There aren’t enough flame emojis on the Internet to describe the Asheville housing market. In 2022, the median home in Buncombe County sold for $450,000, a 12.5% jump year-over-year. Yowza. 🔥
Despite a softening of home sales this fall, prices show few signs of cooling off. But for those hoping to dip their toes in the home buying waters soon, it helps to know what trends to expect. Put on your floaties, and let’s hear what the local experts predict.
Things will cool down… kind of
Neal Hanks, president of Beverly-Hanks, shared in a Q3 Market Report that a big takeaway for 2022 is that “momentum remains strong, albeit at a significantly different pace than at this same time a year ago.” That means “while the days of skyrocketing listing prices and intense competition may be behind us for now, the demand for housing in the region will continue to grow.”
Aaron Kreizman, a real estate agent at Looking Glass Realty, confirms this projection: “Properties are sitting on the market a bit longer and sellers are starting to collect smaller percentages of their original asking price, but only by a little bit.”
Don’t rule out Canton and Woodfin
Buyers hoping to find areas with less competition may also want to think about checking out Woodfin or Canton. Kreizman said there may be some deals in these areas — but he noted “the tide is rising” there, too, since Woodfin is seeing major developments along the French Broad River, including expanded greenway systems and a human-engineered whitewater “wave.”
Since Canton is home to the Champion Pulp and Paper Mill, Kreizman explained, outsiders may scoff at the chemical smell — but it’s “slowly becoming a haven for artistic trend setters priced out of Asheville. And in my opinion, you don’t even notice the smell after spending a day or two in town.”
Expanding your search radius will help
While median home prices for single-family homes in Asheville are above $460,000, areas in Rutherford, Yancey + Mitchell counties are in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.
Madison County, home to the up-and-coming town Marshall (where The Peripheral was recently filmed), is also a bit more affordable, with median homes selling for $410,000. And in the nearby Transylvania County, homes are averaging $452,000.
Worth it to wait?
It might be. According to Beverly-Hanks, mortgage rates took a significant hike (hovering at 7% as of this report) in response to the Federal Reserve’s increase in the federal funds rate.
If you’re a cash buyer, Kreizman recommends waiting to see what happens over the next few months. “If we see prices and interest rates level out, buy ASAP because prices will likely increase as things return to ‘normal’.” And if we start to see larger dips? Watch it for a bit and “swoop in when you feel comfortable, as no one knows when a market prices will reach a bottom point before rebounding.”
For folks looking at a mortgage, he suggests finding a quality lender and having consistent conversations with them to lock in your interest rate at the right time.
“A percentage point here or there on an interest rate can mean the difference of hundreds or thousands on your monthly payment.” However, he adds, “there’s no bad time to get in on the market if you’re planning on holding onto the house for more than a few years... even if values drop, Asheville bounces back faster than the national average.”
What about renting?
According to a recent study by Attom Data Solutions, it’s actually more affordable to rent than buy a home in Buncombe County. However, that doesn’t mean renting in the 828 is easy, either. “There have been very low levels of vacancies for rentals in Asheville for many years,” said Kriezman.”
However, we should see notable increases in housing supply over the next few years, according to data from the City of Asheville. In 2022, the City issued more than twice as many multi-family permits as it did in 2021, with ten projects totaling about $116 million.