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2015 North Carolina Housing Market Predictions

The North Carolina Housing Market is seeing a slow but steady increase in the past year in home values, and housing market predictions have this number rising still by this time next year. North Carolina is currently one of the fastest growing states in the country. In addition to its lifestyle and affordability, North Carolina boasts a strong job market. Most notably, NC’s strong market revolves around the technology, sciences, and education industries. North Carolina is also home to a major banking center in the city of Charlotte. The state now ranks third in the country as a major filmmaking location. North Carolina experienced an increase in nonfarm payrolls by 2.8%, outshining the national increase of only 2.3%. And, with job growth comes increased housing demand.

The housing boom and bust hit North Carolina less severely than that of the rest of the country. Home prices dropped less dramatically so the resurgence has also been less dramatic during the ensuing recovery. Home prices in the North Carolina housing market only stand 4.8% below their pre-recession peak compared to the national average (which sits at a whooping 13.4% below the pre-recession peak). Let’s examine some of the factors in predicting the North Carolina housing market trends for 2015. We’ll also be looking into key North Carolina real estateareas that are experiencing significant growth trends. These areas include Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Click here to compare these numbers to the 2013 North Carolina housing market.

Influencing Factors for the 2015 North Carolina Housing Market

  • North Carolina Housing MarketNorth Carolina currently holds a median home value of $146,500, which is a .4% increase over the previous year. According to Zillow, housing market predictions have this increasing another 3% by this time next year. That means that the same house that is valued at $146,500 could be worth $150,000 in 2016.
  • The median sale price for houses is $171,725. This could be a sign that as more young professionals enter the housing market the higher end houses are outselling those of lower value.
  • The percentage of delinquent on mortgage is 5.2%, which is lower than the national average of 6.3%. This occurs when the homeowner cannot make their mortgage payment. Mortgage delinquency is often the forerunning factor leading up to a foreclosure.
  • North Carolina home values will be impacted by foreclosures for the foreseeable future. The number of homes foreclosed per 1,000 is 3.8, slightly below the national average of 3.9. Foreclosures can be a great pickup for cash buyers, as banks will be looking to get something in return for their investment. However, foreclosures can be tough for homebuyers to get approval for a mortgage loan. Vacant properties tend to affect surrounding home values negatively.
  • Houses spend an average of 126 days on the market. This time last year the average number of days a house stayed on the market was 94 days. While this may seem like cause for alarm this number has fluctuated frequently in the past 5 years. The overall trend is that houses are spending less time on the market.
  • 1% of homes have negative equity, meaning the homeowners owe more than their house is worth. This may be due to homeowners still taking on a large mortgage from before the real estate crash and have not refinanced, or simply homeowners who paid more for their home simply due to demand.
  • Median sale price per square inch is $102, down from $105 a year ago.
  • Interest rates on mortgages look to remain relatively low this fiscal year, following the national trend. North Carolina is averaging 3.9% on a 30 year fixed mortgage. The national market average is 3.93%.
  • Investors can look to take advantage of increased rental prices. North Carolina averages $1,127 per month in listed rental prices. These prices continue the upward rental price trend seen in North Carolina the past four years when the average was $973 per month in 2011.

Best Places to Live in North Carolina

“Forecasters generally agree Charlotte has fully recovered from the Great Recession and is expanding once again,” says Adam O’Daniel of the Charlotte Business Journal. According to Zillow Charlotte NChas a home value index of $148,300. Charlotte North Carolina real estate reported a significant slowdown in home value appreciation last year. At the end of 2013 the home value appreciation was showing a year-to-year increase of 7.8%. So while a drop to 3.3% might seem like a large decrease the Charlotte real estate market has rounded out to a more modest pace; the current rate could not be sustained much longer.

At the beginning of this year the average sale price for the Charlotte market was around $227,000. The conforming loan limit for Mecklenburg county (where Charlotte is located) is currently $417,000. Mortgage loans that can be sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae cannot exceed this amount. This is a good sign for buyers. When loan limits are higher than median prices, as they are in Charlotte, anyone buying a home should be able to find a reasonably sound real estate investment within the conforming loan limits. To put it in layman terms, buyers using standard mortgage financing have plenty of options when shopping for a house.

So how will home values do this year? The general consensus is that prices nationwide will increase more gradually in 2015 compared to last year. The number of in the Charlotte market rose by over 8% over the last 12 months. This is another contributing factor for anyone buying a house in Charlotte to have more options to choose from. So the takeaway is that home prices in the area are expected to rise throughout this year but not as much as in previous years.

Charlotte saw an unemployment rate that peaked at 12.6% in 2010. Since then, the rate fell below 6% today. Charlotte is the second-largest banking center in the nation behind only New York City. This strong economy draws in young professionals from around the country. The strength in the local economy puts more people in a position to buy a home and adds another positive trend for Charlotte as economic strength drives housing demand.

We expect mortgage rates to remain below 5%, home prices to increase, and Charlotte’s economy and job market to steadily improve. “We’re looking at the best year in terms of economic growth that we’ve had in almost a decade,” says N.C State economist Mike Walden. All of these contributing factors make Charlotte one of the best places to live in North Carolina.

Like Charlotte, Raleigh North Carolina real estate has seen a significant increase in real estate and the economy. Both cities have led the recovery for the past couple of years and outgrew the rest of the state from 2010 to 2013 according to the Wells Fargo Economic Outlook for 2015. Zillow has a home value index for Raleigh to be $185,000. Predictions look for the housing market to continue to increase with the urban market set to see the most improvement. Both Midtown and Downtown Raleigh have seen many revitalization projects over the past few years. As a result many more shopping, dining, and entertainment venues have begun to appear. The commercial real estate vacancy rate has elevated but this is due to the completion of several retail spaces in anticipation of the increase in revenue. With a surplus in young professionals and families making their way to the metro area more condominium and rehab projects are expected. This trend means that average sale prices in Raleigh will continue to rise.

Asheville North Carolina Real Estate experienced quick home price gains following the recession but home price appreciation has slowed in the past year. But despite the slight stagnation in home appreciation sales activity increased and home sales rose 5% last year. This is in large part due to the increase in population. Asheville is expected to add 50,000 residents by 2030 according to Citizen-Times. With job growth picking up to accommodate the influx of migrant homebuyers look for Asheville to continue to build economically.

Wilmington North Carolina real estate has a median home value of $223,504 according to, making it some of the most expensive North Carolina real estate. The home appreciation rates in the last year were up nearly 9%, and in the last 10 years Wilmington has had some of the highest home appreciation rates of any community in the United States. For a homebuyer or investor Wilmington has a track record for being one of the nation’s best long-term real estate investments.

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UNITED REAL ESTATE Opens Third Franchise in North Carolina

United Real Estate Opens Third Franchise in North Carolina
KANSAS CITY, MO, May 23, 2015 /24-7PressRelease/ — United Real Estate, a fast-growing real estate and franchise operation company, announces the addition of a new office in Raleigh, NC, increasing the company’s presence within key real estate markets nationwide. After owning and operating Pan Realty LLC, Tristan Pan recently announced his conversion to a United Real Estate franchise.

“The core of our business has always been service,” said Tristan Pan, Broker. “United Real Estate provides our agents with the tools, technology and marketing to better serve their clients. We couldn’t be happier to partner with a company that ‘thinks differently,’ just like we do.”

Having been involved in almost every aspect of real estate in North Carolina, Travis Everette will be serving as the managing broker. As a North Carolina Real Estate Commission-approved instructor and school director, Everette will help to enhance the careers of his team and grow the United Real Estate – Raleigh business. As an expert in accomplishing difficult sales and providing outstanding service, Everette is a leading voice in both real estate and business development.

“Having seen the various business models in our industry, I couldn’t be more excited about taking this next step,” said Everette. “United Real Estate provides solutions to the challenges that our agents face every day. I am confident that our team will excel as a United Real Estate office.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to now have the United Real Estate brokerage model available to all the real estate agents in the greater Raleigh area,” said Peter Giese, President, United Real Estate. “The ownership and management group at United Real Estate – Raleigh is impressive and we are thrilled to welcome them and their agents to the United Real Estate brand.”

With its full-service, 100-percent commission business model, the company provides a competitive solution to all real estate agents with the latest training, marketing, technology and access to a national referral network.

Also operating in North Carolina are United Real Estate – Asheville and United Real Estate – East Carolina, which opened earlier in 2015. For more information on United Real Estate’s agent-centric, full-service offering please visit

To learn more about United Real Estate – Raleigh, please contact Travis Everette at (919) 301-8777.

A Closer Look at United Real Estate

United Real Estate – a division of the United Real Estate Group – was founded with the purpose of offering solutions to the challenges facing agents in the residential real estate brokerage industry. Providing the latest training, marketing and technology tools to both agents and brokers under a 100-percent commission strategy, United Real Estate makes it more profitable for an agent to sell real estate and for real estate brokers to leverage a complete system to better grow a successful, thriving real estate brokerage. Named as a “frontrunner” in the real estate industry in the 2013 Swanepoel TRENDS Report, United Real Estate has more than 20 offices and over 1,500 agents. Through a worldwide franchise solution, United continues to rapidly expand.

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AVL new normal houses go to the nimble buyers

From the last quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, which ended on March 31, the number of home sales in Buncombe County, not including Asheville, spiked 29.2 percent.
Matt and Sarah Leggat got so used to having their offers rejected they developed a feel for who handled it best.

That would be Sarah. For Matt Leggat, the couple’s three-month search for a home turned into a blur of living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.

“We started in February and found a place a week ago,” said Matt Leggat, 43, a seventh-grade language arts teacher. “And that’s after pretty much constant looking.”

The Leggats’ experience reflects the new normal in Asheville and Buncombe County. Competition for residences in hot neighborhoods such as West Asheville has become so intense that real estate agents counsel clients to open bidding with offers several thousand dollars above asking price — within minutes of completing a tour.

From the last quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, which ended on March 31, the number of home sales in Buncombe County, not including Asheville, spiked 29.2 percent, according to data from Mike Figura, owner and broker of Community Lifestyle Mosaic Realty in Asheville.

In raw numbers, that’s a leap to 513 sold, up from 397.

The number of houses available for sale also has taken a dive, particularly in Asheville.

A dearth of homes priced at $250,000 or below in Asheville has sent buyers outside the city, something that held true for the Leggats.

A seller accepted a bid the Leggat family submitted on a place east of Asheville, just inside the Buncombe County line. Learning from their previous failures, the Leggats’ bid was higher than the asking price.

The sub-$300,000 house is under contract and their scheduled move-in is mid-June. But West Asheville had been the couple’s first choice.

“We found a great place and we’re really excited,” said Sarah Leggat, 42, an accountant. “We think it’s going to be wonderful.”

As home sales have taken off in Asheville and Buncombe County, a low inventory of houses on the market has driven down sales.

Beginning in the last quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2015, the number of home sales in Asheville fell to 239 from 252, a drop of 5.1 percent.

The dynamic appears to be a repeat of 2005-08, when Asheville housing prices last peaked, Figura said.

“Buyers were priced out of the city so they moved to the county where they could get more house for their money,” he said. “Since the last real estate crash in 2008, prices have risen more quickly in the city of Asheville than in the county in general, making the county more affordable relative to the city.”
The rising regional home prices mirror a national trend pushed by the demand for more mortgages and tight housing inventory, economist Ian Shepherdson, named The Wall Street Journal’s 2014 forecaster of the year, reported last week.

“It seems reasonable to expect the increase in (mortgage) applications to translate into rising home sales,” said Shepherdson, chief economist for New York-based Pantheon Macroeconomics, an economics intelligence company.

“That, in turn, ought to be followed by rising housing construction, given the very low level of inventory,” Shepherdson said.

Real-estate experts generally consider a healthy market to contain a six-month inventory of homes for sale.

At the national level, this year’s first quarter showed a five-month inventory.

Shepherdson predicted that would be “enough to signal sustained 6 percent to 8 percent gains in new home prices.”

And, he added, “History suggests that when the trend in new home sales rises, increased construction usually is not far behind.”

But the lack of land in the Asheville region means a comparable burst of activity, particularly in the sub $250,000 price range, might not follow, said Jim Smith.

He is a nationally renowned economics forecaster and chief economist for Asheville-based wealth-management advising company, Parsec Financial Inc.

Additionally, inventory in Asheville and Buncombe County remains much lower than the national numbers, and home prices keep rising — even for residences that are not deemed livable, Figura said.

During the first quarter of 2015, the inventory in Asheville for houses selling between $200,000 and $250,000 was 1.9 months, according to Figura’s data. During the same time period in 2012, the inventory was 8.9 months.

Buncombe County’s also relatively low inventory, though not as stark, shows a competitive market, too. It stood at 3.6 months for houses in that same price range during that same time period.

For houses in the $250,000 to $300,000 range, Asheville’s inventory was 2.4 months in this year’s first quarter. The county’s inventory was 6.5 months.

At lower price ranges, the inventory in the city declines further. For houses priced up to $100,000, the inventory was 0.7 months.

Most houses on the Asheville market for below $150,000 are not move-in ready, Figura said.

Sarah Leggat described the couple’s home-buying experience as an “emotional rollercoaster.”

They put in multiple offers that weren’t accepted. Other times, a house in which they were interested would vanish from the listings before they had the opportunity to bid.

Then, there were the places with very high prices, very small square footage and a lot of repair and refurbishing work required after move-in.

“We went into this, pre-approved (for a mortgage) and ready to roll,” Sarah Leggat said. “We learned we had to jump at every house where there might be an opportunity.”

The three-year residents of West Asheville said they did everything they could to stay in their neighborhood because it has what they want.

They love that they can walk with their two daughters, Ruby, 10, and Nora, 7, and their yellow Labrador retriever, Bo, to places like The Hop West ice cream shop.

Ruby and Nora both attend Vance Elementary School in West Asheville, and will continue to do so. And Matt and Sarah Leggat enjoy the architectural oddities that are part of so many of West Asheville homes.

No sign of a housing bubble

Maggie Marshall, the Leggats’ real estate agent, works for Mosaic. She has been an agent for six years. Before that she was a house appraiser for four.

“What we’re seeing now is the backup of people who didn’t find anything in the fall and winter,” Marshall said.

The bidding wars have become especially intense during the last two months, she said.

“Before, you had time to negotiate,” Marshall said. “Now, that’s not true.”

And in all cases, Marshall’s clients “are getting beaten out by people from out of the area where home prices are higher,” she said.

Because of such battles, “it feels like there’s been a huge price increase.”

Sellers twice have increased the house price in between the time Marshall booked the appointment for her clients to see the house and when they arrived, she said.

Data showing what’s happening in the market today won’t be available until July, Figura said.

But for two consecutive quarters, the median home price in Asheville has been $225,000 – equaling the highest median price home costs hit in 2007, before the Great Recession.

Figura emphasized that what’s happening here is no bubble.

The low inventory, the absence of house-flipping and the fact that it’s cheaper to buy a house than it is to rent all demonstrate no real-estate bubble exists, Figura said.

Simultaneously, the median price of house in Buncombe County from the last quarter of 2014 through this year’s first quarter actually fell to $206,000 from $211,000, Figura’s data show.

“That’s because more people are buying at lower price ranges in the county,” Figura said. “There’s more activity in the lower price range because people can’t afford the prices in the city.”

If that trend continues, Figura said he predicts that county inventory will tighten enough that within a year and a half, prices in the lower ranges will begin to escalate.

Then, houses in cities including Arden, Black Mountain, Candler and Weaverville no longer might be the relative bargains they are today.


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Artists develop multimillion dollar riverside property

Artists develop multimillion dollar riverside property

CaptureA group of artists and investors purchased a parcel on Riverside Drive earlier this month, and they plan to rent the 108,850 square feet of warehouse space to woodworkers, glass blowers and other artists.

The 4-acre parcel, 750 Riverside Drive, sold at the end of April for $2.2 million. It sits at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Broadway, near UNC Asheville and The Bywater bar.

Rick Eckerd, a longtime Asheville resident and glass artist, met Brent Starck, a woodworker, while the two were looking for real estate for their respective pursuits. They decided to collaborate, along with a roster of investors that includes commercial real estate adviser Eddie Dewey, an architect and a civil engineer.

Eckerd came to Asheville more than two decades ago after a stint at Penland School of Crafts. During his time here, he’s been involved with numerous Asheville projects, including Highland Brewing, Grovewood Gallery, Wedge Brewing and the Asheville Art Museum.

“We’re a group of like-minded individuals who aren’t necessarily big on profits,” Eckerd said. “Artists are as important as anything to what has made this town happen.”

The property contains two large warehouses. In the building at the southern end of the parcel, Eckerd plans to establish Riverglass, a fine art, educational glass blowing nonprofit, and Starck will open a collaborative woodworking studio.

Eckerd said the close proximity of the creators will energize everyone involved.

Starck, who operated Drift Studio in Madison, Wisconsin, before moving south, said the space is geared toward makers who use heavy equipment. “It’s nice to have a space where you can actually have tools,” he said. “It would be hard to have a wood studio in a place where everybody else was painting or writing because wood shops are dirty and noisy.”

He envisions a “community that accepts dirt and mess.”

The southern building previously housed a factory that manufactured wood pallets. On the northern end of the parcel, a slightly larger building is already partially rented. Astral, a company that designs and manufactures kayaking gear, will remain in the space. The other half of the building has retail potential, the partners agree, but they’re not certain what it will become.

Whoever leases that space, Starck said, they’ll likely make something. He doesn’t expect to rent to a boutique clothing store or something of that nature. “It’s going to be more about building the right culture rather than what people make,” he said.

The partners agree that the property’s $2.2 million price tag sounds large, but the cost per square foot of the purchase — about $20 — should keep the rents affordable.

Starck, who had a previous career in software, said rising property costs in Asheville will make these kinds of art-based real estate deals unlikely in coming years.

“The writing is on the wall,” he said. “In not too long, it would be difficult to do this.”

Emily Patrick, [email protected] 2:05 p.m. EDT May 7, 2015

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Will Asheville debate downtown affordable housing?

RALEIGH Concerned about a lack of affordable housing downtown, some city councilmen say 1.2 acres the city owns there should be developed with low-cost residential units and some say it should be sold to the highest bidder.

Sound familiar? It might soon enough. As reported in Thursday’s News & Observer, the city of Raleigh is grappling with just what to do with a valuable piece of real estate now used for parking on Hillsborough St. on the western side of downtown.

Asheville’s debate over what to do with land across Haywood Street from the U.S. Cellular Center and Basilica of St. Lawrence has pitted advocates of a park against those who say the land should go to a hotel or parking or both, although the plethora of downtown hotel plans nowadays means city officials have backed away from the hotel idea.

Given the city’s well documented shortage of affordable housing, might we expect a future discussion along the lines of the one Raleigh is having now?

It might be cheaper to build affordable housing elsewhere because of the high land costs downtown, but the site’s proximity to public transportation and jobs would lower the cost of living for those who lived on the site. Of course, a few years back people were complaining that too many condominiums were proposed downtown.

Or, the city could sell the land for as much as it can get and dedicate the proceeds to affordable housing efforts. That possibility has come up in the Raleigh discussion.

One difference between Raleigh and Asheville is that the alternative use in Raleigh would be for a tower of up to 20 stories with offices or condos while some in Asheville are still pushing a park.

But to use a much-overused phrase, it is so Asheville to think that everything that happens in our small city is so Asheville and unlike the rest of the world. It ain’t necessarily so.

Article from:

Mark Barrett, [email protected]9:33 a.m. EDT May 7, 2015

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Ice Storm 2015 trolls Asheville Businesses


Some viewed it as an expected winter weather event for February in Appalachia. Others said they would have preferred snow.

ASHEVILLE – Members of Asheville’s business community had mixed reactions to the coat of ice that winter storm Octavia painted on the area Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Most agreed that the freezing precipitation harmed revenues during Tuesday’s business hours.

Yet some viewed it as an expected winter weather event for February in Appalachia. Others said they would have preferred snow, which can be removed relatively easily, over the slick multi-layered ice atop the roads and sidewalks.

“We’re pretty used to this,” said Franzi Charen, director of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, a network of independent businesses that provides resources and support to local merchants.

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Superfund site near N.C. homes causes uproar

Superfund site near N.C. homes causes uproar

new-housing-developmentvia Associated Press | ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Developer Richard Green had nearly everything in place to build upscale homes on the heavily polluted land next to an old electronic components plant in the mountains outside Asheville. All he needed was a permit.
So when the local board of adjustment asked whether the site had hazardous materials, Green said there was only a slight level of the cancer-causing industrial solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE, below the factory. He then said he had a letter from state environmental regulators saying they were OK with the construction plans. They say they weren’t.
Another developer, Stanley Greenberg, told the board that federal environmental regulators also had given a green light to build. They say they hadn’t.
By the time of that August 1997 meeting, Greenberg and the partners had known about the contamination at the plant for a decade and were preparing to sell much of the land to Green for development of a project called Southside Village, according to an Associated Press review of documents that reveal how a subdivision came to be built next door to what is now a Superfund site.
Two years ago, the EPA named the 9 acres beneath and immediately around the former CTS Corp. factory among the nation’s worst abandoned hazardous waste sites.
“Who’s going to buy property … next to a Superfund site?” said Judy Selz, who did purchase 3 acres in Southside Village in 2006 — six years before the Superfund designation — and is one of dozens of land and homeowners worried now about whether it’s safe to live there.

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Real Estate People in Asheville NC 2014

Real Estate People in Asheville NC 2014

Century 21 Weaverville, 145 Garrison Branch Road, named their top agents for November.

Sales agent: Norval Hensley

List agent: D.J. Sours

Production agent: Norval Hensley and Carl Whitt.

Carney Place honored with award

Carney Place, a 22-home neighborhood in West Asheville, was honored with a 2014 Housing North Carolina Award, presented during the 25th annual Housing North Carolina Awards luncheon at the Raleigh Convention Center on Oct. 15.

The award recognizes the partnership between the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and the city of Asheville that created an affordable, energy-efficient community of single-family homes available to moderate-income buyers.

Keller Williams names top producers

Keller Williams Professionals, 86 Asheland Ave., named their top agents for October.

Group: Patton and Lee Group for closed, listing and written volume.

Team: Clevenger Bailey Team for written volume, Team Streppa for closed volume and WNC Realty Professionals for listing volume.

Individual: Vicki Dunkerley for written volume, Rory Heller for closed volume and Jason Brodsky for listing volume.

For listing volume: group

Second: Broker Asheville

Third: Asheville And Beyond Real Estate Group


Second: The Local Team

Third: Mountain Connect Team


Second: Vicki Dunkerley

Third: Mary Love

Lapointe named training coordinator with Exit

Wanda Marie Lapointe is Exit Realty Vistas new training coordinator.

Lapointe is a broker with Exit Realty Vistas, one of the fastest growing real estate firms in the Carolinas. A Realtor since 2012, she has been affiliated with Exit Realty Vistas for two years.

She is a member of the Asheville Board of Realtors, an Accredited Buyer Representative, a Preferred Agent with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, has earned the OwnAmerica Investment Certification awarded by the OwnAmerica Network, a national affiliation of real estate investment specialists, and is a certified Peak Producer Mentor through Buffini and Company.

Lapointe comes with an extensive background of more than 15 years as a speaker, trainer and Certified Master Coach through the Behavioral Coaching Institute.

Exit Realty Vistas is at 4 Long Shoals Road. Visit for more information.

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