Happy New Year from the OBX

Hello and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the OBXWhat an interesting few years in the real estate world, and the world in general!  I got to spend a good bit of time with my niece and nephew over the last 18 months and do a little bit of traveling.  After 26 years in the business, I was so grateful and fortunate to have the opportunity to still assist some new and past clients while enjoying that precious time with family!
Market Update – I’m excited for what’s to come in 2023, and I’m sure you’re curious about what the market climate is right now.  Here’s a link to my 2023 Real Estate Market Predictions.  Hint, under contract and sold properties are already down 50% from this time last year.  What do you think will happen next?
Suggestions – As I gear up to write these informative messages to you, I’d like to know if there’s any specific topic you want to know more about.  Message me with your ideas!
Construction Projects – If you are interested in doing any work to your home this spring, I have a carpenter who actually has the next few weeks open.  His skill level is vast and can handle most small to moderate-sized jobs.  Flooring, decking, windows, some siding jobs, bathrooms, drywall, etc.  Contact me for more information.
2023 Goals – It is my goal to help 33 families buy or sell on the Outer Banks this year.  If you or anyone you know is interested, I would love to help!

2023 Outer Banks Market Predictions

After a few years of a WILD RIDE, things are finally starting to stabilize here at the beach.  A normal market (no real swing in value up or down) is defined by an inventory of 4 to 6 months.  We are currently just under a 5-month inventory, putting us smack in the middle of that range.  With this as our starting point, where might we be headed?

Pricing – Currently, pricing still feels on the high end.  The 15 buyer deep multiple offer scenarios are long gone, but we haven’t quite seen a sharp change in pricing just yet.  However, would you be surprised to know that even in the thickest part of the frenzy, still, 50% of all properties sold were for LESS than the asking price?  Below is a comparison of what the market did in January of 2022, fast forward to November, and then the average for the entire year of 2022.

2022 Closings          Jan %                     Nov %                        YTD%

Full Price                     23.86%                        22.05%                        23.90%

Over List Price             21.05%                        15.90%                        25.54%

Under List Price          55.09%                        62.05%                        50.55%

PREDICTION #1 – 2023 by year’s end we will move to 80% of homes will sell for less than list price.

Activity –  As I mentioned in the email, we are already seeing a 52% drop in the number of properties under contract as well as 50% drop in the number of sold from this same time last year.  Under contract percentage of inventory hit a peak of 48% and is now down to 26%.  So activity has SHARPLY moved downward.  An inventory bump of only 10% would push us over a 6 month supply and that is when we will likely see a major effect in pricing.

PREDICTION #2 – By June/July, the inventory will peak to a 7 or 8 month supply and pricing will start to be greatly affected.

Rentals – With the airline industry crippled in personnel shortages, among other things, including cost, our rental season will continue to be very strong this year.  People will prefer driving destinations over flights.  Our own rental numbers continue to show a steady growth patter for 2023.

PREDICTION #3 – If you do desire to buy or sell, rental income will remain a good investment strategy.

Interest Rates – We are seeing rates right around 7% for conforming, unless you choose the ARM option for either 7 or 10 years depending on the lender.  Banks right now are showing more favorable terms because they are able to designate more money to shelf these loans long term.  We know the FED wants to slow the interest rate increases, but with the recent $1.7 Trillion bill passed, it’s unclear how they will do that.

PREDICTION#4 – It looks like rates will hover in the 6.5% to 7.5% range.  If you want to take a chance on an ARM, that can get you lower.

Buyers – It’s no secret that the market is mid-cycle.  All the economic factors are present.  So if you want to sell your home in 2023, before things cycle back down, it’s important to understand the current buyer mindset.  Fewer buyers are in the marketplace, and as inventory goes up, it will start to push prices down.  However, I still believe real estate to be one of the best investments to make in an uncertain economy.  Why?  The value of the dollar is ever decreasing.  Real Estate is a tangible asset.  It has value beyond the “sales price”.  It can generate passive income, be used personally, create some tax benefits, etc.  I’m not worried about being able to find a buyer for your home.  What I do know is that financial experts will advise buyers to pay less in anticipation of a pricing adjustment.  This only means you have to truly strategize all aspects of the sale, not just price.

PREDICTION#5 – Condition, price, seller concessions for buying down points, lower due diligence offerings, staging the home, will become even more valuable negotiation points than we have seen in the last 2 years.

I’m personally excited for the market in 2023.  This is when truly skilled agents get to shine!  Negotiation skills and strategy will be more important, and so will having a professional on your side. If you have any questions about buying or selling, reach out!

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.