March 2022 Market Update

Let’s talk about INVENTORY.  Most people don’t realize that inventory level is the key determining factor for real estate prices.  If I had a dollar for every time someone asked about the bridge in relationship to values, I would have a whole lot of dollars!  And yes, there are a lot of factors that play into value.

For example:

  • Condition – buyers today don’t want to fix old problems
  • Location – location has always been top of the list
  • Rentability – Not every buyer in our market cares about this, but it does help
  • Financing – Being able to get good terms
  • Insurance – Getting the best premiums makes the home more saleable

However, inventory levels trump all other factors when determining value.  Just 3 short years ago the inventory levels in Corolla were over 2 years.  Now, it’s barely one month.  The old faithful supply and demand is king when it comes to prices going up or down.

Let’s also realize these cycles historically (nearly 100 years worth of data) last for 20 years.  The last cycle began in 2000.  So regardless of COVID, we were due for an up market.  I do believe that COVID accelerated what should have taken 3 years to get where we are into 2 years.  That being said, the last up cycle lasted for 5 or 6 years.  It’s not clear how long this one will last.  Especially with everything going on, who knows.

What we do know is that watching the stats is the same as having a crystal ball.  Nothing can change until inventory levels change.  That doesn’t look to move any time soon.  We are just beginning the spring market where our inventory usually increases by 30%.

Here’s the number of homes currently for sale and under contract for each area.

Area                For Sale           Under Contract

Corolla –           22                    86

4 Wheel –         8                      8

Duck –              13                    23

Southern Sh     10                    16

Kitty Hawk      9                      8

KDH                 12                    53

Nags Head       12                    26

These numbers still blow my mind!  We all want to know what’s going to happen.  Here’s what we can count on, what goes up, must come down.  The big question is WHEN?  My answer, watch the inventory and you’ll know.  When we get back to 4 to 6 months, that’s when it will start.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions about buying or selling in this crazy market, give me a call!

May OBX Update

Let the May flowers bloom! 
We are gearing up for a super busy vacation season so far.  Keep in mind most of the Outer Banks is short-staffed and one of the big culprits is actually the housing crisis.  There is a huge lack of affordable houses available for year-round residents and that is creating a big crunch for the job market.  So if you’re visiting this year, be mindful everyone will be doing the best they can with the staff they have.

We love having you here!  

I’ve got 3 updates to share this month:

Mid-Currituck Bridge –  Well, no big surprise.  More delays.  Click HERE to read the article.
Summertime Selling? – While most people don’t think of selling mid-vacation season, there are actually some real advantages to it.  If you want to take advantage of the current market activity, there’s no reason to wait.  See the 5 reasons here.
Busy Vacation Season – I have some unofficial reports that off-season (shoulder week) bookings are up 68% for the Outer Banks.  Of course in season is fully booked across the board.  There was a very funny meme out recently that I thought worth sharing:
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5 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 5 reasons you could be missing out by waiting.

  1. 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. 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. 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. It’s a beach house! When does the beach look the best?  Summertime of course.  Your beach house will show the best with sun shining, deck chairs out, pool open, hot tub running!  Buyers get excited about these things and it helps to sell your home.
  5. 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.

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!

Corolla
57 Active listings 108 Under Contract

Duck
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!