Last Updated on January 13, 2020 1:54 pm
BOONE – Home buyers could not get enough of the High Country market in 2019, according to the year-end real estate report by the High Country Association of Realtors.
Realtors set a new high mark in home sales, registering 11 percent growth over 2018. Total sales dollar value was up 34 percent thanks in great part to the demand in high dollar homes. Realtors sold more million dollar homes last year than in all of 2018 and 2017, combined.
Sales occurred as interest rates fell to near record lows in September. At the start of 2019 the 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.51 percent. They remain below 3.75 percent heading into 2020.
The falling rates helped spur year-long activity in the High Country. Realtors sold a total of 2,617 residential and multi-family homes worth $809.07 million. That’s according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which records all Realtor activity in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.
The median sold price was $242,000.
Those sales far outpaced 2018 when 2,350 homes sold for $601.85 million. The median sold price then was $229,500. Compared to two years ago, 2019 sales were up 20 percent (2,185 in 2017). Sales volume was up 42 percent ($569 million in 2017).
Few markers show the dramatic increase in interest in the High Country real estate more than the sale of million dollar homes. Realtors sold 89 such properties last year. There were only 39 such listings sold in both 2018 and 2017; 78 total in two years.
The year-long business had an impact on inventory. As of January 3, there were 1,225 active listings on the MLS. There were also 1,500 a year ago.
DECEMBER SALES. The year was capped by a strong final month of sales. Local Realtors sold 194 homes for $65.96 million. The median sold price was $267,500, matching November which was the highest for any month during the year. Sales were up 5 percent compared to December 2018.
LAND SALES. Realtors sold 645 tracts of land worth $64.67 million in 2019. That was up from 2018, when 626 tracts were sold for $56.18 million, and from 2017, when 587 tracts sold for $61.4 million.
Most of the land was purchased in Watauga County, where 247 listings sold for $31.59 million. It was followed by Ashe County, where 189 tracts sold for $12.99 million, and Avery County, where 87 tracts sold for $9.92 million. There were 55 land listings sold in Alleghany for $2.73 million.
COMMERCIAL SALES. Realtors in the four-county area sold 38 commercial listings worth $16.98 million in 2019. That was up from 2018 (32 for $10.01 million) but down from 2017 (45 for $17.23 million).
Sixteen commercial listings were sold in Watauga County ($10.75 million), followed by eight in Ashe County ($3.28 million), four in Avery County ($934,500), and two in Alleghany County ($265,000).
ALLEGHANY SALES. Realtors sold 175 homes worth $37.1 million. The median sold price was $180,000.
Sales for the year were up 30 percent compared to 2018, when 135 homes sold for $24 million. The median sold price then was $163,000.
There were only 10 homes sold in the county in December. The sales volume was $1.91 million.
ASHE COUNTY. There were 445 homes worth $111.18 million sold for the year in the county. The median sold price was $220,000.
Sales were up compared to 2018, when 400 homes sold for $90.75 million. The median sold price then was $205,000.
There were 37 homes worth $8.91 million sold in December. The median sold price was $230,000.
AVERY COUNTY. Realtors sold 550 homes worth $176.54 million. The median sold price was $190,000.
Sales were up 20 percent compared to the year prior, when 459 homes sold for $122.96. The median sold price then was $180,500.
There were 38 homes sold for $14.49 million in December. The median sold price was $270,167.
WATAUGA COUNTY. Watauga County is the only one of the four area counties to see growth in the number of homes sold the past two years. Realtors sold 5.3 percent more homes in 2019 than in 2018, and 18 percent more than in 2017.
There were 1,234 homes worth $426.64 million in 2019, up from 1,171 worth $367.24 million sold in 2018 and 1,041 worth $311.66 million sold in 2017.
There were 95 homes worth 36.61 million sold in December. The median sold price was $306,000, the second highest recorded for any month all year.