Real estate supply increasing, but so is demand

Real estate supply increasing, but so is demand File photo

Critically low housing inventory has been steadily rising across the region since last fall and average sales prices have slipped slightly in some counties, but an uptick in pending contracts — signaling strong buyer demand — means relief from the soaring housing costs in the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area still isn’t on the immediate horizon for buyers. 

“It’s good to see growth in new listings across the MSA,” said Steve Barnes, a member of the Canopy MLS Board of Directors and VP/Managing Broker with Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks Realtors in Waynesville. “But with supply nearly wiped out during the pandemic, we’re just not back to healthy levels, so our recovery is essentially from rock bottom, and we’re still a long way off from a healthy and balanced market, which has about six months of supply and favors neither buyers nor sellers.”

The Canopy Realtor Association covers territory in the Catawba Valley and the Charlotte area, as well as 13 counties in Western North Carolina — Buncombe, Burke, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, Swain and Yancey.

Overall, sales of single-family homes, condos and townhomes rose 7.2% year-over-year and 6.3% month-over month through February. Pending contracts rose 9.3% year-over-year.

But the biggest surprise was that new listings rose to 1,973, an increase of 21.8% as compared to last February.

“Sellers throughout the region continue to react positively, bringing more supply and helping to meet rising demand,” Barnes said. “Rising supply will help home prices throughout the region continue stabilizing, and signals a healthier market for buyers, especially if new listing growth continues.”

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In Buncombe County, the epicenter of Western North Carolina’s affordable housing crisis, things seem to be heading in the right direction. Inventory rose 22.3%, good for a two-month supply, compared to just 1.4 months last February. Year-over-year, median sale price ($429,895) declined by 3.3%, average sale price ($530,335) declined 8.4% and average list price ($610,657) dipped 2.9%.

Haywood County saw a 31.3% increase in inventory in February, one of the largest increases in Canopy’s 13-county western jurisdiction, but still ended up with only 2.2 months of supply. Median sale price ($334,500) and average sale price ($379,349) declined by 4.4% and 13 percent respectively, year-over-year, however the average list price spiked 14.9% to $453,257. 

New listings in Jackson County increased 35 percent year-over-year, with supply of 3.8 months. Over that same period, median sale price ($395,000) and average sale price ($564,091) rose 19.7% and 43.2% respectively, but average list price increased 32.4% to $727,274.  

“The market is still complex,” said Barnes, “so buyers should enlist the assistance of a buyer’s agent and ask about down payment resources, as nearly 70% of listings in Canopy MLS qualify for down payment assistance.”

Similar supply increases were noted in other counties.

For more information on area real estate data as gathered by Canopy MLS, visit

— Cory Vaillancourt, Politics Editor

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