As we say good bye to 2018 and enter into the second month of 2019, we can reflect on some of the highlights in the real estate market last year. 2018 was a good year; however, there are a few trends that we should keep our eye on.
Total Sales for December were flat (less than a 1% change from December 2017) and are down 6% for the year compared to last year. The number of properties that are in an Under Contract status are 9% lower than compared to 2017. Inventory; there are 2,197 total listings on the market in the entire MLS compared to 2,091 in 2017. The 2018 Median sale price of $343,000 has been on the rise since 2012 and remains about the same as 2017. Land prices are up 3% over last year.
Distressed inventory continues to drop. This includes both short sales and foreclosures. There are just 23 properties listed for sale that are either bank owned or short sale. These make up a very small percentage of inventory and sales as compared to 2013 when they were at record highs.
For the past three years, Kill Devil Hills has been the hottest market of all the areas on the Outer Banks. The average sales price there is just under $300,000 and well below the MLS average. Corolla has the highest average sales price at just over $560,000.
Just for fun, the most expensive home on the Outer Banks is listed at $5,499,000 and is in Southern Shores. This is a 14,000 square foot 6-bedroom Creekfront Home in the gated community of Martin’s Point.
Looking ahead. We are looking at interest rates beginning to rise as the stock market shows signs of improvement after tanking in October 2018. Rates haven’t really moved since then but that could change. Overall, with prices stable and flat, a manageable inventory, and rates still below 5%, this could be a very opportune time to enter the real estate market, both as a buyer or a seller.