First Quarter Asheville Area Luxury Property Report
Welcome to our first quarter Asheville region luxury real estate report in partnership with Christie’s International Real Estate.
The Asheville area luxury market got off to a solid start for 2018. While most areas lagged last year’s first quarter results early on in the mid-luxury price segment ($500,000 to 999,000), most communities have since seen a large surge in pending contracts in recent weeks. This portends an active second quarter, likely exceeding 2017’s similar period. In the upper end segment (values exceeding $1 million) the market continued to surge coming off a strong second half of last year. The past two quarters have seen 42 homes sold over $1 million in value in Buncombe County alone, vs 28 last year, an increase of 50%. Continuing the positive trend, there are 16 pending contracts over $1 million in the county and showings are up over last year, both data points indicating we’ll see a very solid first 6 months of 2018 in the high end market.
We’ve provided snapshot first quarter breakdowns of all of Asheville’s key communities, with both sold and pending contract activity compared to last year, while also providing analysis of showing appointment trends as we move into the second quarter. Showing appointment trends are one of the better forward looking forecasting tools as of course an increase in showings generally results in an increase in contract activity. In general, the mid and upper level luxury segments continue to see a surge in activity, with the million dollar plus upper end seeing double digit increases in sold and pending contracts. We also provide some overview of activity in the price segment below $500,000 in some of the region’s more popular communities.
Grove Park and Montford
The “in town” neighborhoods of Grove Park and Montford saw very solid upticks in both the mid-luxury range between $500,000 and $1 million, as well as the upper end above $1 million (while the entry level price segment started slower). Closings more than doubled in both luxury ranges while pending contracts ended the first quarter with a surge of 13 homes pending in the upper segments. This upward trend in activity appears to not only be replicating the traditional spring cycle, but given showings are running ahead of the same period in 2017, sold results will likely follow, exceeding last year’s 2nd quarter totals.
The first quarter’s high dollar sale in this area was a 1.85 million dollar historic home by Ivester Jackson I Christie’s on Macon Avenue.
Ivester Jackson | BlackStream | Christie’s Listings
in Grove Park and Montford
North Asheville saw growth in both the $250-500,000 and $500-999,000 range, with mid-luxury level closings and showings jumping significantly. Pending sales in the mid level market predict a solid second quarter. Showings for homes in the mid luxury range jumped 40% from the first quarter 2017 numbers. There was a slight decrease in showings at the $1,000,000 plus level, however the 115 total showings represent some of the highest million dollar showing activity in the region and this area continues to draw a solid audience in the upper price points.
Biltmore Forest and Biltmore Park
The communities of Biltmore Forest and Biltmore Park saw a slightly slower start to 2018 than last year’s first quarter, 6 homes closing vs 17 in early 2017. The upper price ranges started to show some positive momentum in March, with 4 homes over $1 million in list price going under pending contracts. Showing appointments had also declined in the price range below $1 million, while actually ticking upward in the range above $1 million, which should point to a solid 2nd quarter in that price range given here 121 total showings over $1 million vs 107 last year.
Fairview and Cane Creek
The Fairview and Cane Creek areas continued to emerge as popular destinations in the mid-level luxury and upper level price segments. Sold and pending contracts jumped in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 2017, with the million dollar listing range seeing a 1200% spike in showings, from just 3 last year, to 39 the first 3 months of the year. Like other areas of Asheville, interest in million dollar properties in the Fairview area has for the most part seen a significant jump in the past 6 months.
Ivester Jackson | Blackstream | in Fairview
The West Asheville housing market continues to thrive. First quarter closings are up in both the $250-500,000 and $500,000+ range from 2017. Housing prices are also on an upward trend, with new projects in the area pushing up into the $700,000 plus range in value, as showings in the $500,000+ mid-luxury market increased 65% from 2017.
Fletcher and Arden
The communities of Arden and Fletcher saw an increase in both closed and pending activity in the lower price segments as closings jumped 50% and showings in the $250-499k range jumped over 40%. While the mid-price luxury segment saw a slight decrease in closings, pending contracts also jumped, and the luxury range above $1 million emerged with 2 sold homes and 4 more pending contracts to go along with a burst in showing activity above $1 million in list price. Showings in the top end of the market jumped from 25 total showings last year in the area, to 58 in this year’s first quarter, pointing to more contracts in this range for the second quarter.
Ivester Jackson | BlackStream Arden & Fletcher Listings
While Henderson County’s lower price segment showed a solid 20% jump in sold and pending activity on very active showing interest, it was the luxury price segments above $500,000 and $1 million which shown brightly as the first quarter of 2018 closed. The mid-luxury segment saw an increase of over 30% in closings and went into the second qtr with 23 homes pending, while the upper luxury market over $1 milliion spiked with 8 pending home sales heading into the quarter on a 400% spike in showings. Luxury consumers are actively evaluating Hendersonville and surrounding areas as an option in the upper end.
Ivester Jackson BlackStream Hendersonville Listings
Black Mountain saw a slower start to 2018, with a 33% decrease in homes between 250-500, and a 20% decrease in 500-1m market. However with 13 and 4 pending sales, respectively, the second quarter is on track to surpass Q1. There was been a 67% increase of showings in the 500-999k range of homes.
The Transylvania county area including Brevard, saw a fairly solid start to the 2018 selling season, as the lower price segment recorded sold results in line with 2017’s first quarter, on a slight increase in showing activity. The mid and upper luxury ranges showed a positive trend with 12 homes closing vs 9 last year, and a 7% increase in showing activity which points to a slightly more positive outlook for the second quarter.
Asheville Market Forecast
As mentioned above, the luxury price range above $1 million in listed value continued to surge as it did in the second half of 2017. Buying activity spread from Asheville to surrounding areas, with Hendersonville seeing a spike in contracts on million dollar properties. The lower price points continued to be solid in almost every area as limited inventory continued to limit contractual activity in some areas. With the potential for several federal reserve rate hikes later in the year, the mid and lower markets could see some slowing as historically low rates finally begin to climb upward, however solid employment levels, corporate earnings, and tax rate reductions could offset rising rates. In the luxury segment, slight restrictions on both mortgage interest and property tax deductions will kick in this year, but may be offset by cash generated back into housing in the form of the corporate tax rate cut and what are likely to be solid corporate earnings results (and the stock option appreciation and bonus money that can flow through to this segment).
Overall, the region has seen a very positive start to 2018 and should exceed last year’s first half results, given the current momentum in the luxury price ranges.
We look forward to continuing to provide valuable market information and advice on your future real estate transactions.