WNC Real Estate – 2nd Quarter 2020

We were in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic during the second quarter of 2020. Below we’ll explore how that impacted WNC real estate in Asheville, Buncombe County, and Henderson County using three key indicators: New Listings, Closed Listings, and Median Sales Price.

New Listings

Bar graph showing the number of new listings in Asheville, Buncombe County, and Henderson County from January-June in 2019 and 2020.

Not surprisingly, we see a significant decrease in the number of new listings in the spring, specifically in April and May, when comparing our second quarter numbers to 2019. This timeframe corresponds to the height of the coronavirus pandemic as we saw the country and WNC grapple with a slow economy, job insecurity, travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and general uneasiness. The decrease in listings is reflective of that because sellers wanted to wait and see what would happen before putting their home on the market with so many unprecedented unknown variables. Looking at the numbers, April showed the most significant decrease for each area with Asheville down 36%, Buncombe County down 39.5%, and Henderson County down the most at 40.2%. The gap starts to close slightly as we move into May and by June the number of new listings have increased so that gap between 2019 and 2020 has decreased significantly. We even see a slightly positive trend in Asheville with number of new listings up by 1.8%.

Closed Sales

Bar graph showing the number of closed sales in Asheville, Buncombe County, and Henderson County from January-June in 2019 and 2020.

Across the board, the month of May had the largest decrease in number of closed sales. Asheville had a significant decrease of 52.9%, Buncombe County decreased by 47.7% and Henderson County had a 35% decrease. Generally, early spring is a very busy time in WNC’s real estate market. When we consider the global pandemic, though, this makes sense. Closings in April were already lined up before the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 45-60 day closings are common, which means April closings could have been for executed contracts as early as February, before the National Emergency was declared in mid-March. The timing of the emergency declaration lines up with closings in May and had a direct impact on the market. As we move into June there is an upward trend of number of closed sales with Henderson County showing the largest increase at 23.4%.

Median Sales Price

There was an interesting trend with the median sales price this quarter, although it’s not surprising. As mentioned above the number of closed sales in May dropped significantly in each area. However, when we look at the median sales price for May in each area the numbers are higher than they were in 2019. Asheville was at a 7.1% increase, Buncombe County at 6.3%, and Henderson County showed a 4.9% increase. This suggests that although there may not have been a large inventory of homes, people were still looking to take advantage of an uncertain market meaning there were still buyers and not enough homes, which contributed to the upward trend in sales price. Henderson County is exhibiting the most growth, which suggests that as people are perhaps priced out of Asheville and moving south, real estate there is booming, driving prices upward. Asheville and Buncombe are still showing higher median sales prices than last year, but not at the rate of Henderson County. This may suggest that prices in Asheville and surrounding areas are starting to reach their ceiling. We’ll just have to keep watching to see!

Be sure to contact your Real Estate Agent to stay up to date on all the changes the industry is experiencing. Their expertise and guidance is going to be crucial as we navigate real estate post-COVID-19.

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