Local Real Estate Sales Continue Booming, Busiest Month Since August 2007

Published Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 10:23 am

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The busiest real estate season in years has yet to stop for a breather. In August, it hit another high.

High Country Realtors sold 185 listings last month, their busiest month since selling 233 homes in August 2007. It was also the seventh consecutive month sales increased, a streak last matched that same August eight years ago.

The activity has been boosted by attractive interest rates and pent-up demand. Plenty of homes remain listed for sale in the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which covers Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

Sales in August hit $49.86 million. The median sold price – the point at which half of all properties sold above or below – was $213,750. That’s well above the median sold price for the year so far – $203,500 – and a 20 percent increase over that price in July ($177,500).

According to the MLS, 347 listings were added in August, the fewest in a month since March. There were 3,060 homes on the market represented by a local Realtor as of September 20.

With 992 listings sold so far this year, Realtors are on pace for their busiest year since 2007.

The local real estate trends are also being seen nationally. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported sales through July were at their highest pace since February 2007, and have increased year-over-year for 10 straight months.

National sales through July (the latest month available) were 10.3 percent above a year ago.

“Overall, the prospects for ongoing strength in the housing market remain intact for now,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The U.S. economy is growing – albeit at a modest pace – and the labor market continues to add jobs.”

Interest rates continue to defy expectations, and remain historically low. As of September 24, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.86 percent, below the rate a year ago (4.25 percent).

The 15-year fixed rate was 3.08 percent. It was 3.63 percent a year ago.

Both rates are also slightly lower than they were in July.

Last November some industry groups, such as the Mortgage Banker Association, predicted mortgage rates would rise to 5 percent in 2015. Instead they have been under 4 percent almost all year; in mid-July they hit a high of 4.09 percent.

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