WNC home sales continued to grow in October

Press release from Canopy Realtor Association:

Home sales continued on the momentum built since June 2020 with a fifth consecutive month of year-over-year gains, despite the pandemic that drastically slowed sales in April and May. Sales continued their streak, rising 38.4 percent year-over-year across the 13-county Asheville region, with 1,392 homes sold in October 2020. Realtors® across the region had 386 more transactions this past October than in October 2019. The region’s year-to-date sales are ahead of 2019 year-to-date sales by 8.5 percent with 10,199 homes sold over the last ten months.

Pending sales show an abundance of buyers seeking homes in the market and rose 46.9 percent year-over-year as 1,463 single-family and/or condo/townhomes went under contract during the month. Year-to-date figures show pending sales (which signify buyer demand) ahead of last year by 14.8 percent, a sure sign of steady sales in the coming months.

In a strong sign of increasing seller confidence, new listing activity rose year-over-year for a second month, increasing 15.3 percent year-over-year as sellers listed 1,493 homes for sale. Compared to September 2020 new listings are up 7.9 percent. Still, year-to-date figures show seller confidence is weak, with new listings down 9.9 percent compared to the regional listing activity during the first ten months of 2019.

Dave Noyes, a Canopy MLS Board of Directors member and a Realtor®/broker with RE/MAX Results, said, “A surprising result related to the pandemic is that the western region of North Carolina continues to gain the interest of buyers who are looking to get away from the density of cities, along with many who consider the mountains region ideal for their second home. And low mortgage rates have made it hard for buyers to resist that appeal. The welcome rise in new listing activity should help buyers with increased choice as well.”

Inventory throughout the Asheville region continues to fall and will impact prices for the foreseeable future. Inventory at report time in October was down 49.4 percent year-over-year to 2.5 months of supply or 2,705 properties for sale over the 13-counties Canopy MLS serves. Both the median sales price ($315,625) and the average sales price ($382,934) responded to strong seller’s market conditions with price increases and rose year-over-year by 18.7 percent and 17.0 percent, respectively. The average list price rose 7.3 percent year-over-year to $420,106, and the list price to sales price ratio was 95.7 percent. Days on market until sale averaged 61 days versus 74 days on market this time last year.

The Asheville region includes Burke, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey counties.

Asheville MSA

The four counties making up the Asheville MSA continue to beckon buyers with October home sales rising 32.1 percent year-over-year as 931 homes were purchased compared to 705 sold during October 2019. With the MSA or metro representing the core economic center, buyer demand, as displayed through pending contract activity, remained strong. Pending contracts rose 44.3 percent year-over-year as 977 properties went under contract during the month, an increase of 300 more properties than a year ago at this time. With pending contract year-to-date figures pacing 11.3 percent ahead of the same time period last year, the MSA should see a steady stream of sales over the next 45 to 60 days. Sellers responded to the favorable market by bringing 1,017 new listings in October, an increase of 16.2 percent year-over-year. Still, new listing activity was not enough to make-up for the lack of inventory, which has fallen by 46.6 percent year-over-year to 1,683 homes for sale at report time. This time last year the MSA had 3,150 homes for sale or 2.3 months of supply. Low inventory will continue to exacerbate prices, which rose in October 2020. The median sales price ($331,000) and the average sales price ($395,803) rose year-over-year by 16.8 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively.  The average list price of $444,825 also increased 8.4 percent year-over-year, and the list price to sales price ratio was 96.2 percent. Days on market fell to 49 days in October 2020 compared to 67 days in October 2019.

Noyes continued, “Inventory has been a challenge for some time now in areas closer to the city of Asheville, and we don’t see that scenario changing any time soon. Sellers need to realize that even though the market favors them, homes still need to be priced for the neighborhood level in order to sell quickly. In some highly desirable areas, buyers need to understand there may be little room for negotiation due to increased competition and interest from buyers.

Buncombe County

Buncombe County sales and new listings remained positive year-over-year for a fourth consecutive month. Closed sales increased 44.3 percent year-over-year in October 2020 with 521 homes sold. Sales increased 28.3 percent compared September 2020. Pending contracts continued to show tremendous pent-up demand, rising 45.8 percent year-over-year as buyers brought 541 properties under contract during the month. New listing activity was positive as well and rose year-over-year for a second month.  Sellers listed 563 homes for sale compared to 489 listed in October 2019, an increase of 15.1 percent year-over-year. Still, with inventory down 43.6 percent year-over-year to 938 homes for sale or 2.4 months of supply, new listings added to the market will likely be absorbed as quickly as they are listed. Sellers in Buncombe are getting nearly all of their asking price as the list price to sales price measure was 96.5 percent in October. The average list price of $487,822 increased 9.0 percent over October 2019’s average list price. Prices in general are increasing due to tightening inventory. Both the median sales price ($350,000) and the average sales price ($421,292) increased 12.0 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively, over prices in October 2019. Homes are selling quickly, as days on market until sale averaged 43 days in October 2020 versus 69 days on market this time last year.

Haywood County 

Home sales were positive again in October 2020, rising 15.6 percent year-over-year with 141 homes sold compared to 122 homes sold in October 2019. Compared to September 2020, sale dipped by 4.1 percent. Pending sales, which illustrate buyer demand, soared to a 59.6 percent year-over-year increase as 150 properties went under contract during the month, ensuring future sales over the next few months. This time last year, there were only 94 properties in pending status. New listing activity brought 156 homes to market in October 2020, an increase of 28.9 percent over a year ago. However, with inventory down 52.3 percent year-over-year to 263 properties for sale or 2.4 months of supply, new listings will likely be sold as quickly as they are listed. Inventory will continue to pressure prices in the county, especially in light of increased competition and demand from buyers. The median sales price ($255,000) and the average sales price ($315,920) rose year-over-year by 5.2 percent and 14.0 percent, respectfully. The average list price in October rose 8.3 percent year-over-year to $355,900, and the list price to sales price measure was 94.0 percent in October. Days on market in October 2020 averaged 58 days versus 69 days in October 2019.

Henderson County

Home sales across Henderson County in October also had a second month of year-over-year positive increases. Sales rose 21.6 percent year-over-year as 248 homes sold versus 204 that sold in October 2019. Pending sales continued to signal strong demand from buyers, rising 29.2 percent year-over-year as 252 properties entered the pipeline of sales this past month compared to 195 in October 2019. Pending sales typically close 45 to 60 days later and should ensure steady sales in the near future. New listing activity was positive again in this past month as sellers brought 261 homes to market, an increase of 10.6 percent compared to October 2019. Prices continue to tick upward due to tightening inventory. The average list price of $392,806 rose 4.2 percent year-over-year, while the median sales price ($331,508) and the average sales price ($386,049) were up sharply year-over-year by 23.9 percent and 28.5 percent, respectively. The list price to sales price ratio was 96.8 percent in October 2020. Inventory fell 51.2 percent year-over-year in October 2020 to 408 homes for sale or 2.1 months of supply, while days on market until sale averaged 50 days in October 2020 versus 57 days in October 2019.

Madison County 

Madison County home sales continued their positive run, rising 16.7 percent year-over-year as 21 homes were sold in October 2020, while pending sales jumped 100.0 percent year-over-year as 34 properties went under contract compared to 17 in October 2019. New listing activity was positive and saw a gain of 27.6 percent year-over-year as sellers brought 37 homes to market versus 29 listed this time last year. Low inventory continues to impact prices. Inventory fell 61.1 percent compared to last year, leaving 74 homes for sale or 3.2 months of supply at report time. Prices increased year-over-year, with the average list price up 33.4 percent to $533,599 and the median sales price ($373,000) and the average sales price ($414,970) increasing year-over-year by 20.5 percent and 30.3 percent, respectively. Properties in Madison County averaged 117 days on market in October 2020.

The full report and data on other WNC counties is available here.

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