Time for a quick look at the real estate market, both local and national, with Kirk Pugh, Broker/Realtor®.

Looking first at the southeastern North Carolina tri-county area of New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties, Kirk stresses the keywords “inventory” and “home price apprecation.” By the numbers, the local real estate market looks like this:

  • New listings are up 32.7% year-over-year
  • Total homes listed 1377
  • Pending home sales are up 71.6% (wow!) over the same period last year
  • Closed sales are up 50.2% year-over-year

What that tells us, explains Kirk, and what the national numbers will reaffirm, is that the amount of inventory depletion has exceeded 20% for the fifth month in a row. We are losing 20% of available homes for sale every month, and we have been for the last five months. This means there is precious little out there for people to buy.

On another positive note, the median home price is up 9.4% year-over-year to a whopping $273,500. That is the median price. To say the market is robust now in October is an understatement, and the national numbers bear that out.

Prices have been increasing, interest rates continue fall, affordability is level, so the decrease in interest rates is keeping up with the increase in home prices, keeping houses still affordable.

Mortgage credit availability is still a change, notes Kirk. The one shining light in all this robust activity is that banks are being very picky about who they give a mortgage to these days.

Interestingly, the home price appreciation is not equal in all parts of the country. Densely populated areas have seen less than a 1/2 of a percent home price appreciation, where gains in smaller cities and the suburbs are seeing significant home price appreciation. Kirk attributes this directly to COVID and the sentiment of de-urbanization. People are moving out of major metropolitan areas into the suburbs and smaller cities.

Nationally across the board, purchase applications were up 23% year-over-year, and September 2020 makes the third straight month of 20%+ year-over-year appreciation for purchase applications. New home sales are up 46% year-over-year, and, as mentioned above, existing inventory contracted by 20% for the fifth straight month. That is both a national statistic and here in the southeastern North Carolina area we are actually closer to 22%.

Nationally, again, the home price appreciation is averaging about 12% year-over-year. So, if you bought a house a year ago for $100,000, congratulations, it’s now worth $112,000 today.

In general, what we are seeing in the market is that KBT has buyers – people who want to move to town – but we don’t have anything to sell them. If you are on the fence, and if you are thinking about selling your house, we have a buyer for you, says Kirk. “That’s absolutely certain. Not sure if we can find you a new place to go, but we are going to do everything in our power to make that happen for you too.”

“The market is great, we have not seen our typical fall slowdown, and maybe later this winter, I’ll start to grow some hair back,” Kirk concludes.


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