Housing trends in Cape Fear continue to decline, although prices remain on the rise

Almost all homes go under contract when they hit the market, according to Cape Fear Realtors 2021 President Tom Gale, although sales are down 12.4% in the Tri-County area from September 2020 to 2021. (Port City Daily / File)

SOUTHEAST NC – After a turbulent year for the real estate market, the Cape Fear area continues to experience a downturn, as first reported in August. The data shows an overall drop in stocks, a decrease in the number of sales concluded and a decrease in the number of first-time buyers. Yet median selling prices remain higher year over year.

According to a press release from Cape Fear Realtors (CFR), pending sales in the tri-county area – New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender – are down 12.4% for September 2021 from September 2020, and the number of first-time buyers decreased to 29%. This is the lowest level of first-time buyers in years, according to the National Association of Realtors, as bidding wars and the lack of affordable housing have had a significant impact on the market.

READ MORE: The results are here. The affordable housing crisis in Wilmington is as bad (or worse) than you might think

“We continue to see below-demand listing inventory with almost all homes signing up as soon as they hit the market,” 2021 CFR Chairman Tom Gale said in a press release. “As long as this trend continues, there will be upward pressure on prices.”

The cooling does not necessarily reflect a buyer’s market as inventory continues to decline and selling prices continue to rise.

Single-family home and townhouse / condo inventories are down 48% in the tri-county area from national levels, which are down 22% from October 2020 to October 2021. About a month ago supply in the Cape Fear area, which is the time it would take for available listings to become unavailable, with no new properties replacing them. Units sell out quickly, spending an average of 40 days on the market, compared to 69 days in September 2020.

While the numbers continue to drop in many areas, average selling prices remain high. The median selling price of homes in the Cape Fear area increased 14.2% year over year, but total sales volume continues to decline to 19.5% from October 2020 to October 2021 .

According to a press release from the Brunswick County Association of Realtors (BCAR), the average selling price of homes in Brunswick County increased 10.8%, to reach $ 432,131 in October 2021. Total sales volume for October 2021 compared to October 2020 decreased by 19.5%. with 23 sales equivalent to over $ 1 million and the highest being $ 2.75 million.

“While some national experts believe the market may be in the early stages of a cooling off, the Brunswick County market remains consistent,” BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh said in a press release. “Prices are going up and homes are selling fast. We expect our market to remain strong as winter approaches.

The downward trends in inventory and closed sales are also reflected in Pender County. As inventory becomes available, it is quickly retrieved. The available inventory lasts about 25 days on the market compared to 65 over a year. According to the CFR website, the Pender County median selling price rose 16.4% for single-family homes, but fell 26.3% for townhouses and condos.

Year-to-date market figures remain ahead of last year’s pace, CFR statement said, with total sales volume, average selling prices and number of units sold increasing compared to the previous year.

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