First Quarter 2024 Comparison to First Quarter 2023

OBX Real Estate Market - Crystal Ball and upward graphWhat a difference a year makes!  Long story short, there are some BIG moves that are happening.  I’ve talked before about algorithmic decay.  This chart here is exactly that!  Little, by little, by little, then bang.  That’s how markets change.  Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, it’s almost as good as a crystal ball.

Anyone saying the real estate market on the Outer Banks is not changing is just not paying attention.

But, look here, and you decide:

Image of the differences between 2023 and 2024 in the OBX Real Estate Market

We are on the cusp of a price shift potentially starting this fall.  Here are the facts about our market:

  • Insurance costs are rising and coverage dropping
  • Interest rates are not changing any time soon
  • Rental income is back to pre-pandemic levels

If you are on the fence about selling your home, your window is closing before we start to see quantifiable price shifts.  Call me today to discuss the best strategy for selling in today’s changing market.

How NOT to set the listing price of your home.

151 Salt House Road, CorollaA lot of agents will do presentations on how they came up with a price for your home. It is a task that does require some skill. The challenge of course is getting the seller to agree to the pricing suggestions.

Many sellers come into the meeting with a general idea of what they want for the home, which is helpful. However, here are a few ideas on what NOT to do when you decide to sell your Outer Banks home in today’s market.

  • Tax Assessment Don’t confuse your county tax assessment with market value. Your tax assessment is for the purpose of assessing a tax amount to you for the purpose of revenue to the county. It doesn’t in any way suggest that’s what a buyer is willing to pay or a seller is willing to sell for. Most importantly the assessment on your home right now is 4 years old! On the Outer Banks they only re-assess every 8 years. Because it’s 4 years old, it also doesn’t take into consideration any improvements that have been done since the last assessment.
  • Old Appraisal Appraisals are only good for the day they are written. What? Yes, that’s correct. Considering that anything and everything could change tomorrow, an appraisal can only be valid for one day. If you have a year-old appraisal and want to base your price on some reflection of that, you might find yourself the highest bidder of your home. I mean I was a size 8 years ago, but that’s not exactly going in my dating profile for today!
  • Old Sales in the area – All agents have heard it… “Well, my neighbor sold last year for $30,000 more.” Markets never stay the same. It’s an ever-changing environment, which is why consulting with a good agent who studies home prices every day is the best way to get closest to current market value.
  • Recent Improvements – We’ve also all heard… “Well I have a new roof, HVAC and carpet. I want to ask $extra to cover those costs.” The fact that you’ve done these “maintenance” items is great. It shows you’ve taken care of the home. The problem is all houses need a roof, HVAC and carpet. In this market, that can make your home more saleable, not necessarily more valuable. Buyers expect the basic components to be in good condition already. What you can ask more for are upgrades. Changing vinyl to tile or carpet to hard wood, or laminate to granite are all upgrades.
  • Basing the price on your needs – We would all love to get the seller the most money possible. That’s part of our job. However, we can only sell the home for the true market value. Just because you NEED to get $50,000 at closing doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. You have to consider all the current factors in your marketplace and if those point to a lower price, you needing that money will not cause a buyer to pay it if the value isn’t there. You may need to adjust your plans based on what’s realistically going to come out of the sale of your home. These are hard conversations, but a good agent will not be afraid to spell out the truth.
  • Stuck on a previous market value –The last few years have been monumental. It was a fast- rising market and prices skyrocketed. Now we are in a more “normal” market. Prices aren’t rising or falling at a tangible rate just yet. Mostly because inventory is still too low. However, don’t get complacent. Markets ALWAYS cycle. What goes up, must come down. I predict this fall pricing will look differently than it does right now. So, pay attention to CURRENT trends and not what happened the last year or two.
  • Focus only on Price – So often I hear, “I don’t have to sell, I’ll just wait if I have to sell at that price.” Selling a home is based on a LOT of decisions, not just the price for it. No one wakes up and turns to their spouse and says “Honey, the house is worth $X, we have to sell it.” Selling is based upon life changes, new needs, maintenance costs, jobs, marriages and so many more things that are related to the way we live our lives. It’s sometimes concerning when I see a seller refuse to sell based solely on the price. That means they are putting that dollar value above the benefits selling the home can bring to the family. Don’t let the emotional response to the price create a “wish I would have” moment.

Now that we’ve covered what NOT to do, if you need help pricing your Outer Banks home for a prime spot in our market today, certainly let me know how I can assist you!

Outer Banks Market Update – March 2023

As of right now, the Outer Banks is experiencing what is considered to be a “normal market”.  That means we are not seeing prices change in any significant way up or down.  While prices are still at what is considered to be somewhat inflated, there’s not been real measurable changes so far.  Secondly, we still have a balanced level of inventory.  A normal market is considered to be a demand level of 4 to 6 months of inventory.  We are sitting right in the middle at 5 months of inventory.  This means the demand is steady and supply is still rather low.  In comparison at the peak times in 2021 and 2022, we had just a 2-month inventory.

This begs the question, where are we headed?  There are 3 factors I’m watching to help determine that.  What’s great about Beach Realty is we watch the statistics every single week.  It’s just as good as having a crystal ball. The numbers change in a gradual way that you can actually see the shifts coming if you’re paying attention, which we are!

Factor 1 – Mortgage Applications

Year over year nationwide mortgage applications to buy a home has fallen 41%.  In just a YEAR!  It’s currently at the lowest level in 28 years right now.  That’s even worse than the mortgage crash that happened in 2008.  Coupled with data from NAR, only 29% of recent home purchases are cash.  The most obvious cause is rising interest rates and still inflated home prices.  As a second home market, over 70% of our home sales are a discretionary purchase.  It’s a decision buyers can wait on, especially if they think changes are coming soon.

Factor 2 – FNMA and Second Homes

About a year ago Fannie Mae basically got out of the second home business.  Wanting to pull support from second homes and focus more on first time home buyer programs they negotiated a deal with the Mortgage Bankers Association to drastically increase rates on second homes.  Which at the time didn’t seem too objectionable on conforming loans because the conforming loan limit was $548,250.  With the average second home here being near $700,000, most buyers wouldn’t be affected.  Now the limit is $726,200 for a conforming loan, coupled with the most attractive rates being a now 75% LTV, the rates shot up over 7% with one point.  Making it even more expensive than ever to buy a home on the Outer Banks with a conforming limit mortgage. I don’t know the exact percentage of second home mortgages that are sold to Fannie Mae, but I think an educated guess would be MOST of them.  The only solution is for mortgage brokers to keep the loans on their books and try to offer more attractive rates.  Who knows how long that will last and how many lenders will participate.  I only know of one broker with that program right now.

Factor 3 – Rising Inventory

As buyer demand continues to soften due to rates and prices, inventory will start to creep up this spring and summer.  That could lead us directly into an inventory level over 6 or 7 months by fall.  That pushes us back into a buyer’s market.  If rental receipts drop this year, as expected, this fall we could see prices take a very noticeable hit.  How much is yet to be determined.  However, with as high as prices rose over the last few years, even a 10% drop would likely still put the home higher than pricing was in 2019.  So all is not lost, for this year at least.

If you’re thinking about selling, NOW is your window.  Give me a call to discuss further.

November Outer Banks Market Report       

It’s still 70 degrees here in Corolla today!  Almost mid November and it’s very warm.  Also SMOKING HOT is real estate market activity!  Pending sales are up 56% from last year.  That means there are more properties under contract right now than this same time last year.

However, most importantly to note, prices are NOT up.  In fact in some markets, like Corolla, they have still declined.  Other areas remain virtually unchanged.  So we are selling more houses for the same or less money.  That’s not a terrible thing, because it means we are stabilizing.  That’s a good sign, since it’s a necessary part of a recovery.

Let’s remember, the majority of home sales on the Outer Banks are to buyers who don’t live here.  That means it is a discretionary purchase, which will cause our recovery to naturally be slower than those year round markets.  This is nothing new.  The same thing happened when the real estate market crashed in the late 80’s.  It was almost 1999 before things recovered.

Distressed property sales are down 30% from last year.  So the truth is those sales are no longer a factor and are certainly not what’s holding back prices.  The main issue is STILL supply and demand.  We have a whopping 16 months worth of inventory on the market right now.

That means if nothing new came on the market it would take 16 months to sell out what’s currently for sale.  A normal market is considered to be a 4 to 6 month supply.  Since we are selling more than last year and this “16 months” is the lowest absorption rate we’ve seen in many years, I would say this is another great sign that we are getting close to the end of the stagnant time.

The important thing to remember is, prices won’t immediately start to go up either.  Appreciation takes time.  So if your home is worth 15% to 20% less than what you would prefer to sell it for in today’s market, you could still be another 6 or more years away from getting your preferred price.  And we don’t know what an interest rate hike could do to that time frame either.  That kind of increase in value will take time, as it should, or we will only be setting ourselves up for another crash.  Which I’m sure, nobody wants to experience again this soon if at all!

That being said, if you want to buy a great house, it may not last long.  Especially if the home is priced right.  If you want to sell your home, price it aggressively and the buyers will show up!

 

Best Buys for July 2015

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Best Buys for June 2015

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June Market Update

This month let’s take a look at what’s happening in each specific location for a closer, more in depth view understanding.

Corolla

Corolla Stats  
Total # of Homes for Sale 377
Total # Selling per month 17
Months of remaining Inventory 22
# of New listings each month 45

Corolla has a 22 month supply of inventory.  It’s the weakest market on the Outer Banks right now in terms of supply and demand.  Constant price reductions are needed to get homes sold.  When a home comes on the market priced well, it will sell quickly.

Duck

Duck Stats  
Total # of Homes for Sale 154
Total # Selling per month 8
Months of remaining Inventory 19
# of New listings each month 18

One great trend in Duck is that the supply of homes under $300,000 is very diminished.  While the inventory issue is still a problem for Duck, homes will sell very fast when priced for the market.

Southern Shores

Southern Shores Stats  
Total # of Homes for Sale 93
Total # Selling per month 7
Months of remaining Inventory 13
# of New listings each month 20

The Southern Shores market is doing quite well.  It has one of the lowest inventory levels of all the towns.  Land sales are fantastic in Southern Shores right now.

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk Stats  
Total # of Homes for Sale 77
Total # Selling per month 13
Months of remaining Inventory 22
# of New listings each month 19

Kitty Hawk between the highways is a fast seller right now.  Those homes are a fantastic value and buyers are recognizing that.

Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills Stats  
Total # of Homes for Sale 182
Total # Selling per month 19
Months of remaining Inventory 9.5
# of New listings each month 40

By far the most stable market on the Outer Banks right now is Kill Devil Hills.  Keep in mind the majority of homes selling here are under $300,000.  This area has the best supply and demand situation of all the towns.

Nags Head

Nags Head Stats  
Total # of Homes for Sale 190
Total # Selling per month 14
Months of remaining Inventory 13.5
# of New listings each month 25

Nags Head is holding it’s own right now.  The average price there is $350,000 which makes it super affordable for such a great location.

So as you can see, right now selling a home on the Outer Banks comes solely down to price and condition.  Buyers still have too many choices for prices to change any time soon.  The good news is we have steady activity in the marketplace right now and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

If you’d like more information about buying
or selling a home on the Outer Banks, just let me know how I can help you.

Best Buys for April 2015

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Best Buys for March 2015

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Best Buys on the Outer Banks for February 2015

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