The High Country real estate market recorded its busiest month since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in June as pent up demand powered local home sales throughout the four-county area.
Three of the four counties represented by the High Country Association of REALTORS matched or recorded their highest monthly unit sales of the year. The overall median sold price for June was also the highest of any month this year.
REALTORS sold 225 homes worth $68.3 million last month, the busiest June since at least 2005 according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It records all REALTOR activity in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.
Unit sales for the month were up 10 percent compared to last June (205 homes sold).
The median sold price for the month was $249,900. That was an increase of 6.2 percent from May, when the median sold price for the 150 homes sold was $235,275.
Through the first six months of the year single-family and multi-family unit sales are down 6 percent compared to last year, from 1,106 to 1,039. Yet both the average sold price ($306,918) and median sold price ($240,000) are up, 2.4 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.
Sales for the year are down in great part due to stay-at-home orders issued in mid-spring by NC Governor Roy Cooper. REALTORS were deemed essential workers and able to continue working with clients in the High Country. Still, only 129 homes were sold in April.
As buyer activity has steadily increased since, sellers are returning much more slowly. Inventory has declined in the past month, decreasing from approximately 1,160 active listings in early June to about 1,005 as of July 13. That’s the lowest active inventory recorded in the MLS since at least 2014.
LAND SALES. There were 67 tracts of land worth $6.94 million sold in June. That was a high for the year, and matched the 67 tracts sold for $6.43 million last December.
There were 25 land listings sold for $2.56 million in Watauga County, the most in eight months. There were 18 listings worth $1.16 million in Ashe County, the most sold in a month this year.
There were 10 tracts for $1.15 million sold in Avery and seven for $339,900 in Alleghany.
ALLEGHANY COUNTY. Home unit sales hit a two year high, with 23 sold for $4.6 million. That was the most homes sold in a month since December 2017, when 24 homes sold for $3.5 million.
The median sold price in June was $195,000, matching the median sold price for May. Both were highs for the year.
ASHE COUNTY. Local REALTORS sold 29 homes worth $7.93 million, the highest sales in three months. The year started with more than 30 homes sold in each of the first three months.
The median sold price was $275,000. That is well above the median sold price for homes sold in Ashe this year, $236,000.
AVERY COUNTY. There were 46 homes sold for $11.86 million in June. That matched the high for the year (45 sold for $13.8 million in January). The median sold price in June was $170,250.
Avery County is the only county in the MLS to show an increase in sales year to year. REALTORS have sold 195 listings worth $54 million, up from 169 sold for $53.85 million this time last year. The median sold price in that span is down 1.5 percent.
WATAUGA COUNTY. Local REALTORS sold 96 homes worth $36.33 million in June. It was the first month this year to surpass 90 units sold and is on par with sales from June 2019 (94 homes sold).
The median sold price in June was $324,500. The median sold price for all 456 homes sold in the county during the first six months of the year was $287,500.
INTEREST RATES. The average 30-year fixed rate hit a historic low going into the Fourth of July weekend – 3.07 percent. The rate was 3.72 percent at the start of the year, and was 3.65 percent in early March. It has fallen dramatically since.
“Mortgage rates continue to slowly drift downward with a distinct possibility that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage could dip below 3 percent later this year,” said Freddie Mac in a press release, announcing the rate July 2.