The luxury home market in New Hanover County had its best April in more than a dozen years, according to a recent report.
"A total of 10 homes valued at $1 million or more sold in the past month for a combined value of $15,159,000," said a report compiled from the N.C. Regional Multiple Listing Service by Kathleen Baylies, broker in charge at Wilmington-based Just For Buyers Realty. "This is the strongest April showing since 2006 when 11 homes sold for $18.1 million."
Baylies said five other homes in that luxury price point went under contract last month for a total of $7.3 million.
Nick Phillips of Landmark Sotheby's International Realty in Wilmington said in an email, "We had two properties in Landfall with list prices over $2 million go under contract in April, one of which has already closed."
The two properties he mentioned are at 2001 Balmoral Place, a four-bedroom, six-bathroom house, and 813 Howes Point Place, which has five bedrooms and four bathrooms. Phillips said his firm represented the buyer and seller for both of those properties.
He said he thinks a combination of factors are coming into play for the luxury market.
"The supply of inventory is tight, the economy is booming, and recent indexes show that consumer confidence in housing is very high," he said. "But unlike the market we saw in 2006, the fundamentals are very solid in today's market. Buyers in the current market are highly qualified and most purchases we are seeing over $2 million are cash closings."
Baylies said April proved to a more sluggish month for neighboring counties.
"No luxury homes sold in Pender County and only one closed in Brunswick County. The property at 208 Row Boat Road on Bald Head Island went under contract in early April for $1,895,000 and closed on the 23rd," Baylies wrote in the report.
New Hanover and Brunswick counties saw a larger than usual number of new luxury homes coming on the market last month.
"A total of 22 new million dollar-plus homes were listed in New Hanover with another 15 going on the market in Brunswick County. The most expensive of the new luxury homes is on 310 Beach Road on Figure Eight Island. With an asking price of $4,299,000, the property hits the market as the 9th most expensive home currently for sale in the tri-county area," Baylies wrote.
There are 237 million-dollar homes for sale in the tri-county area, which is down by 8 percent from the same time last year, the report said.
"The high end of the market lagged the rest of the real estate market for a long time. The number of available homes far outpaced the anemic demand,” Baylies said in the report. “As the economy continues to improve, more buyers are feeling comfortable committing to a luxury property and that is causing a slight reduction of inventory. Tightening inventory is a leading indicator of a strengthening market and suggests luxury home sales are headed in a positive direction.”