Nationally a shortage of inventory is slowing the sales space, but that’s not necessarily the case in Western North Carolina.
NAI Beverly-Hanks Economic UpdateBloomberg.com
Though slowing in August, existing home sales are still healthy and trending higher. Existing home sales came in at a lower-than-expected 5.31 million annual rate in August which is the lowest since April. July was revised down just slightly but is still at an 8-year high at 5.58 million. At 6.2 percent, growth in year-on-year sales is the lowest since February. The year-on-year median price, up only 4.7 percent to $228,700, is the lowest since August 2014.
The report cites no special reasons behind August’s softness but notes that it follows prior strength, in fact, six months of strength.
Many sources are citing the lack of inventory across the United States as one of the reasons for the softness in the market. Nationally with fewer sales, August’s supply is less tight at 5.2 months from 4.9 months in the prior two months. But there’s still a lack of homes on the market, evidenced by a comparison with the year-ago supply at 5.6 months.
The average amount of inventory in the Western North Carolina region remains almost optimally balanced between buyers and sellers at 8.3 months. Although, average inventory can be misleading statistics as specific neighborhoods and price points vary substantially. As a general rule, in most counties, there is a shortage of inventory under $200,000. With the average months of inventory for homes priced under $200,000 hovering around 4.5 months, buyers are at a distinct negotiating disadvantage due to a limited number of alternatives in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, Polk, Rutherford, and Transylvania counties.