2017 Outer Banks Market Report

The buzz around town is that 2017 was a banner year for sales. So, is it true? The
answer is not a simple yes or no. There are many facets that impact a real estate
The truth is, it depends on which side of the fence you’re on as to how you’ll measure the
market activity. Let’s look at the 5 ingredients of a market, in what I would consider
the order of importance:
1. Price – This of course, is the top concern for buyers and sellers. The
definition of a good market to a seller will usually come down to what
price they can get for their home.
2. Inventory – This is truly the one factor that can make or break a market.
Inventory controls price. We all know the principle of supply and
demand and how that impacts the value of a home.
3. Activity – The number of properties sold annually is a major factor and is
dependent on the previous two factors. If no one is buying, it keeps
inventory high and prices very low. We have two main markets on the
OBX (Duck and Corolla) where the sales that take place are 100%
discretionary. With no primary market forcing sales to take place, this is
keeping the inventory at high levels.
4. Interest Rate – Rising or falling interest rates impact the buyer’s
purchasing power. We are still experiencing very low rates, for now. All
signs point to some increase this year.
5. Buying Trends – This factor is the one least considered by sellers,
mistakenly. Especially in a resort market. Most sellers assume the
buyers are going through the same thought process they did when
buying. That simply isn’t true. Today, buyers place the most weight in
their decision on condition. After 20 years in the business, this is
definitely a shift in process.

So how did the Outer Banks fare in 2017 relative to each of these 5 categories?
1. Price in most locations has not changed. There is still no area with any
measurable appreciation and some areas (Duck and Corolla) are still
subject to some minor depreciation due to continued high inventory
2. Inventory is on the decline. In 2017 we had the lowest monthly inventory
levels since 2010. That is excellent news and a great sign of continued
recovery for our market.
3. Activity was up over 2016. Like any market we experience cycles. Any
time there is a double digit increase in sales, the next 3 to 4 years become
a little stagnant. That’s just how markets cycle. When you hear that the
OBX market was on fire last year, this is likely the aspect one was
referring to. This increase in activity really helped lower the Days on Market.                                 However, pricing for the market is the greatest contributor to that.

Year                    2012      2013      2014       2015       2016      2017
Total # Sold      2042      2093     2139      2292      2289      2560
Increase from
Previous Year    21%         2%        2%           7%         0%        11%

4. Interest Rates remained steady between 4% and 4.25%. Your guess is as
good as mine as far as what will happen with that this year. Stock market
gains are making it easier to diversify and invest in real estate.
5. More homes were passed up in 2017 because of outdated condition than
any other reason. If you want to sell quickly, you’ll either need to price
your home for it’s condition or invest in a few upgrades.

If you’d like more information on buying or selling this spring, contact me for more