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Real Estate markets were strong thru end of March says local agency, but…

Beverly-Hanks delivers its first quarter 2020 market report

Staff Report

Asheville, NC — What has the COVID-19 lockdown done to the local real estate market which has been hot? Neal Hanks, Jr., President of the area’s Beverly-Hanks, REALTORSⓇ, recently delivered the company’s first-quarter 2020 Real Estate Market Report which says the area real estate was holding up well as of the end of March.

According to the Beverly-Hanks Q1 2020 Real Estate Market Report, the effects of the novel coronavirus went largely unnoticed in WNC’s local real estate markets through March 31. However, current reporting for early April suggests that new listings may be down by as much as 50%. 

“These days, the question that we’re most often asked, although it’s phrased many different ways, is, ‘How is the coronavirus affecting real estate sales in Western North Carolina?'” said Hanks. “As of [now], buyers are still buying—albeit at a little slower pace—and sellers are still selling. And Beverly-Hanks is still here, at the ready, to serve our community.”

As of March 31, home supply in Western North Carolina was already at the lowest level in over a decade. The shortage of homes for sale intensified in seven out of our nine counties in Q1. Overall, there are 15% fewer homes for sale now than this time last year. Yancey and Mitchell are the only counties in our region seeing more homes for sale now than Q1 2019, up 12%. 

“Keep in mind that it takes the better part of three weeks to professionally prepare a home for the market,” said Hanks. “So, we believe that the lion’s share of the reported shortage represents pre-existing market dynamics and not the impact of the virus.”

Adding to the shortage of supply, total closed sales across the region were up 16% over the first 90 days of 2019. 2,051 homes sold in that time, amounting to more than 22 homes every day.

“Again, it’s important to note that since our Quarterly Market Report details the past 90 days, the data only reflects the first few weeks of the more aggressive social distancing recommendations,” said Hanks. “I fully expect that we’ll see a more significant impact upon sales pace in the weeks ahead as a result of the reduced showing activity in recent weeks as North Carolina has had a stay-at-home order and buyers and sellers have practiced social distancing.”

Even in difficult market conditions, Beverly-Hanks continues to support clients and comply with local and state ordinances. The firm has shifted to a digital-first mentality, for which they were already well positioned because of a prior focus on 3D tours, in-house video services, and a largely paperless contract process. 

“We believe that once these ordinances are lifted, we will see a surge in real estate activity,” said Hanks. “If your quarantine has been something like mine, I bet that you appreciate every square foot of living space in your home. Likewise, we believe that buyers may emerge from this period of time with a new perspective upon their desired amenities and features in their dream home.”

Read Neal Hanks’ full Q1 2020 market report at beverly-hanks.com/blog/2020-q1-market-report. Or speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent today at (866) 858-2257 to request your free print copy of the report.

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Clint Parker

Publisher & Editor Weaverville Tribune

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