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High Country Real Estate: Statistically Speaking – The Pandemic and High Country Real Estate Part 2

By Bill Aceto

In the last article for High Country Real Estate, the number of homes sold was analyzed, showing the growth in number of units pre-pandemic through the end of 2021, noting a 63% increase in units sold from 2018 to 2021. As promised, this article will take a look at the increase in home values from 2019 through 2022.

For the purposes of this article, data is drawn from the High Country Association of REALTORS® for the seven counties (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes) that make up the North Carolina High Country. As the article title indicates, median prices of homes in the High Country will be used, since extreme data points can easily throw off averages. 

The median sales price for a home in January 2019 was $177,500 and in January 2022 it was $250,000, jumping 41%. The January 2019 number was the lowest of the median sale price for the four year period; the highest was in September of 2022 at $325,000 for an 83% increase from four year low to four year high. The graph below, again, courtesy of the High Country Association of REALTORS®, shows the progress of the rise of the median sales price.

The data breakdown for median sales price is as follows:

Month201920202021 2022

Interestingly, while the total number of units fell from 2021’s high of 4958 to 4200 in 2022, the median price for 2022 increased to $276,750 from 2021’s $248,500. 

What does all this mean? Simply put, the increase in the number of units sold from 2018 to 2021 has resulted in lower inventory. Lower inventory has resulted in growing values. While there are some new construction projects in the area, new construction will likely not be able to keep up with the need for housing. Economists predict as interest rates rise, there will likely be a slight market correction; probably not a drastic drop, but a slow down or stabilization of current prices.