Asheville, North Carolina is the cultural center and capital of Western North Carolina.
With roughly 100,000 citizens in the metropolitan area and over 400,000 within its five-county sphere of influence, Asheville is a larger market than meets the eye.
While Asheville certainly has some of the most incredible views you’ll ever see, a rising city life, historic sites, and more. There are factors to consider within its housing market.
In this article, we’re going to go over a few points regarding the Asheville real estate market in 2020, including:
- Real Estate Market Trends
- The Best Neighborhoods to Buy a Home
- Economic Factors
Let’s dive in.
Asheville Regional Real Estate Market Trends
Over the last 10 years, the Asheville real estate market has grown significantly. We can define market growth based on the trends we’ve recorded over the last 20 years.
In this analysis, we’re going to account for the entire “Asheville Region”, a selection of counties where Asheville is the cultural center and has influence over market trends.
Median Sales Price
The median sales price of a real estate market is one of the best indicators in showing market strength and affordability.
Asheville has seen consistent growth in median sales price over the last 8-10 years.
After the Great Recession of 2009, the market fell to a low point of $165,000 median sales price. Since then, the market appreciated to its current median sales price of $265,000, a 60% increase.
The trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down but based on the current economic environment due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. If current economic conditions continue, you may see a decline or stagnation of prices.
Median Days on Market
Days on Market (DOM) is an indicator that gives sellers a good idea of how long it will take to sell their home.
Lower DOM equals a competitive market. Asheville, NC is considered a balanced market as of March 2020, due to a median DOM of 74 total days.
As you can see in the graph above, the market fluctuates rapidly over the course of a year. This is due to the general increase in sales during the summer months.
Based on the data, the Asheville real estate market is currently experiencing a downward trend. This indicates that the market may become more competitive in the future, prompting more offers per home, higher sale prices, and a consistent seller’s market.
Analyzing new listings month-over-month gives us insight into the pace of the market. In Asheville, we’ve seen a large increase in the number of new listings since 2004.
These numbers indicate a strong market, as sellers are more willing to cash out on their equity and the buyer pool is plentiful.
Sale-To-List Price Ratio
An important statistic for buyers and sellers alike is the “percent of original listing price” or simply, the sale-to-list ratio.
This number represents the sales price compared to the initial asking price. For instance, if a listing goes on market at $300,000 and is sold for $290,000. The sale-to-list ratio would equate to 96.6%, a healthy number.
According to the data above, the current ratio is 92.9% in Asheville (February 2020). Markets, where the list price is lower than 95%, can be viewed as favorable to buyers.
However, note that the summer months are the most active for home sales. Expect to see the ratio increase during those months.
Asheville Regional Real Estate Market Quick Stats (February 2020)
- Median Sales Price: $265,000
- Median Price Per Square Foot: $171
- Active Listings: 6,923
- Median DOM: 67 days
- Months Supply of Inventory: 8 months
- Average Showings Per Listing: 5
- Homeowner Market Share: 61%
Best Neighborhoods to Buy A Home
Personally, my favorite neighborhood in Asheville is the Grove Park area due to its location, theme, and architecture.
However, purchasing a home in the Grove Park area may not be the best in terms of market economics.
In this section, we’re going to go over the top three neighborhoods in terms of economics. Unlike the market trends we went over, we’re going to focus specifically on the Asheville metropolitan area.
The rankings we’ll use are generated by Neighborhood Scout, which analyzes the highest appreciating values in Asheville.
Montford Historic District is one of the most beautiful and by far, the most desired neighborhood in Asheville. Real estate sales are fast-paced and hard to come by as a buyer, especially in the summer.
The reasons for such high demand are proximity to Downtown Asheville, parks and events that take place within the community, the value of homes, and the beauty of the area.
While yes, the median sales price of housing in Montford is just over $405,000, well above the Asheville region. The homes are undervalued compared to other neighborhoods. Prices have also appreciated greatly over time.
The chart below shows the last 10 years of Montford sales prices.
Kenilworth is known for its beautiful park, rolling hills with historic bungalow-style homes, and its close proximity to Mission Hospital and Downtown Asheville.
Just like Montford, Kenilworth’s home prices are high. $425,000 as of February 2020, but that number has appreciated over double its value in the last seven years.
If prices begin to decline in the neighborhood, you might find it to be a good investment. Not to mention the draw of its community and beauty.
3. West Asheville
Known for bungalows, winding roads, and a hot real estate market, West Asheville is one of the most affordable housing markets in Asheville.
While some neighborhoods in West Asheville are more expensive than others, you’ll find a lot of homes ranging from $200,000 – $300,000. Most of these properties are not large, often having a 2 bed/2 bath format.
Regardless, West Asheville continues to be one of Asheville’s hottest markets and rightfully so. It’s distance to Downtown is far enough to make it “outside of the city”, but close enough to keep you in the loop.
Most neighborhoods are right off Patton Ave, a highway lined with some of the best shops, restaurants, and facilities in town.
As you can see above, median sales prices have increased by over 50% in the last six years.
Asheville has its pros economically, as well as its cons. Some have criticized Asheville’s lack of affordable housing, a limited job market, traffic issues, and geographical features that will limit its growth.
Let’s talk about them.
Asheville’s Geographical Limits
Known as the “Land of the Sky”, Asheville is a beautiful mountain metropolis that is growing steadily.
However, there is a cap to this growth, as the Blue Ridge Mountains make development challenging.
Mountainside engineering is extremely difficult and expensive. Asheville is also surrounded by federally protected parks, such as the Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest.
While there’s still tons of space available in the area, and even locals don’t want too much expansion, it’s important to take note of the limitations and the impact that can have in the future.
Asheville’s Job Market
Below you’ll see Asheville’s job market according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The most prominent job market is health and educational services, with about 41,100 employees. But due to Asheville’s large tourist industry, the leisure and hospitality sector has about 28,600 employees.
While Asheville has a relatively balanced job market, my main concern is the lack of information and technology workers, the hottest job market in the nation. Asheville will lose out on these highly demanded workers to other, more attractive cities.
Despite this, the Asheville economy has a position for everyone at the moment.
Cost of Asheville Living
Asheville is right on par with the national average. If we compare here with the highest cost of living in the United States, Manhattan, New York. Asheville is considerably lower.
A $50,000 yearly salary in Asheville is equal to $120,000 in Manhattan.
If you’re moving from another city to Asheville, you can use this calculator to figure out the difference in the cost of living.
Asheville is a fantastic city to move to if you’re looking for a growing economy, a solid housing market, and mountain living.
While I believe Asheville will face economic issues in the future due to the geographical and job sector challenges, I wouldn’t worry just yet, as those issues will arise far down the line.
If you’re thinking about buying a new home in the region, I’d be happy to help you.