In 2016, the owners of The Outer Banks Real Estate Company, Morgan Mason, and Jean-Paul (J-P) Peron more than doubled their company’s transactions over 2015. Their 87 completed transactions ranged in size and sales volume from vacant lots and family homes sales, to large oceanfront investment properties. It’s a good sign that the Outer Banks real estate market sales are picking up, especially since short sales and bank-owned sales are down 40% from 2015.
“This indicates a confidence in the future of the market. That confidence is a welcome change after a long period of uncertainty,” said Mason.
Finding reasons for the fluctuations in the market from one year to the next, can be tricky, as there are so many external variables. While the number of transactions increased on the Outer Banks in 2016, the price point mostly remained static. For example, real estate sales in Southern Shores over the last two years have seen fluctuations in average sale prices but no steady price increase. “The 2016 median sale price went up 11%, but the previous year the average value was down 16%,” said Mason. On the other hand, in Kill Devil Hills, where there are many single family home sales below $200,000, the median price was up 13% in 2016, however, fewer units were sold.
The overall real estate market saw an increase in the sales of condos, reaching the highest percentage of total sales since 2005. “If trends continue, it will break that record,” Mason said.
Another interesting fact is the uptick in cash buyers. Interestingly, the majority of these cash transactions took place at the high end of the market, properties valued at $450,000 and up. Mason attributes this change to the fact that it was an election year, causing uncertainty about the future economic climate. “It makes sense to me,” she said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen, buyers may get a better deal when they pay cash and real estate is a more reliable investment than the stock market.”
Here is a snapshot of this year’s results through November:
- Unit sales were down 1%, but the average price was up 2%.
- Volume of Land sales were up 6%.
- Single family detached home sales had their best year since 2005.
- New construction building permit requests were high in Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Hatteras.
- Currituck Mainland saw the median price increase by 8%.
- Sale prices were down 14% in Corolla.
- While prices in Southern Shores increased by 11%, the Duck sales price remained static.
- Inventory of residential properties for sale is down 11% and Lots/Land is down 21%
Putting these trends together allows us to have a snapshot of what may be ahead. Prices are increasing slightly, and inventory is decreasing. If mortgage rates continue to increase, with a decreasing inventory of available properties for sale, we may see a Seller’s Market again!
What do these trends suggest about the Outer Banks Real Estate market in 2017? Although no one can predict the future, the Outer Banks Real Estate Company has many marketing initiatives to keep the market fresh, and will continue to offer their diverse portfolio of investment properties, vacation second homes, single family homes for the year around residents, and exceptional oceanfront properties.