president of the Henderson County Board of Realtors
and was named Realtor of the Year in 2014.
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