Realtors: Market is recovering

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Article Published: Jul. 19, 2012 | Modified: Jul. 19, 2012
Realtors: Market is recovering

Halfway through 2012 there is continued evidence the High Country real estate market is recovering.

Listings sold are up 31 percent compared to this time last year, and more than 42 percent compared to the first six months of 2010, according to the High Country Association of Realtors.

The average time for homes to be on the market is declining. Inventory is staying strong. And the dollar value of sold properties continues to slowly increase, according to the association.

The boom is due in great part to buyers’ market conditions, as recorded by the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which tracks Realtor-assisted sales in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

The median price of a listing sold this year was $199,900, which is below the median price sold in 2008, at $230,500. With more buyers exploring the market, prices should begin to rise, according to the association.

“Parades and festivals attract many visitors to the High Country during this time of year as people escape the heat and head for the mountains,” said Laurie Phillips, executive officer of High Country Association of Realtors. “It’s also a busy time for our local Realtors taking calls and showing properties to those visitors who want a place of their own in the mountains.”

In the first six months of 2012, there were 543 Realtor-assisted sales in the High Country worth $135.3 million. Both figures are four-year highs and significantly higher than 2010, when only 381 listings worth just $93.98 million were sold, yet well short of 2008 levels.

“After a high in 2006 and a low in 2010, the real estate market in the High Country is recovering nicely,” Phillips said.

The average time on the market for a listing was 248 days, the lowest such mark since 2006. Meanwhile, 2,079 new listings have been added to the MLS this year.

The trend month to month is up, according to Phillips. There were 114 listings sold in June, matching the year-high set in March. Sales were worth $26.2 million, second highest for 2012.

The median price of a listing sold last month was $181,000, the lowest such monthly figure recorded since February 2011, she said.

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