High Country Association of Realtors: Busy Summer Activity Continues Into Fall

Published Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 10:43 am

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The busy summer real estate selling season didn’t slow going into fall, with local realtors posting another tremendous month of activity in October.

Realtors sold 239 homes worth $65.79 million that month, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which records transactions in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

The activity comes just two months after 241 homes were sold in August, the most sold in any month in nine years. Going back to June, local Realtors have sold more than 200 homes in four of the past five months.

Prior to that streak the High Country MLS hadn’t recorded more than 200 homes sold in a month since August 2007, when 233 listings were sold (The High Country Association of Realtors was then comprised of only Avery and Watauga counties).

The median sold price in October – the midpoint at which half of all sales were either above or below – was $226,500. That’s the highest median price for a month this year, and the highest for any month since February 2012 ($235,000).

For the year, local realtors have sold 1,746 homes worth $431.8 million. The median sold price was $204,000.

As sales remained strong, inventory steadily shrunk. After hitting a high of almost 3,000 listings in late June, the High Country MLS has 2,436 homes for sale as of November 6. That’s 225 fewer than this time last year (2,661).

Nationally, after a dip in August, real estate activity increased. Sales in September were at the fifth highest level over the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s the most recent month for which national data is available.

“Buyer demand is holding up impressively well this fall with realtors reporting much stronger foot traffic compared to a year ago,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Interest rates, which have remained near historic lows for most of the summer, are beginning to trend up. Every week Freddie Mac aggregates current rates from 125 lenders across the country to come up with its national average rates.

The latest average 30-year fixed rate, announced November 10, was 3.57 percent. That was up from 3.54 percent the previous week, and the highest rate recorded since June 9 (3.6 percent). The most recent 15-year fixed rate was 2.88 percent.

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