4th Quarter Summary and 2022 In Review Asheville to Lake James Region of Western North Carolina Market Update
Hindsight is 20/20, and with 2022 in the rearview mirror, the climate of the Western North Carolina real estate market is becoming clearer as we kick off the first quarter of 2023. In 2022, we began to see increasing signs of an overheating market that was beginning to cool amidst the backdrop of sharply rising interest rates – not to mention other economic and global concerns. While these external factors may be causing decreased demand, the supply of homes in our region is also very low, causing prices in the region to remain fairly steady.
Buncombe County experienced a 27% decrease in new listings in December 2022 compared to December 2021. There were 177 new listings added to the Buncombe market throughout the month, and the number of homes sold in December decreased 30% compared to last year but were flat compared to November, the month prior – a 1% decrease. The county’s stats are still trending towards a seller’s market as inventory remains low. The average sales price increased 1%, to $535K, over the previous month. On average, properties sold for 98% of their list price at the time an offer was made, however, this stat is reduced to 88% when you compare the sold price to the original list price – an indication of price reductions that were largely uncommon in previous years. However, overall prices remained steady.
In Burke County, 54 new listings were added to the market. This is an almost 20% decrease, but Burke still added 1 more new listing than was removed – with 53 homes that went under contract. During the month of December, 66 homes sold, a 29% decrease from December 2021 (but many went under contract in previous months). The total number of active listings remained flat at 237 and half of the homes went under contract in 14 days or less. The average sales price in Burke County was $2K less than it was at the same time last year. Properties sold for 95% of their list price at the time the offer was made and 93% of the price they originally listed at.
New listings in McDowell County were actually up 12% compared to last December and down 30% compared to the previous month, November 2022. McDowell County added 1 more new listing than it took off the market, which increased the overall supply. Homes sold increased by 15% compared to November 2022, however, many of these homes went under contract in a previous month. McDowell County’s average sales price was 308K, up 8% from last year, but down 2% compared to November 2022. Homes sold at 95% of their list price at the time an offer was made but 80% of the original list price.
While there are notable signs of a market slowdown, our region's prices are remaining remarkably stable as fewer sellers list their properties for sale, as some “ would-be sellers” are not prepared to buy another home with the current interest rate levels. Interest rates are also high, causing a decline in demand. For example, 39% fewer homes went under contract compared to December 2021, and 30% fewer homes closed in December than in 2021. This dynamic of lower supply in Asheville and the surrounding region may be countering the typical impact of decreased demand being seen across the country. For the time being, sellers are still achieving high prices on home sales in Western North Carolina.