April, 2013 Real Estate Market Report

By: Bill Hitchcock

During the month of April beach water temperatures along the Crystal Coast always jump up 5, 7 even 10 degrees within a very short period of time. Not only does this rapid increase in water temperatures signal the beginning of great fishing along our coast but it is also the harbinger of  things to come in regards to real estate. This past April was no different.

There were a total of 122 residential properties sold during April. This does not include condos or townhouses. This marks the second highest number of home sold for the month of April since the real estate bubble bust back in 2007. Of the homes for sale during the month 6 percent of them got sold.

The average sold price for a Crystal Coast home was between $240K and $250K with the median price at around $180K. Keep in mind the Crystal Coast is a very diverse place with everything from multi-million dollar beachfront homes to backwoods cabins, So average and median sold prices need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Here is what I think is most significant about the Crystal Coast real estate market. Over-all there was a 17 month supply of homes during the month. 6 months is considered normal but 17 months is a far cry better than the 2 year supply we’ve been carrying around since about 2008. A declining supply means the market is improving and is growing healthier. But if you look at individual markets we see an even greater improvement. For example both Beaufort and Morehead City have gotten their inventories down to 11 months.

Crystal Coast Real Estate Market Report April 2013

The big news is how homes were purchased.  While 34 percent of the homes were purchased with a conventional loan and 31 percent with a VA loan a whopping 28 percent of the homes were paid for with no financing. That’s right, cash! The rate of cash sales is more than double the traditional “norm”, whatever they maybe these days. And believe it or not the rate of high cash purchases has been around for a while. This too is another indication of not only a growing market real estate market but attractive investment choice. Folks are drawing from other assets and putting it into real estate.

Days on market continues to be much longer than the “norm” whatever they maybe these days. Back in 2003-2004 it would be highly unusual if a home was on the market for more than 150-180 days before it got sold. In April we had average days on market as high as 480-500 days in locations like Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic. But a more true indication of the length of time it takes to sell a home is somewhere around 240-260 days.

The Crystal Coast real estate market is improving over-all. Certain areas like Morehead City, Beaufort, Newport and Emerald Isle are fairing much better now than in years past. In addition, some very specific opportunities have been presenting themselves regardless of the town or city they are in. And by “opportunities” I mean foreclosures and short sales. There were 17 of them bought during April or 14 percent of all homes sold.

If you would like a detailed market report of your neighborhood then contact Margaret Hitchcock at: (252) 269-2893 or email at: margaret@hitchcockrealty.net

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