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Real Estate - Residential

Hottest August Ever For Home Sales, Data Shows

By Cece Nunn, posted Sep 11, 2017
Home sales and prices in the Wilmington area were on the rise again in August, according to numbers released Monday.
 
Cape Fear Realtors reported a 6 percent increase in the number of units sold, from 909 in August last year to 967 last month, the highest number sold in August since Realtors started keeping records in 1998. The second-highest was 951 in August 2005.

Home prices also reached their highest levels on record for August. The numbers released Monday show that the median price jumped by $20,000, from $207,000 in August 2016 to $227,265 this year, the statistics show. CFR's numbers included sales in New Hanover, Pender and northern Brunswick counties from the N.C. Regional Multiple Listing Service.

“Homes are selling fast across the Cape Fear Region as we post another strong month, but the adverse effect of this strong market is not enough good inventory for buyers to choose from, which could slow us down," said Neal Johnson, president of CFR, in a news release. "It is a perfect time to sell a home in our area."
 
The average sales price of homes in the region in August rose from nearly $260,000 in August 2016 to more than $281,000 last month.
 
Numbers from the Brunswick County Association of Realtors, which excluded home sales in northern Brunswick County, showed a 33 percent increase in the number of homes sold and a 40 percent jump in the total sales volume.
 
Ben Styers, president of BCAR, said Monday, “We’re actually in a seller’s market now. We turned the corner from being a buyer’s market. Our inventory is down to probably about two months, so we are definitely in a seller’s market.”
 
The total sales volume for much of Brunswick County increased by more than $40 million compared to August 2016, from $101 million to $142 million, Styers said. He noted that the average days on market is now 100, and has stayed around 100 in BCAR's data for the past three months.

While retirees account for many of the homebuyers in Brunswick County, Styers said, other demographics are also adding to the numbers.

"I live in St. James, and we're getting younger families moving in here now," said Styers, who is also a Realtor with St. James Properties. "Three school buses come by my house every day so I know for the population age in St. James that's started to come down a little bit."

In the organization's news release Monday, CFR broke the numbers down into totals by counties as a whole:

NEW HANOVER COUNTY: "The average home sales price for AUG 2017 was $336,040 or 13.25% higher than that in AUG 2016; this is up 8.32% YTD from 2016.  There were 475 units sold in AUG 2017, this is down 4.8% from AUG 2016 and up 4.2% YTD. The monthly supply of homes in AUG 2017 has shrunk to 4.11 months. BREAKDOWN: Homes under $300K represent a majority of sales or 62% of the total sales. This group has a 2.6 months supply of homes, AUG sales were down 15% compared to AUG 2016. Homes $300K-$499K represent 26% of the sales market and have a 4.8 months supply, sales were up 10% from AUG 2016. Homes $500K - $749K represent 8% of the market and have 6.9 months supply, sales were up 80% from AUG 2016. Homes $750K+ represent 4% of all sales and have a 11 months supply, sales were up 5% from AUG 2016," the release said.
 
PENDER COUNTY: "The average home sales price for AUG 2017 was $264,841 or 5.06% higher than that in AUG 2016; this is up 8.46% YTD from 2016 YTD.  There were 125 units sold in AUG 2017, this is even with Aug 2016 and up 4.2% YTD. The monthly supply of homes in AUG 2017 has shrunk to 5.4 months. BREAKDOWN: Homes under $300K represent a majority of sales or 71% of the total sales. This group has a 3.38 months supply of homes, AUG sales were up 6% compared to AUG 2016. Homes $300K-$499K represent 22% of the sales market and have a 10.27 months supply, sales were down 21% for AUG 2016. Homes $500K-$749K represent 5% of the market and have 11.4 months supply, sales were up 20% from AUG 2016. Homes $750K+ represent 2% of all sales and have more that 12 months supply, sales were up 200% from AUG 2016."
 
BRUNSWICK COUNTY: "The average home sales price for AUG 2017 was $273,108 or 5.72% higher than that in AUG 2016; this is up 7.64% YTD from 2016 YTD.  There were 518 units sold in AUG 2017, this is up 30% from AUG 2016 and up 27.1% YTD. The monthly supply of homes in AUG 2017 has shrunk to 6.1 months.  BREAKDOWN: Homes under $300K represent a majority of sales or 71% of the total sales. This group has a 3 months supply of homes, AUG sales were up 31% compared to AUG 2016. Homes $300K-$499K represent 19% of the sales market and have a 6.8 months supply, sales were up 9% from AUG 2016. Homes $500K-$749K represent 7% of the market and have 7.1 months supply, sales were up 131% from AUG 2016. Homes $750K+ represent 3% of all sales and have a 15 months supply, sales were up 140% from AUG 2016."

In another report released Monday, luxury home sales in the Cape Fear region, which have showed renewed life in recent months, remained steady in August.
 
The biggest news in the luxury market, according to the report compiled by Wilmington-based Just For Buyers Realty, remains the increase in homes sold in the $3 million and up range. From Jan. 1 through Aug. 31, seven properties have sold at prices higher than $3 million in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, the report said.
 
“With four months to go, 2017 already tops the total annual sales of $3+ million homes for every year in the past decade,” the report said. “The last time more homes over $3M sold in a single year was at the peak of the real estate market in 2007. That year, sixteen homes priced at or more than $3M closed. While 2017 is unlikely to pass that total, there are currently four more similarly priced homes under contract and a total of 27 actively listed on the local MLS.”
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