Asheville & Western North Carolina Luxury Market Snapshot and Forecast

Home values across Western North Carolina continue to rise as supply issues persist.


Asheville and surrounding areas see strong demand as low inventory continued to shape the real estate landscape in the 4th quarter of 2021. Outlying areas of Western North Carolina are seeing added growth, in some cases doubling in year over year sales volume. Q4 saw numerous record sales as the luxury market appears to continue to climb into Q1 of 2022.

Asheville

Both the luxury ($1M+) and mid-market ($500-999k) segments have continued to rise throughout 2021 and the fourth quarter was no exception. Strong demand has catapulted the average listing to sales price ratio to 103% in the $500k-999k range and average days on market down to 18 days. A similar story played out in the luxury market with a 97% listing to sales price ratio and 53 days on market.

Buncombe County

While demand remains high, inventory in the mid-market ($500-999k) has started to slow down sales volume. Listing to sales price ratio is hovering at 101%, hence demand is far exceeding the active inventory in the marketplace. In the $1M+ range, we saw an uptick in sales year over year in Q4 with 86 closed transactions versus 62 in Q4 2020. Pending sales along with showing data point to another increase in Q1 of 2022.

North Asheville

Lack of inventory has become a common theme in the North Asheville market area. Demand has stayed high with listing to sales price ratio reaching 102% in the mid-market ($500-999k) and 96% in the $1M+ range. Days on market are also at record lows, with the average being 10 days for $500-999k and 23 days for $1M plus. These are key indicators that demand is outstripping supply in North Asheville. Sales for the most part were flat with 33 sales ($500-999k) and 16 sales ($1M+). The North Asheville market remains hot but will be slowed into the first half of 2022 by low inventory. However, the North Asheville market should show strong sell through at and above ask price, when properties do come up for sale.

Arden

With many new construction starts in both the mid-market ($500-999k) and luxury market ($1M+) segments, the Arden area continues to be a hotspot for building activity. Arden saw 28 sales in the mid-market ($500-999k) segment which is up from 17 in 2020 or a 65% increase. The luxury market remained flat with 15 sales in both Q4 of 2021 and 2020. Pending contracts are up across the board which will lend itself to a robust 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022. 

Biltmore Forest

Biltmore Forest is another area where high demand and low inventory have affected quarterly sell through when looking at year over year statistics. With very limited opportunity for development and new construction starts, the Biltmore Forest luxury market ($1M+) remained flat with 5 sales in quarter 4 of 2021 and only 1 sale in the mid-market ($500-999k) range. Showing activity is also down, but can be directly attributed to the lack of inventory. Pending contracts are sitting at 3 currently, so look for a strong showing at the end of the first quarter of 2022.

Fairview & Fletcher

With room for development and expansion, the Fairview and Fletcher markets seem prime for growth not only in the 4th quarter of 2021 but also into 2022. The luxury ($1M+) segment had a great quarter with 13 luxury sales, which more than doubled the 2020 tally from that fourth quarter. Also, the listing to sales price ratio topped out at 100% and the average days on market dropped to 37. Both of these statistics point to increased demand and low inventory long term. Many new construction starts in both mid-market ($500-999k) and luxury ($1M+) segments should ease the strain on current inventory levels. 

Henderson County

With the common theme of low inventory in both Buncombe County and the City of Asheville, Henderson County has been able to post gains in both mid-market ($500-999k) and luxury ($1M+) spaces. Henderson county saw a 38% uptick in the luxury market while also posting a 35% increase in the mid-market, with 18 sales and 138 sales respectively. We predict this market will continue to thrive as more buyers find this area to be a viable option while inventory continues to remain low in Asheville and surrounding areas.  Showings are through the roof compared to 2020 in both segments which sets the table for a potential record setting first quarter of 2022 in the Henderson County market area.

Foothills: Polk, Rutherford, Cleveland Counties

Yet another shining star in the luxury space, with a whopping 100% increase in sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 vs 2020, the Foothills are booming. Many luxury buyers continue to flock to this area because of its slower pace of life, proximity to an international airport, and an abundance of large acreage estates suitable for horses and equestrians. Showings are also up over 100%, in the luxury ($1M+) segment as well as pending sales. Savvy investors will continue to also flock to this region in the years to come as development bridges the gap between the Western North Carolina region and the larger Charlotte metropolitan area.  

Market Forecast and Predictions

Make no mistake 2021 was a great year for the real estate market across Western North Carolina. While supply issues will continue to put downward pressure on sales volume heading into 2022, demand will remain high across the region. With low inventory levels, we expect prices to continue to rise leading to continued bidding wars and many cash transactions in the market. We’ll keep an eye on some of the outlying areas around Western North Carolina to establish historic sales numbers while inventory issues persist in Asheville and Buncombe County.  Interest rates have remained at historic low rates, but have started to see a trend upwards in recent weeks. The Federal Reserve has signaled they’ll start to inch the interest rate higher, which will lead to higher mortgage rates. Nonetheless, 2022 should be another good year in real estate, but factors such as financial markets, interest rates, and housing supply will certainly play a major role in the outcome. 

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