Mid-Year OBX Market Update

Here are the mid-year fun facts about the Outer Banks market:
– Inventory is up 12% – this is a little alarming since it was only up 7% last month
– Residential Sales are up 4% – this could be due to the smokin’ hot interest rates!!
– Distressed sales continue to decline, making nearly zero impact to the market
– There have been 75 new building permits issued so far in Dare County
– In 2018 there were a total of 131 for the year

Town specific notes of interest
– Corolla total number of sales YTD is pretty flat, up only 2%
– Duck total number of sales YTD is up 30%!!!
– Southern Shores is also flat at a rise of only 2%
– Kitty Hawk is similar at a rise of 3%
– Kill Devil Hills is going the opposite direction and is down 4%
– Nags Head is also an anomaly being down 19% in total number of sales YTD

While it looked to be a flat year through June, the sudden increase in properties under contract
looks to make for an interesting fall. Across the board rents seem to be down and traffic
doesn’t feel as thick this year. It’s not uncommon to see sales go up in a down rental year. I’ve
been selling since 1997 and I’ve seen this trend happen every 5 to 7 years.

A lot of people think it’s due to Air BnB or VRBO. I personally think it’s just one of those years
that people are taking more expensive, overseas trips. Doing something a little different this
year.

The Depreciation Factor When Selling

The Depreciation Factor When Selling Your OBX Beach Home

In the height of the real estate boom from 2002 to 2006, doing a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange
was such a common occurrence. We think about it a lot more in a rising market. However,
even though the Outer Banks market is still in recovery mode, a 1031 exchange may still be a
very necessary process, even without massive profits from actual sales price. All due to one
word…depreciation.

Specifically the way it works is the gain, not the profit or equity, from the sale of your
investment/beach/second home could be subject to Federal and State taxes. Also subject to
federal taxes at the time of sale is the depreciation taken over several years on the property.
That amount is taxed at a whopping 25%!!! This could really sneak up on you!

Below is an example of how to determine a potential capital gain when selling without an
exchange.

Step 1: Calculate the Basis
$300,000 Original Purchase Price
+ $ 50,000 Improvements that haven’t been expensed in a previous tax year
– $ 60,000 Depreciation taken
$290,000 Net Adjusted Basis

Step 2: Calculate Capital Gain
$475,000 Sales Price today
– $290,000 Net Adjusted Basis
– $ 25,000 Cost of Sale (commissions, transfer tax, fees, etc)
$160,000 Realized Capital Gain

Step 3: Calculate Capital Gain Tax Due
$15,000 Recaptured Depreciation = 25% x Depreciation taken
$24,000 Federal Capital Gain Tax at 15% x Realized Capital Gain
$32,000 Federal Capital Gain Tax at 20% x Realized Capital Gain

Please Note:
* Income less than $39,375, the long term capital gains tax rate is zero
* 15% if income is less than $434,550 20% if income is more than $434,550
* This does not include any potential state capital gain taxes

What can you do if you want to sell and avoid paying Federal Capital Gains Tax?
– You can defer the federal tax by performing a 1031 exchange for a property of equal or
more value than the property you are exchanging, and acquiring the same.
debt/mortgage equal to or exceeding the debt on the relinquished property.
– You can move into the home and make it a primary residence for 2 of the last 5 years
and rollover up to $250,000 if single and $500,000 if married.
– You can reduce tax liability by doing some major improvements that are not expensed in
any previous tax year.

This is an overview of the process. For more detailed information on your specific tax
implications contact a tax professional. To find out more about doing a 1031 Tax Deferred
Exchange we recommend Realty Exchange Corporation at www.1031.us.

6 Reasons to List Your Home in the Summer

Although it sounds reasonable to think with all the guests coming, it would be better to just sell the home in the fall or spring, take a look at these six (6) reasons you could be missing out by waiting. Contact me today if you want more information!

1. Outer Banks Inventory

Inventory has been our biggest challenge in terms of pricing.  June, July, and August are historically the time of year when our inventory is the lowest.  Why not take advantage of that incredible opportunity? Lower inventory could mean higher prices.

2. High Volume of Visitors

The Outer Banks will have over 3 million visitors each year.  Obviously, the majority of those folks visit during the summer months.  We cannot get that kind of exposure any other time of year!

3. Perfect Time of the Season

The home is fully open and operational.  Buyers will have inspections done before closing.  When the house is winterized during the fall/winter there are extra costs to open the house back up for those inspections.  Right now, everything is up and running and easy to inspect and ensure to the buyer the home is in good condition.

4. Sweet Outer Banks Summertime

It’s a beach house!  When does the beach look the best?  Summertime of course. Your beach house will show the best with the sun shining, deck chairs out, pool open, hot tub running!  Buyers get excited about these things and it helps to sell your home.

5. Serious Inquiries

Buyers this time of year are serious about buying!  If a potential buyer is going to take time out of their much-anticipated vacation to look at your home, it means they are serious about buying.  They’re here with all decision makers too.

6. Outer Banks Rental Income & Fees

With the average transaction taking 45 to 60 days to close, sellers can collect most or even all of the rental income.  A late summer or early fall closing also means sellers don’t have to worry about fall maintenance and carrying the home through the winter months.

March 2019 OBX Market Report

Let’s take a quick look at the highlights of the market activity so far this year.

  • First Quarter residential sales are up by 4% from last year
  • Actual March sales are down from last March by 9%
  • Under contract homes are up 9% from last March
  • Inventory is on the rise. Up 9% from last March and the highest number of homes for
    sale since June 2017
  • Land sales are down 33% and average price went from $100,000 down 50% to $50,000
  • Distressed sales continue to fall with only 18 active listings in the entire area
  • New building permits last year total were 49, we are already at 33 for this calendar year
  • Overall rental companies are reporting a decline in the number of homes booked this
    year over last year

Summary: We had a slow start to the year for rentals because of the government shutdown.
Most of our visitors come from the VA/MD/DC area and with no income in January, fewer
vacations were booked. It does seem to be picking up some.

As predicted earlier this year, I am not surprised to see this activity report. We have solid
activity, but are not expecting a banner year, which is normal after coming off a few hot and heavy
years of activity. Nothing to worry about long term, just keep watching.If you feel like this might be the year to sell, but just aren’t sure, click here to read “What to do if you don’t HAVE to sell your home.”

What to do if you don’t HAVE to sell your home

So, what does all of this mean? Most property owners we speak to all say the same thing. “We
don’t HAVE to sell.” Which is very true, especially when a seller is not physically moving from
the home. The main reason they say that is because the pricing strategy presented in
alignment with the current market statistics is typically lower than they had hoped for.

It’s no secret, the Northern Outer Banks market is still in the midst of recovery, now with a
rising inventory. We’ve tracked these cycles for many decades and the results are always the
same. It’s a 20 year cycle. If the major down happened in 2009, we are merely half way
through before the next possible boom, based on recorded history.

Now, if you find yourself in the very common situation of having a home here on the OBX that
you aren’t using as much anymore, don’t like the current market price, and feel like you don’t
have to sell it, here’s what you need to know.

What exactly are my options if I don’t have to sell?

  1. 1. Recognize the big picture. Just because you don’t HAVE to sell, does not automatically
    mean that keeping the home is the best financial decision. Talk to your financial planner
    and tax advisor and get their opinion of the big picture financially.
  2. Consider the amount you personally use the home. If you’ve gotten to the point of
    only visiting the home once a year, it could actually end up costing you more in the long
    run to keep it. We have very extreme weather on the Outer Banks. Homes left alone
    with deferred maintenance can often times develop big ticket repair items the longer
    they sit.
  3. Place the home in a trust. If you have children who are available and willing to step in
    and take over the management of the home, there could be some tax advantages in
    your estate by leaving the home to them in a trust. Check with a tax advisor for more
    detailed information. I found this article helpful as a starter.
  4. Consider making improvements. Outside of the economic market conditions of supply
    and demand, one of the other reasons some homes are experiencing a challenge on
    pricing is due to being in the original state. Buyers today have very different
    expectations of homes than they did when I started in 1997. If you are planning to keep
    the home for a few more years, do the improvements, enjoy them, then sell when you
    are ready. One word of caution, consult a real estate professional first so they can help
    you maximize where to spend your money so it makes the most impact to a future
    buyer.
  5. Place the home as a year round rental. Yes, that means less income overall. It also
    means less expense. Tenants in a year round situation generally pay their own utilities,
    do the cleaning, change the filters and more. There is a huge shortage of affordable
    year round rental homes in the area. This is also something you can manage yourself,
    with very little time and energy. Hire a maintenance guy to check on the place and
    handle the minor issues that come up. If you’re already not using the house, why not
    have just one family enjoying it year round.
  6. Consider short term retirement in the home. So many buyers I’ve worked with over
    the years actually bought the home for future retirement. It’s unclear why more don’t
    actually do it. However, if you decided to just retire here for 5 years, enjoy the beach,
    do some improvements, the home could have a much different value then.
  7. Take a closer look at what the home is costing each year to own. This is probably the
    best advice I can give. More often than not, the amount needed to price strategically
    compared to the amount it will cost to own the home for another 3 to 5 years is usually the same. I know it can be challenging to drop that price another $25,000 in order to
    sell, but what will it cost you to own it annually for the next 5 years? That’s not
    including any major deferred maintenance that will come up along the way.

The truth is, timing is everything. If you’re ready to sell, take a serious look at these options
and decide the best course of action. First of all answer the most important question I
presented in the beginning….

Just because I don’t HAVE to sell, does that mean keeping this home is in my best financial
interests?

When you commit to looking at the big picture, as well as all other possible options and
calculate the best move for your situation. If you need help discussing these or any other
strategy, please feel free to reach out!

January 2019 OBX Market Report

The final numbers are in and as predicted, sales on the Outer Banks went a little flat. I wasn’t
expecting the rise in inventory to come along with it.

Reprinted with permission from OBAR is the following Director’s Report:
MLS Director Report – 2018 was a good year; however, they are some trends that bear
watching. Sales are flat (less than a 1% change) while listings in an Under Contract
status have declined sharply (9%). Inventory, on the other hand, is up (5%). Median
sale price, depending on area, is also flat.

Also worth noting is that specifically Residential Inventory (not including commercial properties
or vacant land) was actually up by 6% for the year.

If you didn’t read last month’s article, you can read it here. It’s a reminder that these real estate
cycles typically take 20 years to complete, at least according to 100 years of recorded history.
Since the cycle started in 2008/2009, we are only half way through. Holding on to a home in
this market, expecting it to improve in 12 to 24 months is probably not realistic. Looking for
change in 7 to 10 years is much more realistic.

If you are considering a long term investment here, prices are still low and rents are doing very
well! Interest rates are still around 5% and very reasonable. The outlook for 10 to 15 year
investors is strong.

As far as what we can expect for 2019? I would say more of the same. With rising insurance
costs, rising interest rates, stock market fluctuations, we will likely see the same amount of
activity for this year. Let’s just hope the inventory stays where it is.

If you’d like to see what the market value of your home is, contact me for a free evaluation.

December 2018 Outer Banks Market Snapshot

The big story for the Outer Banks Market as we inch closer to the end of the year is the decline in the number of homes selling, and the slight rise in inventory.  Here’s what we have:

  • Year over year November sales are down 25%
  • Annual sales are down 5%
  • Year over year November under contract is down 12%
  • Inventory is up by 5%
  • Sales in Corolla are down 12% overall this year

This is a dangerous combination.  With sales going down and inventory rising, it could certainly lead to another pricing correction for the market overall.

I get a lot of people asking why the Outer Banks market, specifically Duck and Corolla, has not recovered.  The primary reason is inventory.  Prices simply cannot rise when the market is carrying nearly 2 years of inventory.

I also want to offer a quick reminder of what typically happens in these cycles.  When we look at recorded history, it shows that these kinds of market cycles take 20 years from start to finish.  If we consider the main effects of the 2005 market crash started here in 2008.  That puts us only half way through.  There is nothing abnormal about this when nearly 100 years of history shows the same time frame through each experience.

I’ll tell you a quick story.  In 1988, a client bought a home in Sanderling for $345,000.  This was the top of the market for that time.  There had been a correction in 1986, yet didn’t affect the Outer Banks until 1988.  Shortly after his purchase, the market sharply corrected.  Ten years later, in 1998, I sold his home for the exact same price he paid.  Minus his selling expenses and various repairs, he did not come out ahead.  Fast forward to 2004, and that same home was offered nearly $600,000.  That’s how quickly things changed.

The point is, we are only half way through this cycle.  We are not experiencing the comeback of prices just yet.  It will happen again, as it always does, but it’s not likely to take place in less than 5 to 7 years from now.  That’s just how long these cycles take, and this one is particularly challenging due to the continued high inventory levels.

If you are thinking of selling, either have patience for another decade to pass, or go ahead and sell it now for what the market will allow.  Just remember, in another 10 years the home will be that much older and that much more maintenance required.

Nearly every day I speak to a seller who says, “We don’t HAVE to sell it.”  And yes, that’s true.  99% of the clients I work with are not in financial distress and truly don’t HAVE to sell it.  I encourage you to also ask this next question.  Just because you don’t HAVE to sell it, doesn’t mean that IT ISN’T the best financial move for you.  Really consider the big picture of keeping the home another 10 years, versus the disappointment of the price the market mandates at this time.  In the end, if you don’t HAVE to sell and don’t want to participate in today’s pricing, the truly best thing you can do is take the home OFF the market, which will help inventory levels go down.  That will help everyone in the long term.

As always, if I can be of further assistance to you, please reach out!

November 2018 Outer Banks Market Snapshot

What’s interesting about this time of year, is that we can really see the major trends going on in
the marketplace for the calendar year. I’m highlighting 3 specific points for this analysis.

Inventory
Inventory levels on the Outer Banks, specifically northern beaches, have been particularly
challenging for our market. The fact is, in Duck and Corolla, there are little to no primary sales
taking place. That is, no one is physically moving into or out of that area. Those kinds of sales
are crucial to market health because those people “HAVE” to buy and sell. The truth is, 100% of
the sales that take place in those areas are discretionary.

Nearly every seller we meet says the same thing…”We don’t have to sell.” Which is very true.
You don’t have to sell because you’re not making a physical move, nor are you in financial
distress. It’s important to recognize that 99.9% of sellers we work with, don’t HAVE to sell.
There’s a common misconception that pricing your home to sell in today’s market is the same
as discounting it to force it to sell. That’s simply not true. Today’s market in Duck and Corolla
simply has an oversupply of inventory and an under-supply of buyers. That’s the bottom line.
It’s a resort market where all sales are discretionary. Period. I encourage you to ask the
following question. Just because I don’t have to sell, does that mean keeping the home is in
the best financial interests of myself/family/long term plan? That’s what it really boils down
to. I know it’s difficult to swallow the prices today’s market requires, but consider the whole
picture before making a final decision.

The price in these kinds of markets are 100% dependent on the principle of supply and demand, because buyers don’t HAVE to buy until they find the home that ticks all the boxes for them.
Consider this in Corolla:
– Corolla has 294 homes currently for sale.
– 189 homes have sold so far this year; that’s 19 sales a month
– 19 buyers will buy each month and they have 294 to choose from
– 26 Oceanfront homes sold this year in Corolla
– That’s 2.6 buyers a month
– There are currently 53 oceanfront homes for sale in Corolla

Consider this in Duck:
– Duck has 128 homes currently for sale
– 104 homes have sold so far this year; that’s 10 sales a month
– 10 buyers will buy each month and they have 128 to choose from
– From $400,000 to $800,000 there are 52 homes currently for sale
– 47 have sold this year in that range; 4.7 buyers a month
– 4.7 buyers will buy each month and they have 52 to choose from

This is why inventory is the biggest indicator of value in the market right now. We have seen
major improvement in inventory levels over the last few years. This year, we are seeing that
inventory move back up, even just slightly. What does this mean? It means that appreciation is
not happening any time soon, and, that depreciation is still a very real possibility. I don’t report
this to be negative, just to be realistic. Waiting out the market is not a short term endeavor.
Bottom line…inventory is the single biggest challenge in the northern Outer Banks market.
Until that changes, your price won’t either.

Days on Market
The shining point of our market has been the amount of time it takes to get a home that is
priced right, sold. Priced right mostly means priced for its condition. Condition has become the
single greatest factor in a buyer’s decision. They will bypass location for an updated home
almost every time. For more information on the impacts of condition, click here.

The days on market number has gone DOWN again this year by another 20%. This is the third
year in a row this number has dropped by 20% or more.
What does this mean?
– Buyers are watching and waiting for the best value. They study the market for 18
months or more before making a decision to buy. When they see a home that is a good
value, they act quickly and with near full price.
– If your home is on the market for more than 118 days, buyers don’t consider it to be a
good value.

The real estate market is fluid. Pricing your home on one day based on the competition is only
as good as that competition stays the same. As homes sell and adjust their price, you have to
flow with it. In this kind of market, you can either lead with an aggressive price and sell, or,
follow the price others set for you as they sell. Why leave your pricing up to someone else’s
motivation?

Total Sales
Not only did the number of homes going under contract drop by 19% for October, the total
number of sales year over year is down by 10%. Blame the hurricane, the election, whatever
you like. It doesn’t change the facts.

Here’s the deal…interest rates are up, inventory is slightly up, sales are down by double digits.
I’m not telling you this to create panic. My job is to sell homes regardless of the market
conditions, which I have done for over 22 years. My job is also to keep you informed on the
trends, as they are happening. We don’t have a crystal ball, so statistics are the next best thing.

The Discretionary Nature of the OBX Market

NEEDS vs WANTS

  • Needs – UpDATES; maintenanceBalance Beam of Needs vs Wants
    items that increase attractiveness,
    peace of mind, and cause home to sell
    faster
  • Wants – UpGRADES that may
    increase VALUE AND make a home
    sell faster; appeal

 

Stop Sign

Remember, not all Upgrades make sense! Let’s talk before you spend –
sometimes money is better spent adjusting price vs. investing more in the
home.

July 2018 OBX Market Update

We are fully into our summer season here on the Outer Banks.  As expected, the summer months typically bring in a decline in sales as well as inventory.  While we still have a fairly active market over the summer, some property owners just elect to wait out the season and sell in the fall.

Here are the most important market points:

  • Sales for the year so far are down 5% over last year
  • Inventory is also down 5% from last year
  • Land sales are down 11% from last year
  • Land inventory is down 8% from last year
  • Number of homes going under contract is also in a steady decline since April
  • This is largely due to the rise in interest rates

Taking a look at the chart below, you’ll see the cycles we’ve experienced in market activity.  It’s not uncommon after a year with double digit increases to have a flat year following it.  What is most exciting is the inventory level change since 2012.

The other notable difference in our market is the way buyers are buying.  We are seeing much more emphasis being put on price and condition rather than location and rental income.  I wrote about this a few months back, click here to read that article again.

As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling please contact me for an analysis.