High Country Land Sales Spike in July; 54 Land Tracts Sold for $10.25 Million

Published Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 10:38 am

As home sales remained brisk throughout the month of July, local Realtors recorded strong sales in both land and commercial property, according to the latest real estate report by the High Country Association of Realtors.

Local Realtors sold 54 land tracts worth a combined $10.25 million, the highest value recorded in a month in at least nine years. One listing accounted for almost half that value. It was a 7.88-acre site off Shadowline Drive in Boone which sold for a reported $4.875 million.

Even accounting for that one listing, the $5.37 million in other July land sales combined with the 45 land tracts sold in June for $5.72 million represented the highest dollar land transactions recorded in back-to-back months since July and August of 2017 ($11.7 million).

Realtors also sold five commercial listings worth $2.5 million in July, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service. It tracks all Realtor transactions in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

It was the most commercial listings sold in a month since seven were recorded in April, and the highest combined sales total since last October (seven listings for $2.83 million).

With regard to home sales, Realtors in the four-county area sold 207 residential listings worth $58.42 million. That was a small year-to-year decline from July 2018 (214 homes) and July 2017 (208).

The median sold price – the price at which half of all homes sold above and below – was $234,000. That was down 4 percent from the month prior ($240,000), and down 8 percent from July 2018 ($250,000).

There were approximately 1,770 homes for sale on the MLS, as of August 6.

SELLERS MARKET REMAINS STRONG. The listing price to sales price ratio hit a new high mark for the year, as sellers received 95.4 percent of their original asking price in July.

Three of the four High Country counties recorded a plus-95.5 percent ratio for the month – Alleghany (95.9 percent), Ashe (95.6 percent) and Watauga (97.1 percent). Sellers in Avery County recorded a 92.7 percent ratio.

ALLEGHANY COUNTY. Realtors sold 18 homes worth $3.51 million in July. The median sold price was $178,500. For the year an average of 14 homes are being sold a month.

Realtors also sold six tracts of land for $402,957. That was the highest combined value in sold land since July of last year (10 listings for $640,000).

ASHE COUNTY. There were 36 homes worth $7.94 million sold in the county, with a median sold price of $197,500. An average of 33 homes are being sold each month.

Realtors also sold 17 land listings worth $1.46 million. That was an increase from the 12 listings worth $916,600 sold in June but slightly below the 20 sold in May or $631,900.

AVERY COUNTY. July was the busiest month for both homes and land in almost a year. Realtors sold 51 homes worth $10.522 million, the most homes sold in a month since last August (71). They also sold nine land tracts worth $992,750, the most since last October (10).

For the year an average of 31 homes are being sold by Realtors per month in the county.

WATAUGA COUNTY. The 90 homes sold for $33.25 million in July had a median sold price of $306,875, the highest median sold price recorded for a month since at least 2010.

Almost a third of the homes sold in July (26) went for between $300,000 and $399,000.

Realtors sold 16 tracts of land for $6.8 million, which included the Shadowline Drive property. There were also four commercial listings sold for $2 million.

INTEREST RATES. The average 30-year fixed interest rate is at a two-year low. It was 3.75 percent as of August 1, according to loan giant Freddie Mac. The rate has remained below 4 percent since the end of May.

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