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High Country Realty: The Economy and The Housing Market in the High Country

By Todd Rice, co-owner Blue Ridge Realty & Investments, LLC

Walking the aisles of the grocery store, or filling the gas tank of your car, it might be hard to believe, but the numbers are in, and  inflation is the lowest it’s been in 2 years. 

Last week, for the fifth straight week mortgage rates dipped.

For those in the market to purchase a home, this is good news. 

It’s also pretty good news for homeowners looking to sell their current homes. 

While it’s hardly turned into a “buyer’s market,” the current economic climate has people being a little more conscious and cautious about making big purchases (and, let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of us who can say a house wouldn’t be their biggest purchase) which, in turn makes things a little more stressful for those attempting to sell their homes. 

Still, the average days on market for the 1st quarter of 2023 in the High Country was 191 compared to 231 in 2022 and 228 in 2021, which is better news for sellers than well, THE NEWS would have us all believe.

Yes, the Close Price to List Price Ratio is down  in the first quarter of 2023 to 95.8% from 97.13% in 2022 and 96.03% in 2021. But that’s not really a lot when you look closely; a little over 1% from 2022 to 2023, and less than .3% comparing 1st quarter 2021 to the same time period for 2023.  

Also, something to be considered, with the “boom” (basic supply and demand economics) the High Country has seen over the past few years, doesn’t it make sense that comparable properties are higher, meaning sellers are willing to “test” the market at a price a little higher than they normally would? This, too, could account for the drop in Close Price to List Price Ratio.

The High Country is one of the most beautiful places on earth and anyone lucky enough to own property here is beyond blessed. Unfortunately, though we are tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains, we are a part of the global economy and the recent banking issues in Silicon Valley have economists predicting a downturn in the economy later this year; thankfully, a mild one, but, a downturn, nonetheless.

If you have been considering selling your property, now may be the time. While the real estate market may not be at the “peak” it was 12 to 18 months ago, it is still robust compared to where it may be in 12 to 18 months. But this is all conjecture on the part of the economists…in my Econ 101 text book the clearest thing I remember was this quote: “If you put all of the economist around the world end to end, they would never reach a conclusion.”