May 10, 2012. April had the second-best real estate sales numbers for the year so far, as the region continues to record much better sales figures compared to a year ago, according to the latest High Country Real Estate Report.
The report is compiled by the High Country Association of Realtors, which represents real estate professionals in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.
There were 88 realtor-assisted property sales last month worth $22.51 million, as recorded by the High Country Multiple Listing Service. Those numbers are up 37 percent and 46 percent, respectively, compared to April 2011.
On a month-to-month comparison, the figures were down slightly from March, when 112 properties sold for $30.13 million. Yet the year-to-year growth confirms that the local market is recovering.
“The current stats are encouraging and we are optimistic about the upcoming months,” said Laurie Phillips, executive officer of High Country Association of Realtors. “This is the time of year when our realtors are busy assisting buyers and sellers with housing changes due to new jobs, college graduations and of course second home buyers seeking that cool mountain air!”
The median sold price for April was $213,375, up 7.5 percent from March. There were 26 sales for more than $300,000, including two for more than $1 million. There were just 12 properties sold for less than $100,000.
April is traditionally a time when new property is put on the market, and this year is no different. There were 426 new listings last month, a 27 percent increase over March (334) and almost as many as added in January and February combined (442).
The increased supply combined with a slight drop in month-to-month sales resulted in a year-high number of days property spent on the market – 281.
Meanwhile, it appears the High Country is keeping pace with the national growth curve in real estate. March sales in the region were a six-month high, culminating in the best first quarter since 2010. Similar trends were seen nationally, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
“First quarter sales closings were the highest first quarter sales in five years, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good.”
According to NAR, pending home sales increased in March and were above a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1 percent to 101.4 in March. The data reflects contracts but not closings. Yet the index is now at its highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.