The mountain counties of Western North Carolina posted yet another strong month of home sales in November according to the latest Canopy MLS housing report for the Asheville region.
Home sales across the 13-county region jumped 39.6 percent year-over-year as 1,192 homes sold, showing no sign of the typical winter slowdown heading into the new year. Year-to-date closed sales show the region outpacing 2019 sales by 11.1 percent with 11,400 homes sold since January 2020.
Low mortgage rates and recent accolades from Topretirements.com, which named Asheville its number one “Best Place to Retire”, and Resonance Consultancy, which ranked Asheville fifth in its “Best Small Cities” in June 2020, may have fueled interest from buyers fleeing pandemic conditions in larger cities or seeking second homes.
November’s housing statistics show the median sales price in the region ($315,000) increased 13.5 percent year-over-year, while pending sales, which increased 33.6 percent year-over-year as 1,169 homes went under contract during the month, show strong buyer demand. Additionally, sellers brought 1,025 homes to market, marking a 6.0 percent increase in new listings over last November.
Buyers looking for homes in the 13-county region will find tightening inventory conditions, with inventory falling 51.8 percent year-over-year, leaving 2.2 months of supply of homes for sale. Sellers listing homes will enjoy the faster pace of sales as days on market in November dropped to 53 days versus 78 days on market in November 2019.
Brian Cagle, a Canopy MLS Board of Directors member and Vice President-Managing Broker with Beverly Hanks Realtors®, said, “Despite the economic challenges of this past year, the region’s housing market is stronger and healthier than ever going into the new year. Housing demand continues to increase, and area Realtors® are working hard to ensure clients find homes, even with the challenges of rising prices amidst low inventory.”
The Asheville region includes Burke, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey counties.
The Asheville MSA, which is the core economic driver of the region, continued its streak of strong positive numbers in November. Closed sales rose significantly and were up 33.7 percent year-over-year with 782 homes sold, which is 197 more homes sold in November 2020 than in November 2019. Buyers continue to signal a strong desire for homes closer to the metro, as pending sales rose 31.6 percent year-over-year to 754 transactions in the pipeline, ensuring a steady supply of closed sales over the next 45-60 days. New listings also increased by 4.0 percent year-over-year as sellers brought 671 homes to market. Still, buyers will find the market tight as inventory dropped 49.2 percent year-over-year to 2.0 months of supply. With the metro in high demand, the median sales price ($334,000) and the average sales price ($398,476) rose 13.2 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively. Sellers brought the average list price to $435,986, an increase of 11.9 percent over November 2019, while the list price to sales price ratio rose to 96.8 percent as sellers got most of their asking price. Homes throughout the metro averaged 48 days on market in November.
Cagle continued, “For buyers seeking homes in metro Asheville, strong seller’s market conditions of low inventory, frequent price increases and faster pace of sells, will continue next year. Low mortgage rates, a vibrant growing city and the natural beauty of the area, along with access to a number of outdoor activities, will continue to attract buyers. However, affordability is an increasing concern and our leadership will have to be innovative in their solutions to this growing issue.”
Buncombe County sales and new listings remained positive year-over-year for a fifth-consecutive month. Closed sales increased 28.6 percent year-over-year to 423 sales versus 329 last year, while pending contract activity rose to 29.0 percent year-over-year, ensuring the county will see a steady supply of sales during the winter selling season. New listings increased 7.2 percent year-over-year as sellers brought 385 homes on market. Inventory remains challenged and is down 45.5 percent year-over-year, which leaves the county with 2.1 months of supply. Prices continued to trend upward, with the median sales price ($355,000) and the average sales price ($430,614) increasing 18.3 percent and 12.1 percent year-over-year, respectively, while the average list price increased 9.8 percent year-over-year to $474,543. The original list price to sales price ratio was 96.9 percent as sellers got closer to their full asking price. Homes sold quickly, with days on market averaging 47 days in November versus 68 days in November 2019.
November’s home sales rose dramatically by 69.6 percent year-over-year as area agents closed 134 transactions versus 79 closings in November 2019. Buyer demand remained strong with 102 contracts added to the pipeline of sales, an increase of 25.9 percent over contract activity last November. New listing activity was also positive and rose 4.6 percent as sellers entered the market with 91 new listings. However, inventory is down 53.9 percent to just 2.1 months of supply, which will continue to impact prices for the foreseeable future. The median sales price ($263,500) had a slight uptick of 2.1 percent year-over-year, while the average sales price ($329,959) increased 8.7 percent. The average list price this month was $331,717, an increase of 4.0 percent over November 2019’s list price. Seller’s market conditions are in effect as sellers are getting closer to asking price, as signaled by the original list price to sales price ratio registering 96.7 percent this past month. Sellers also enjoyed their properties averaging 53 days on market until sale.
Henderson County’s home sales remained positive, rising 23.6 percent year-over-year with 199 homes sold during in November 2020. Demand from buyers shows Henderson is highly desirable, as pending contracts during the month increased 38.6 percent year-over-year as 201 homes went under contract, ensuring a steady supply of closed sales in the next 45 to 60 days. New listings fell by 5.2 percent year-over-year with only 164 homes entering the market. Inventory is down 50.4 percent compared to last November, leaving 1.8 months of supply. This scenario will impact prices, which will continue to rise. The median sales price ($328,000) and the average sales price ($377,930) rose year-over-year by 5.8 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively, while the average list price increased 19.7 percent year-over-year to $408,617. The original list price to sales price ratio in the county was 97.3 percent, a positive indicator for sellers who are interested in listing their homes. Sellers in Henderson County also enjoyed a faster pace of sales, as days on market averaged 37 days in November.
Madison County, with a smaller share of homes for sale, saw larger percentage increases throughout its November 2020 indicators. Closings rose 62.5 percent year-over-year as 26 homes sold, while the 28 homes that went under contract represented a 47.4 percent rise in contract activity compared to last year. Sellers brought 31 new listings to market in November, while inventory dropped 61.7 percent year-over-year, leaving 3.0 months of supply. Prices compared to last year rose substantially. The median sales price rose 37.5 percent year-over-year to $385,000 and the average sales price rose 15.8 percent year-over-year to $380,002 in November. The average list price of $404,648 was up 10.2 percent compared to last November’s average list price. Properties move much slower in Madison County and averaged 147 days on market until sale.
Other counties around the region
Burke County’s home sales rose 28.6 percent year-over-year with 63 transactions in November 2020 versus 49 in November 2019, while pending sales rose 27.1 percent year-over-year as buyers drove 89 homes in to the pipeline of sales compared to 70 this time last year. Sales into the new year should be steady. New listing activity fell 9.6 percent year-over-year to 75 listings compared to 83 new listings added to the market in November 2019. All price indices increased as a result of falling inventory, which is down 52.6 percent year-over-year with 1.6 months of supply. The median sales price ($196,000) and the average sales price ($251,196) rose 13.6 percent and 18.7 percent year-over-year, respectively. The average list price in Burke increased 29.9 percent year-over-year to $261,940, and the list price to sales price measure was 96.2 percent as sellers got closer to full asking price. Days on market in November 2020 fell to 22 days versus 53 days this time last year.
Jackson County’s November home sales turned positive this month and increased 123.5 percent year-over-year as 38 homes sold versus 17 last year. The small number of homes available for sale in Jackson County accounts for the large percentage of change in the monthly statistics. Pending contracts rose 77.8 percent year-over-year as 32 homes entered the pipeline of sales, while new listing activity fell 28.0 percent compared to November 2019 with 18 homes added to the market this past month. Jackson County’s remote location west of Waynesville and adjacent to the Nantahala National Forest makes the county more susceptible to seasonality, as sales slow until the spring thaw. The 2.3 percent increase in days on market until sale, which averaged 133 days in November 2020, bears this out. The median sales price ($305,000) and the average sales price ($391,883) decreased 28.8 percent and 15.7 percent year-over-year, respectively, while the average list price rose 12.0 percent year-over-year to $377,461. Jackson County had 3.4 months of supply of homes for sale in November 2020.
McDowell County home sales were unchanged compared to November 2019, while pending sales, which represent buyer demand, increased 32.1 percent year-over-year as 37 homes went under contract during the month. New listings jumped 12.8 percent as sellers brought 44 homes to market versus 39 new listings added in November 2019. Prices are rising. The median sales price ($234,000) and the average sales price ($274,151) rose 23.2 percent and 24.3 percent year-over-year, respectively, while the average list price rose 35.7 percent year-over-year to $257,940. November 2020’s inventory is low and fell 53.2 percent year-over-year, leaving 2.5 months of supply of homes for sale. Homes sold at a faster clip in McDowell County with days on market averaging 43 days in November 2020. Year-to-date closed sales figures and pending sales activity indicate the market should continue seeing steady sales into the next year.
Mitchell County’s small number of homes for sale yields large percent changes across its indicators. November’s sales showed the county had 19 closed sales, which represented a 90.0 percent year-over-year increase compared to sales in November 2019. Pending sales more than doubled, rising 160.0 percent year-over-year as 26 homes entered the pipeline of sales. Sellers in Mitchell are increasing in confidence, as new listings jumped 14.3 percent year-over-year with 16 homes listed in November. Year-to-date sales and new listing activity indicate growth next year. Inventory fell 56.5 percent year-over-year to 3.0 months of supply, which had little effect on prices this past month. Both the median sales price ($175,000) and the average sales price ($205,626) decreased slightly, falling 4.1 percent and 0.6 percent year-over-year, respectively. The average list price, however, increased 27.5 percent year-over-year to $272,169 in November, while days on market fell to 59 days from 85 days in November 2019.
Polk County ‘s small number of homes for sale yields large percentage changes across its monthly indicators. Closed sales in November increased 134.8 percent year-over-year as 54 homes sold during the month compared to 23 sold in November 2019. Pending sales activity, an indication of buyer demand, rose 20.0 percent year-over-year as 36 homes went under contract during the month. Seller confidence is down, as indicated by the 3.1 percent year-over-year drop in new listings with only 31 homes added to the market in November. Prices were volatile in November with the median sales price rising 9.2 percent year-over-year to $311,100 and the average sales price falling 3.2 percent year-over-year to $354,808. The average list price was down 28.2 percent year-over-year to $334,013. Inventory in Polk County dropped 58.7 percent year-over-year to 2.4 months of supply, while properties averaged 46 days on market until sale in November compared to 101 days on market this time last year.
Rutherford County closed sales rose 57.7 percent year-over-year with 82 homes sold in November 2020 compared to 52 homes sold in November 2019. Pending sales figures continue to show strong demand and increased 17.6 percent year-over-year with 87 homes going under contract during the month versus 74 that were newly under contract during the same period last year. New listings increased 22.8 percent year-over-year as sellers listed 70 homes for sale versus 57 listed in November 2019. Prices are rising in relation to supply, which fell 64.9 percent year-over-year to 126 homes for sale at report time, or 1.6 months of supply. The average list price increased 21.4 percent year-over-year to $256,657, while the median sales price ($269,950) and the average sales price ($321,467) rose 35.0 percent and 41.4 percent year-over-year, respectively. The list price to sales price ratio was 95.5 percent. Days on market fell to 60 days versus 89 days in November 2019. Year-to-date 2020 closed sales and pending sales figures show Rutherford County is positioned to continue with positive growth next year. The growing second home market around Lake Lure and Chimney Rock National Park probably account for the large swings in price growth.
Swain County has such a small number of homes for sale and overall sales activity that the indicators show large percentage increases across all indicators. The county recorded only five closed sales in November 2020 along with four properties going under contract in during the month. New listing counts, which show seller activity, totaled four during the month and fell 20.0 percent year-over-year. Inventory is down 39.1 percent year-over-year and leaves 4.4 months of supply. The median sales price, which is the truest measure of price, was $395,000 during the month of November. The average list price rose 78.9 percent year-over-year to $549,473 in November 2020. Days on market averaged 102 days compared to 306 days on market in November 2019.
Transylvania County recorded 72 homes sold in November 2020 for an increase of 46.9 percent over the number sold a year ago. Pending sales, which illustrate buyer demand, increased 56.3 percent with 75 properties going under contract last month versus 48 in November 2019. Seller confidence is increasing as sellers brought 67 new listings to market, an increase of 36.7 percent year-over-year. Inventory fell 55.3 percent to 2.5 months of supply in November and will continue to impact prices for the foreseeable future. The median sales price ($366,250) and the average sales price ($443,951) increased 14.5 percent and 28.9 percent, respectively, over prices from last November. The average list price increased 8.0 percent to $403,392, and the list price to sales price ratio was 94.8 percent during the month of November 2020. Days on market until sale trended at 63 days in November versus 118 days in November 2019.
Yancey County’s closed sales increased 41.7 percent year-over-year as 34 homes were sold in November compared to 24 homes sold in November 2019. Pending contract activity increased 61.1 percent year-over-year with 29 homes going under contract versus 18 in November 2019. New listing activity picked up and increased 61.1 percent year-over-year with sellers listing 29 homes this past month compared to 18 homes listed last November. Both the median sales price ($268,075) and the average sales price ($369,208) had year-over-year increases in November, rising 19.4 percent and 63.2 percent, respectively. Inventory was down 46.5 percent year-over-year to 152 homes for sale at report time, which is 5.3 months of supply. Properties averaged 102 days on market in November 2020 compared to 185 days in November 2019.
Prepared by Canopy Realtor Association.