High Country Home Sales in 2019 Already Top 2018 Sales

Published Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 10:33 am

With one month remaining in 2019 local Realtors® have already sold more homes than in all of 2018, according to the latest real estate report by the High Country Association of Realtors®.

It is the ninth consecutive year of sales growth in the four-county area. It is also the most homes sold in a year by Realtors® in more than a decade.

The growth has been powered by a prolonged busy summer selling season. Realtors® have sold more than 200 residential and multi-family homes every month since May, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The last three months – September, October and November – recorded the highest sales during those months since at least 2005, the earliest MLS data available.

There were 240 homes worth $78.63 million sold by local Realtors® in November. That’s a 13 percent increase compared to November 2018, according to the MLS. It tracks all activity by Realtors® active in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga County.

Even more striking, the median sold price for the November was $270,000, the highest ever recorded for a month going back to 2008. The previous high – $250,000 – was recorded in two different months (July 2018 and January 2010).

November sales boost annual activity to 2,412 homes sold during the first 11 months of 2019, an increase of 2.5 percent compared to the entirety of 2018 (2,350). Total sales value is up 13 percent, from $652.4 million in all of 2018 to $739.92 million in the first 11 months of 2019.

The median sold price for the year so far is $240,000. It was $230,000 last year, the highest annual median price since 2010.

At the start of December, there were approximately 1,400 residential listings active on the MLS. Only 218 listings were added in November, the fewest since last December (112). Since March at least 300 listings had been added monthly to the four-county market.

HIGH DOLLAR HOMES. Ten homes sold for more than $1 million in November, bringing to 79 the number of such transactions so far this year. There were 39 all last year.

Thirty-seven of the seven-figure homes were sold in Watauga County; three for more than $2 million. Another 32 were sold in Avery County, six of which went for more than $2 million.

The number of homes sold in the $900,000 to $999,000 range for the year matches all of 2018 – 17.

LAND AND COMMERCIAL. There were 47 tracts of land worth $5.132 million sold in the four-county area in November. That was just below the monthly average for the year (53).

Watauga County had the most land listings sold, 21 worth $1.98 million. Ashe County was next (13 for $1.52 million) followed by Avery County (eight for $1.69 million) and Alleghany County (five for $305,000).

There was one commercial transaction by a Realtor® in November. A purchase worth $3.71 million was completed in Watauga County.

ALLEGHANY COUNTY. Realtors® sold 14 homes worth $3.25 million in November. The median sold price was $212,500, the third time this year it’s surpassed $200,000. No month in 2018 recorded a median price that high.

ASHE COUNTY. Realtors® sold 43 homes worth $10.98 million in November, the fourth consecutive month more than 40 homes were sold in the county. That matches a streak from 2017 (July to October). The median sold price for November was $218,000, unchanged from the month prior.

AVERY COUNTY. There were 54 homes sold for $21.19 million in the county. The median sold price was $327,500. Four of the home transactions were for more than $1 million, three of which were for more than $1.5 million.

WATAUGA COUNTY. There were 102 homes worth $36 million sold in the county, the fewest sold since August. It almost matches the monthly average of homes sold in the county so far this year, 103. The median sold price was $282,000.

INTEREST RATES. Interest rates remain attractive to buyers, changing little from November to early December.

As of December 5, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.68 percent, according to loan giant Freddie Mac. That rate almost matches the rate a month prior (3.69 percent). The average 15-year rate is 3.14 percent.

Rates are almost a full point lower than they were at this time last year. The 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.75 percent the first week of December 2018. Ironically, at that same time Fanie Mae was projecting interest rates to reach 5 percent by the end of 2019.

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