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Real Estate Activity in the High Country Hits Record Highs in July; 72% Increase Over Last Year

High Country real estate is in historic demand.

Local REALTORS® sold more than 360 homes in July, a 72 percent increase over July 2019, and recorded a 15-year high for listings sold within a month by members of the High Country Association of REALTORS®.

Prices were strong, with the region’s median sold price for the month also at a 15-year high. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which contains information on all REALTOR transactions dating back to 2005.

The intense housing demand dropped inventory to its lowest level recorded in several years. Going into August, fewer than 900 homes were for sale in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

In July, REALTORS® sold 363 residential homes worth $121.3 million. The median sold price in July – the point at which half of all sales were above or below – was $280,000. That metric has not been above $265,000 since 2005.

The sudden burst in activity has pushed total unit home sales for the year to 1,407. That’s a 7 percent increase over this time last year.

Listings were sold almost as soon as they became active. There were 380 homes added to the market in July after 391 were added in June. Yet by the first week of August there were approximately 860 homes for sale in the four-county area. That’s the lowest active inventory level recorded in more than five years. There were approximately 1,680 active listing on the market this time last year.

LAND. REALTORS® sold 110 tracts of land worth $9.9 million in July. That represents the busiest month for land transactions in more than 10 years. The median sold price for the month was $55,000.

Most of the land transactions were in Watauga County, where 47 land listings sold for $4.78 million. There were 27 tracts sold for $2.66 million in Ashe County, 14 worth $1.07 million in Avery County and 13 tracts for $786,000 in Alleghany County.

ALLEGHANY COUNTY. There were 24 homes sold for $4.78 million in Alleghany County. The units sold were the most recorded since December 2017 (also 24).The median sold price in July was $188,250.

ASHE COUNTY. REALTORS® sold 47 homes worth $13.68 million in July. Unit sales for the month were more than sales recorded in April and May combined (21 and 25, respectively). The median sold price was $275,000.

AVERY COUNTY. There were 93 homes sold for $32.68 million in July. The sales for July were the highest monthly unit sales recorded for the county within the MLS, which has all regional transactions dating back to 2005.The median sold price was $242,500.

WATAUGA COUNTY. There were 163 homes sold for $59.77 million in Watauga County. That surpassed unit sales for the entire four-county area in May (151 homes). The median sold price was $326,000.

INTEREST RATES. Mortgage rates remain near record lows. The average 30-year fixed rate was 2.99 percent as of July 30, according to loan giant Freddie Mac. The average rate has been below 3.1 percent since the end of June.