Asheville Mountain Real Estate Blog

Asheville, NC real estate for sale. Information for buyers, sellers and mountain homeowners, without pressure. Rich content for those who are far away about what it is like to live here through the generous use of media. And some nostalgia with our, "Baby Boomers' Fun Stuff", Thanks for stopping by.

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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Greater Asheville: Assessing Local Real Estate

This is a broad overview of factors affecting Western North Carolina. For hyper local market reports, please contact us at: info AT BlackBearRE DOT com.

Basic Premise
The conventional wisdom around Asheville has long held that it is buyers from feeder areas who serve as the engine for our real estate market. We examined this in some detail a few months back, and we would not dispute the idea.

The top three states from which buyers emigrate to greater Asheville are Georgia, Florida, and Virginia in that order. If a major contingency is that a buyer must sell their home back home first, then the economic climate in those feeder regions is important to us.

What About Lately?
The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently profiled conditions in their area, a major source of Western North Carolina buyers historically. Closings are off 45%, and housing starts are down 67% from 2007, when numbers were already depressed from 2006. These numbers are in the ballpark for the mountain counties we watch most closely.

The villains for such a situation are well known, with the bad economy and the impact of foreclosures doing double duty. Foreclosures in fact now account for 45% of existing home sales nationally and new foreclosures contribute to burgeoning inventories. The impact of these distressed sales on ordinary sellers looms larger each month.

This is just one "lock" on the system but in short, ordinary folks who want to sell their homes cannot compete against cut rate foreclosure prices. The Big Picture recently posted a heat map of foreclosures nationally, and some of the "hottest" states are the traditional main sources of our buyers, Georgia, Florida, and Virginia.

Rephrasing The Catch Phrase
All real estate is local. This is a common but too simple phrase, which we would restate:
All local real estate is subject to factors which may extend beyond the usual meaning of the word "local".
Our market influences include states as far away as Florida. Our feeder states for buyers inexorably tie us locally to the fate of markets which are near the heart of the national picture.

It seems from here that for us locally, until foreclosures and the factors driving them are brought under control, stability is in the future.

Finding empirical data that is positive, even after $700 billion, or $8.5 trillion, (Who even knows?), in bailout packages proves difficult. What we do see is that almost 1 in 10 mortgages are in some stage of delinquency, and despite rescue and loan modifications, that 53% of rescued borrowers actually redefault on their loans.

Values, like demand, are falling, inventories are burgeoning. Basic supply and demand needs to be restored. This will occur through some combination of still lower prices, until demand erases inventories that are too large. It means there are some deals out there for the right two parties, but a real solution, a return to normalcy is a ways off.

The Congressional Oversight Committee on TARP, (Troubled Asset Relief Program), is something we are glad to see. Here are their first 10 questions to Treasury, pretty basic stuff. They are just beginning. We hope they work quickly.

Thanks for stopping by,
Black Bear Realty Website
828 689 2055
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Filed Under: Asheville Real Estate Data

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