If you live in the Asheville, NC area and thinking of selling your home, we have some good news for you; Asheville is a seller’s market! As you may recall, back in 2008, the housing market dropped like a stone due to the mortgage crisis. In the years that followed, banks squeezed their funds so hard, you almost had to be rich enough not to need a loan to get a loan. Today, lenders are more generous, and with historically low interest rates, homebuyers are flocking to vacation and retirement locations like Asheville, NC.
As a result, home prices have risen as steadily as an escalator at a shopping mall. In desirable places like Asheville and surrounding Buncombe County, the market is red hot. It’s what’s called a “seller’s market.” That means home sellers have more power than they normally do. A seller’s market indicates that:
- Home prices are on the rise, thanks to the imbalance between supply (low) and demand (high)
- There’s less than six months’ worth of inventory available, meaning the number of homes for sale is down and all properties are selling
- Those houses that are on the market are in higher demand, so sellers may receive multiple offers at the same time
- Houses on the market stay there for a much shorter period of time, making buyers have to move more quickly
- Buyers have to be more prepared, so getting pre-qualified for financing is now a requirement, not an option
One reason for the local seller’s market is that Asheville has been at the top of nearly every “Best of” list recently published — Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor and US News and World Report all have recommended Asheville as a desirable location to live… and to buy homes. The allure of Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains has a universal attraction, and people across the country have noticed.
Asheville’s a popular mountain city of just 80,000. People come here to visit, see how much the area has to offer and decide to stay. The increased demand has created competition between buyers and gives sellers a big advantage. So if you want to buy in Western North Carolina, you need to be prepared to act fast and be ready to negotiate.
A Seller’s Market by the Numbers
Because Asheville is situated in a mountainous area, buildable land is at a premium. The effect of all the demand is clearly demonstrated by numbers, including the following statistics:
- Home sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 were the highest on record for the city of Asheville.
- Fourth quarter sales were the highest since 2006 for Buncombe County.
- Total home sales in Asheville for 2016 were 1,549, making it a record-breaking year.
- Buncombe County total sales in 2016 were 2,751, the best total year since 2006.
- Median home prices hit new highs — $273,00 in Asheville and $247,000 in Buncombe County — and the trends point up.
- The average days on the market, another indicator of market health, decreased to 55 days in the city of Asheville, another record, and to 77 days for Buncombe County, the lowest since 2006.
These numbers add up to prices that are historically high and inventory that’s at an historic low. In other words, it’s a strong seller’s market. So, if you find your perfect home in Asheville or Buncombe County, be ready to buy. Contact Zack Adam at Prime Mortgage Lending of West Asheville (dba PrimeRate Mortgage Lending Inc.) to get pre-qualified for a mortgage before you go house-hunting.