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TOP STORIES: Home Sales Remain On The Rise

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 18, 2020
The yard in front of a house near Mayfaire held a “for sale” sign recently (Photo by Cece Nunn)
While other industries struggled this year after the coronavirus pandemic shut the economy down in March, real estate remained strong throughout the year, helping to keep the economy moving forward, said Anne Gardner, CEO of Cape Fear Realtors.
 
“We’ve seen strong growth in our region year-over-year, with an increase of 20.8% in closed sales, 24.5% in pending sales and 4.6% in new listings,” Gardner said Dec. 9.
 
Tom Gale, who will be president of CFR in 2021, said Realtors “have done an incredible job pivoting from their once in-person business transaction to a much more virtual working environment. They are now using video for home tours, open houses and client meetings.”
 
Even in a usually slow time for home sales, the Cape Fear region’s residential real estate numbers were climbing.
 
According to a CFR news release, November activity showed increases in all major categories, including closed sales (up 36.7% over November 2019), pending sales (up 44.5%) and new listings (7.9%).
 
Gardner said the median price in November for both townhouse/condo and single-family homes was $281,810 which is an increase of 10.9% over last year.
 
“Although we can’t predict what the future will hold, we are certain that mortgage rates and inventory will remain low, continuing to drive buyer demand,” stated Tony Harrington, CFR president, in the release. “I believe this winter will be one of the strongest [for] sales activity we’ve ever seen.”
 
Gardner said mortgage rates have “motivated first time homebuyers and current homeowners looking for a change.”
 
Millennials were the largest group of homebuyers in 2020 and were driving competition for single-family homes.
 
Gardner said, “Remote working is also a strong factor with buyers having the ability to live and work outside of major metropolitan areas.”
 
In Brunswick County alone, the residential real estate market also saw sharp increases in both homes sold and total sales volume in November, including the highest number of homes sold in any November on record.
 
“Total sales volume spiked 59.6% last month compared to November 2019, and the number of homes sold jumped 38.4%,” according to a Brunswick County Association of Realtors news release.
 
BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh said on Dec. 9, “Our market has remained incredibly strong and consistent despite the adversity 2020 has thrown our way. Pending sales are up, homes are selling for more than the asking price, and we are only $72 million dollars away from hitting $2 billion in total residential home sales this year.”

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