April Newsletter

Happy April!  I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend.  Beautiful weather has finally arrived at the beach.

I have a few interesting topics this month.

Insurance – While prices are rising, so could insurance costs.  There are some pretty significant changes that you need to be aware of if you are buying or selling.  First and foremost, make sure your insurance coverage is sufficient.  Lumber costs have gone up 112% since last year.  Make sure you check in with your agent to be sure you are covered.
For the rest of the changes, click here to read the full article.
Top 5 Destinations – If you thought last summer was busy, just wait.  You’ve probably seen this graphic floating around on Facebook…here’s the full article if you’re interested.  Be prepared for a wild season, and if you haven’t booked already, you may be out of luck.  Go ahead and book for next year too, just in case.
Market Report – Not much has changed in terms of activity.  The market is still very active!  For a breakdown of inventory/activity per town click here.

April Market Report for the Outer Banks

Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’re dealing with as we look at current active inventory versus what is currently under contract.

Active Under Contract Sold so far 2021
Corolla 38 119 132
Duck 22 15 40
Southern Shores 10 22 28
Kitty Hawk 8 22 31
Kill Devil Hills 12 57 101
Nags Head 31 50 82

*Source OBAR MLS for single-family homes only

I’ve been selling since 1997, and I’ve never seen anything like this.  It’s very exciting to have so many people this dedicated to buy their beach dream home.  It’s also a very challenging market!  Despite what it looks like, finding the buyer is a very small percentage of what an agent does for a seller.  With increased regulations, rules, financing challenges, and buyer expectations, having a good agent on your side, truly is instrumental to getting the transaction closed.  If you have any questions about buying or selling in this market, please contact me.

Breaking News regarding OBX property

Happy Mid-March!Breaking News regarding OBX property

This month’s update is short and not so sweet. The market activity is still very strong and has not changed…yet.

Big BREAKING MORTGAGE NEWS in the last few days is regarding the purchase of 2nd homes. A new Treasury Amendment now limits Fannie Mae on the acquisition of single-family mortgage loans secured by the second home and investment properties to only 7%. As a result, this could equate to as much as a half-percent higher rate on these loans. Click here for the full article.

No market is immune to these kinds of changes.  If you’re wanting to purchase on the OBX, the time is now!  Of course, that means we need more inventory. If you’re thinking of selling and want a complete analysis of what your home is worth, contact me today!

As always my goal is to keep you updated on the most relevant information.  If there is anyone you know who could benefit from this monthly newsletter, ask them to subscribe here.

February OBX Market Update

It’s almost Spring!

While the weather here is warming up, nothing is as hot as the real estate market.  In fact, 2005 called and said it wants to reminisce!
Market Update – Interest rates did tick up a bit (still holding at around 3%), but that doesn’t seem like it will slow down the activity right away.  We have 44% of our inventory under contract.  If you list it, it will sell.  If you are thinking about putting your home up for sale, here’s a checklist of readiness to look at to get prepared.
Vendor List Normally this time of year I post my list of trusted vendors.  Everyone is backed up for 6 to 8 weeks at the moment.  If you do have something that really needs to be done, contact me and let me see if I can find a fit for you.
Rental Market – We are once again experiencing a record year in vacation rentals.  If you do have a few weeks lagging to get booked, I will be happy to post your home on my business page for additional exposure.
Outer Banks Foodies – One of the top questions I get regularly is, where’s the best place to get…..  Here’s a quick peek at a few of my favorites around the area – CLICK HERE!

January 2021 Market Update

Supply and demand. That’s the basic economic principle driving markets for decades. Here we are! Finally experiencing some movement in the northern beaches market, after the slowest recovery ever from the 2008 market crash.

Sellers – if you want to cash in – now is the perfect time! Condition is still important to maximize profits, so contact me before any repair work so we can make the most of your investment.

Buyers – be pre-qualified, ready to sign an offer, prepare to offer virtually, and be prepared to offer over asking price in many cases. You need someone scanning the new listings daily. Now is not the time to go unrepresented. Let me know if you’re looking!

57 Active listings 108 Under Contract

23 Active listings 22 Under Contract

Southern Shores
15 Active listings 19 Under Contract

Kitty Hawk
6 Active listings 17 Under Contract

Kill Devil Hills
24 Active listings 65 Under Contract

Nags Head
38 Active listings 38 Under Contract

Now you can see what we are working with. Contact me if you have any questions about our current market.

I do predict it will last this way through the year.

The 2015 Outer Banks Market Report

We saw a lot of very positive signs in 2015 that continue to lead us on the path to recovery.  While we still have an oversupply of inventory on the market, keeping prices down, we have a double digit increase in number of sales.

The other interesting trend is showing more homes in the higher price ranges are selling and fewer homes offered in the under $300,000 price range.  That is showing our median sales price to be up, even though individual home prices aren’t rising at this point.

It’s virtually impossible for our home values to go up when inventory is still at a 15 month supply.  However, it’s a great step forward.  We saw a 20% increase in number of sales for 2012, then it steadied for 2 years until another big increase in sales for 2015.

Mortgage brokers are expecting a surge in activity the first part of 2016 to beat the Fed’s promise of rising interest rates.  We certainly have a year round market on the OBX and see great activity all year long.  The two spikes in activity happen in March/April and September/October.  No need to wait though, we can get your home sold any time of year.

Here is the breakdown of where we ended up for 2015:

  • Residential number of sales were up 11%
  • Average sales price was down 2%
  • Land sales numbers were down 5%
  • Average sales price was up 7%
  • Inventory was down 8%, being the lowest since 2007
  • Foreclosed home sales were down 37%

Next month I’ll provide a break down of each location individually so you can see how it compares year over year.

If you have any questions or would like additional information please let me know.

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March Outer Banks Market Update

An interesting trend is popping up for the year so far.  We have sold more homes, granted marginally, but for less volume.  So, that means either we are selling fewer high end homes or prices are still going down.

My thoughts are, a little bit of both.  

Let’s look at the stats:

  • 2014 – 16 homes sold over $750,000
  • 2015 – 10 homes sold over $750,000
  • 2014 – 58 homes sold under $200,000
  • 2015 – 49 homes sold under $200,000

This tells us two things.  Fewer high end homes are selling and fewer homes are available for sale under $200,000.  The lower end price range is a no brainer.  They will always sell regardless of the economy and market.  It’s the beach, for less than $200,000!  The bright spot is that those homes are seeing a bump in value.  As things stabilize that price range will always be the first to jump.  Great sign of improvement there.

However, high end home sales do indicate trends.  To be fair, there was a $5,000,000 home sale in January of 2014 which is clearly skewing the numbers.  Even so, there were 6 fewer high end homes that sold so far this year.  And, there are more of them for sale than in 2014.  So, that indicates a slow down in that market.  I’m not quite sure of the cause, would love to hear your thoughts on this.

That covers the first challenge.  The second challenge is that home prices above $300,000 are still dropping, even if just slightly.  Consider these stats:

From Nags Head to Corolla:

  • In the last 30 days – 205 homes had a price reduction
  • In the last 30 days – 249 new homes came on the market
  • In the last 30 days – 127 homes sold

Those are some sobering stats.  My goal is never to be Debbie Downer, yet always look at true reality.  Most homes are STILL having to adjust their price at least once in order to sell and there are still two times the number of homes coming on the market each month as are selling.  It doesn’t take an economics major to tell you that is still a recipe for lower prices.

Same moral of the story as every month…if you want to sell, there is no financial gain to waiting it out short term.  If you want to buy in the under $300,000 range, you’re going to face some competition among other buyers looking for the best deals.  Let me know how I can help!

February Market Report

Good Morning!

While the outside temperature may be at freezing right now for the Outer Banks, our market is smoking hot!  Well at least when it comes to activity.

Chew on this – From Nags Head to Corolla, there were 98 homes that went under contract in January.  Of those, 34 have been on the market for 60 days or less and 24 were on the market for 30 days or less.

That means 24 homes that JUST came on the market in December or January and are already under contract.  Another great note, 6 of those 98 are deals I put together!  I’ve been very busy so far this year and am working hard to keep it going.

Even though the data reports that closed transactions for January shows a 13% drop from January of 2014, that is really an indication of activity from November and December.  It will be very interesting to see the difference in closed transactions for this February over last year.

So that covers activity…I know, you’re thinking about value and price now.  Take a look at the chart below.  While activity has had its ups and downs, price has really flat lined.  That’s actually expected after a market crash as devastating as we had.


Units Sold Percentage Change Median Price Percent Change Active Listings Median DOM Months Supply





1,596 20% $285,000 0% 1726 226



1,574 -1% $273,500 -4% 1714 222


2014 1,604


$280,000 2% 1733



Let me know how I can help.

If you’re considering buying and found a house you love, take action before it sells!
If you’re thinking about selling, there’s NO reason to wait.  Buyers are ready! Also keep in mind that we are a resort market.  Most buyers and sellers don’t HAVE to buy or sell.  It’s a discretionary purchase, so it’s normal for our market to take longer to recover.

Hard Truths about Selling a Home on the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks Real Estate Market is still recovering from the bubble that started busting around 2005.  There will be roughly 1500 homes sell this year and we expect that number to be about the same for next year.

While things are starting to stabilize here, it doesn’t come without challenges.  Listed below are some Hard Truths about selling a home on the Outer Banks today.  These are not easy things to say, or to read, but my goal is always to be completely up front and honest about what it takes to make it happen.

  1. Inventory levels still far exceed a 1 year supply. Right now we have 17 months worth of inventory, IF no other homes come on the market.  It would take 17 months to sell out what we have based on the number of current buyers per month.  Consider then, that on average each month 385 new listings come on the market.  Only 175 are selling.  With a current inventory of 3000…that creates a supply and demand issue, which is the main factor keeping prices down.  How can prices possibly rise with supply and demand that far out of balance?
  2. Condition is the number one concern for buyers. The price MUST match the condition of your property.  This includes cosmetic updates.  Buyers are so price conscious today that they want move in ready.  Your home may have been meticulously maintained, but because of high inventory levels, a buyer can purchase a home that is updated for the same price or slightly more.  They will pay it to avoid having to put any more out of pocket up front.
  3. Waiting it out will take longer than you think. I hear almost daily that a seller will wait another year before selling.  Honestly, there’s no financial or logical data to support that decision…unless you’re just simply not ready to sell.  Prices are not going to turn around overnight.  Consider point number 1.  If it will be at least 1.5 to 2 years to filter out the inventory problem, then your home is still worth 10% to 15% to 20% less than what you really want for it, how long could it take for the value to rise by that percentage?  All the while, the home is getting older and you’re coming out of pocket to support it.  In many cases the cost to keep it while waiting the market out will be the same or more than the increase in value.
  4. Overpricing your home is the biggest mistake in a volatile market. By overpricing your home, you’re simply helping to sell the competition.  We see it over and over.  By the time the price is finally reduced to cause a sale, the home sells for less than it could have sold if it was priced correctly 6 to 12 months ago.  See the next point.
  5. Don’t be fooled, prices are still going down. Considering the average time on the market is 240 days and normally there will be 3 to 4 price reductions to procure an offer, those are both huge indicators that prices are still dropping.  No, they aren’t dropping by catastrophic percentages like a few years ago, but 2% to 5% is still money out of your pocket by waiting or chasing the market with a price too high.
  6. The Outer Banks market is still very much trying to recover. Did you know that only 10% of the properties on the market today are under contract?  Yes, you read that correctly.  90% of the properties for sale today are not selling.  Only 10% are under contract.  Can you see now how important price is in today’s market?
  7. You can be the leader or the follower. When you price your home aggressively to sell quickly, YOU get to set the price!  By waiting and letting other homes sell before you, usually at lower prices, you become subject to their lead.  While it may feel like you are leaving money on the table, the truth is you priced your home to sell and it did.  Putting you in the lead and ahead of the 90% of homes that aren’t selling.
  8. It has been 10 years since 2005. I know it may sound harsh, but that ship has sailed.  I sometimes joke that 2005 called, they want their prices back!  It’s time to let go of the idea that 10 years ago your home was worth X number of dollars.  Your home is now 10 years older and the market is drastically different than it was then.  The truth is those prices will come again, in 15 to 20 years from now.  Holding on to the past is never sound advice.  If you truly want to sell your home now, you have to let go of 2005.
  9. You are not “giving your house away.” Pricing your home to sell in a market that is struggling to recover is not the same as giving it away. Prices change.  Markets change.  Trends change.  Today’s market has different rules than yesterday’s market.  Refer back to point 8.
  10. I know you don’t HAVE to sell your home.  On a daily basis I hear this from sellers.  “Well we don’t HAVE to sell it.”  Of course you don’t.  It’s not like you live here and are moving for a job transfer or downsizing or upsizing.  It’s a second home.  The motivations to sell vacation homes are very different.  However, you probably do WANT to sell it.  And if you don’t sell the home you will HAVE to keep maintaining it..HAVE to keep dealing with renters…HAVE to keep paying for it…HAVE to keep fixing things that break…HAVE to not move on to the next thing.  Bottom line is if you really don’t WANT to sell it, don’t list it.  We already have an inventory problem.  Keep it off the market until you are truly ready to do what it takes.
  11. I am the best agent for the job of selling your home. I will likely take a lot of heat for this list.  Which I’m prepared for.  I know that in challenging times like this I HAVE to be committed to telling my clients the truth and getting things done.  If I sugar coat it, you’ll lose money and that is absolutely unacceptable to me.  Time and time again sellers have not taken my recommendation and ended up on the market longer than necessary and selling for less than had to be, just to “see what happens.”  I’ve been through 2 of these major cycles in my 19 years of doing this.  I can tell you what will happen.  I just did in these 10 points.

I hope you can appreciate the spirit in which I share this information with you.  If some of these were hard to read, then I did my job.  Nothing would make me happier than to sell your home for more money, yet nothing will frustrate you more than if I don’t sell it at all.

Outer Banks December Market Report      

While we do have a slowdown in activity over the winter months, the real estate market is not a total loss for December – February.  There are still buyers looking and sellers wanting to move on, so don’t discount us just because you can’t jump in the ocean during your visit right now.

This year we saw a few things happen that are noteworthy:

  • Inventory went up moderately over last year (about 10%)
  • Number of sales stayed roughly the same (up only 1%)
  • Prices remained steady going neither up nor down for most areas
  • Yet, price reductions are sgingerbread housetill required for most homes to sell
  • Once priced to attract an offer, homes are selling at about 93% to 95% of asking price
  • Average days on market is still topping 240 days (for those that sold)
  • Distressed properties are still lingering
  • The OBX market as a whole is at a 17 month supply of homes for sale
  • Condition and price are recognized as the most important factors for buyers

If you’ve thought about selling your home, don’t wait until the spring.  Here are 5 reasons to go ahead and list now!

  • People who look for a home during the holidays are more serious
  • There are fewer transactions so the deal can close faster
  • Buyers have more time to look during the holidays
  • There will be a 30% increase in listings in the Spring which could impact your price then versus now.

We’ve had an exciting year in sales for 2014.  With interest rates going NO WHERE for the time being, it seems likely we can have another strong year of sales for 2015.

If you have thought about either buying or selling in the new year, contact me so we can come up with a strategy for you.