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Busiest January Sales Month EVER?

February 13th, 2015 10:58 AM by Robbie Sharrett

January may have had record-breaking weather, but it also had record breaking sales in some real estate markets. 

I was totally slammed in January with showing property and writing offers and getting properties under contract.  I put five under contract in January while writing a total of 10 offers, which is not bad for these small North Carolina mountain towns around Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and Newland which typically have seasonal sales.  This is the busiest, most productive January I have had in more than 30 years of my real estate profession.

But, this surge in real estate purchases was not limited to our northwest North Carolina mountains.  A broker in Charleston, SC told me this week her company had their best January sales month EVER--her company covers an expansive area around Charleston and Summerville, SC. 

She and I had the same kinds of buyers, which was all kinds - primary home buyers, move-ups due to growing family, first time home buyers, job related relocations in or out of the area and second home buyers. 

Some local attorneys are so booked with real estate closings you cannot even schedule a Friday closing - there are no slots left.  

Buyers believe the all time low interest rates are in their last days and they know inventory is limited for affordable housing, so they are intent on making a home purchase if there is a house anywhere close to their needs.  Some buyers are loosening their parameters to get a better home, even if it means changing school districts, having a longer commute, making a larger down payment or working longer.  Other buyers are accepting less than they wanted in order to get a home with a smaller price tag(and most likely in need of repairs) and less commute.  And, some buyers are already priced out of the market, so they will continue to pay rent with relocation being a likely next step in order to get a better job and settle down in a more affordable area.

In the North Carolina mountains price pressure pushes home pricing upward for small homes near college towns like Boone or Banner Elk and near resort towns like Blowing Rock and Linville and near ski resorts like Sugar Mountain or Beech Mountain.

Rental properties continue to grow in numbers and still have high demand. Investors are making money off small homes in fair to average condition in college town areas which are walk-to-campus/take public bus. Homes with walk-to-the-ski-slope location are booked with vacation renters paying a LOT of money to stay in small and/or dated homes that are slopeside convenient. 

Inventory continues to be the conundrum in the Boone and Blowing Rock area - there is a LOT of inventory, but not a LOT of reasonably-priced, affordable inventory.  A buyer can either spend constant time on the internet trolling for new listings or procure a buyer agent who can keep eyes open for new listings OR soon-to-be-listeds and put that buyer on the immediate email notification list out of MLS. A good buyer agent actually can have the inside if they are constantly monitoring new listings in MLS. 

Second homes and luxury housing have a large inventory with long days on market.  The typical second home buyer is still tentative about the economy, their retirement, their job.  Unless there is a huge deal on a vacation home most second home buyers are not taking on more debt while they continue to recover from the devastation of the recession. 

Contact me if you have questions about buyer agency and immediate email notification of new listings.  

Posted by Robbie Sharrett on February 13th, 2015 10:58 AM


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