The Landscape of the North Carolina Real Estate Market

The vast North Carolina real estate market features sprawling estates listed as landmark destinations, beach houses with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean and other homes tucked away to the west as mountain retreats appointed with lavish amenities. And yes, the supply and demand for an average home also drives a brisk market in the state. 


Typically, as one of the top states for home buyers, the North Carolina housing market offers a number of unique properties like those found in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The National Association of Realtors forecasts 4.71 million existing homes will be sold in 2024 as list prices stabilize during the period. And the state hits the Top 10 Real Estate Markets to watch with Durham-Chapel Hill at No. 4. 


Western North Carolina, while away from the larger metropolitans in the east, attracts homebuyers looking to relax and enjoy the natural resources of the region. The area’s rich history, coupled with stunning waterfalls, engaging hiking trails with majestic views of mountains in every direction is certainly a pull to call the region home. 

How Is the Housing Market Right Now in North Carolina?

Like much of the nation, the North Carolina real estate market is experiencing significant gains as the state remains a top destination for relocations. The current market trend shows home prices have increased according to Redfin, while the number of properties sold continue to keep pace.


The metropolitan areas of Charlotte along with the Triangle region of Raleigh, Durham and Winston Salem are top high demand markets statewide. In addition, the Outer Banks region along the Atlantic Ocean and the mountain region of Western North Carolina are also brisk real estate markets. 


North Carolina is one of the top states in the south, listed by ATTOM Data Solutions, showing equity-rich property 33.5-percent. This is indeed a positive trend highlighting that the balance of a mortgage is at 50-percent or less than the estimated value of the property. 


The state’s largest city, Charlotte is at 43.59-percent equity-rich, followed by the capital city of Raleigh at about 51.28-percent. Many in the industry credit the pandemic as a catalyst for the surge of equity-rich real estate in southern states like North Carolina with an influx of new residents looking for wide open spaces to live. The state’s population grew by 8.4-percent since 2020.


Home prices across the state have shown a double-digit appreciation rate in a one-year period. In addition, homes that would average nearly 60 days on the market are now lasting just over 30 days. Predictions are that demand will continue for the North Carolina real estate market for the foreseeable future. 


Is It A Good Time to Buy Property In North Carolina?

Is It A Good Time to Buy Property In North Carolina?

If buyers are sitting on the sidelines weighing the option to acquire a property in North Carolina, the house may sell quickly or a price hike can put a wrinkle in plans. Most experts advise prospective buyers to have a good idea about location in order to have an effective search. 


Buying a home versus renting one may also be a driver to make the decision, especially if you plan to use it as a vacation home which may also generate extra income as a rental. This perspective can help sort out the pros and cons of purchasing a home in North Carolina and the timeline to do so. More inventory on the market means buyers have a wider selection to choose from when looking for their dream home.


House Hunt Considerations:

Location – decide where in North Carolina

Budget – how much can you spend

Timeline – when is move-in day

Desired square footage – how much room is needed 


Interest rates, whether up or down, play a role in deciding if it’s a good time to purchase a home. However, experts think higher interest rates will begin to level off. National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yum, told Forbes Magazine that interest rates showed a peak during the summer at nearly 6-percent. 


“There was an overshooting of rates at that time in an uncertain inflationary environment,” Yum said. “Now, with gas prices steadily retreating, consumer price inflation may also have already peaked. That means the 30-year mortgage rate could settle down at around 5.5%...”


Additional factors in the real estate market in North Carolina include buyers looking to purchase rental property or real estate investing. The National Association of Realtors Local Market Assessment, covering North Carolina along with South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, identified buyers and sellers with international origins who are helping shape the real estate investing landscape. However, depending on the region, there can also be a lack of inventory as buyers flock to purchase before home prices tick upward. 

Where Is the Best Place to Live In North Carolina?

The answer to where is the best place to live in North Carolina will likely vary depending on who you ask. Of course, everyone has an opinion, but only a buyer can decide what their needs are to then consider various communities to make a final selection. In some cases, it may come down to location and access to enjoy nature, while others need to be in the center of the action. 


Piedmont – Most of North Carolina’s large metropolitan cities are located in what’s known as the Piedmont region which includes Charlotte in the south to the Tri-cities of Raleigh, Durham and Winston-Salem. 

Outer Banks – The beautiful seashore of Eastern North Carolina includes quaint villages along the Atlantic Ocean to include Nags Head, Kittyhawk, Cape Hatteras, and Kills Devil Hills to name a few. 


Western Mountains – Stunning panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains are enjoyed by homes located in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire, Lake Glenville and Lake Toxaway. 


Southern Living Magazine named three large cities – Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh -- to the coveted The South’s Best Cities list. Ashville, located in the western part of the state, is No. 3 on the list and home to the Biltmore Estate and has become a hub for eco-tourism in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Charlotte is No. 11 on the list known as The Queen City is a hub for arts, sports, and industry. Raleigh is at No. 12 on the list highlighted for a thriving business community and home to the North Carolina Museum of Art. 


In similar fashion, Southern Living included several towns in Western North Carolina to the Favorite Small Towns in North Carolina list. The list of small towns includes at No. 8 Cashiers, No. 11 Franklin, and No. 13 Highlands. North Carolina is home to a lot of great places to live, especially the western part of the state chalked full of many unique properties.


How Much Does the Average House Cost in North Carolina?

According to Zillow, the average home price in North Carolina is $316,103 which is a 3.1 percent increase from the previous year. However, Redfin reports the median sale price is $358,000, reflecting almost a 3.8 percent increase over the past year. In comparison, Neighborhood Scout showcases that almost 65.4-percent of homes across North Carolina are single-family with a median value of $291,592. Nationally, the median home price hovers at $412,000 as of September 2023. While the average price of homes for sale varies across the state, one thing all agree on is that the market is stable as the dollar amounts continue to rise at a steady pace. 


Overall, the cost of a house depends on a list of variables including whether it is an existing home or new construction. Currently, the cost to build a new home starts at a minimum of $100 per square foot and escalates to over $200 per square foot. There are pros and cons to purchasing either an existing home versus building a new house from the ground up. 

List of Factors Impacting Home Value

  1. Location

  2. Age of property

  3. Condition of structure

  4. Size

  5. Comparable in neighborhood 

Consider the list of factors as a guide for buyers looking to purchase a new home. While some homeowners want to be close to amenities either by car or foot, others desire to be on acres of property in a more intimate setting. The difference in the locations will play a major role in the overall price for both existing and new construction. 

Where Is the Best Place to Live in the Mountains in North Carolina?

The southern span of the Blue Ridge Mountains provides an idyllic backdrop for homes nestled in beautiful mountain towns throughout the region. There are plenty to choose from when it comes to deciding on the best place to live in the mountains in North Carolina


Cashiers – a hub in the region with a variety of homes providing great mountain views.

Highlands – quaint and charming homes showcase the historic value of the area.

Lake Glenville – just steps away from hiking and fishing along with panoramic scenery.

Sapphire – enjoy close proximity to a beautiful golf course and an equestrian center.

Lake Toxaway – stately homes and estates in this exclusive community define luxury. 


Potential buyers often weigh whether to choose one spectacular view over another in deciding which property to purchase. It’s a great problem to have because the mountains of Western North Carolina are chalked full of stellar properties offering, in some cases, exclusive access to enjoy picturesque natural settings. Finding the best place to live in the mountains is easy, especially when working with an expert who knows this sector of the North Carolina real estate market. 


How is the housing market in Western North Carolina?

How is the housing market in Western North Carolina?

While the metropolitan area of Asheville, North Carolina, home to the historic Biltmore Estate, gets most of a fair share of attention, the broader housing market in Western North Carolina has a lot to offer buyers. The region’s wealth of natural resources attracts visitors from around the globe with many returning on a regular basis and others ultimately purchasing a property. The beauty of Western North Carolina allows many to find their way home.


The local housing market, like other areas of the North Carolina real estate market and that of the nation, fluctuates as home prices change along with mortgage rates, interest rates and overall supply and demand. Working closely with a locally-based broker helps buyers better navigate all the variables during the search.


Kristen Hitchcock, Broker at Landmark Realty Group, said the market in Western North Carolina is strong as many buyers are looking for their next home but inventory is limited. 

“We currently have many buyers currently looking for their next home, but inventory is limited,” Hitchcock said.


She added that buyers who are interested in a particular club such as Mountaintop, CCSV, High Hampton to name a few.

“Our non-club buyers are typically looking for either close-to-town or big mountain views homes,” Hitchcock said. 


Life in the western part of North Carolina has a different rhythm, especially when surrounded by the backdrop of mountain views. Discover the variety of properties on the market that will be perfect for frequent weekend getaways, the annual summer vacation or a long-term permanent address. The inventory of existing homes throughout the Plateau is an ever-changing landscape. In addition, vacant lots are in good supply for those looking to relocate to Western North Carolina and build a dream home with waterfront views, tucked away in the mountains or nestled in a quaint village.  


“Buyers are different and not looking for the same thing. Some want views, some want water, some want elevation,” said Carl Romberg, Broker-In-Charge at Landmark Realty Group. 

He added that, “good internet would be one thing that all buyers are looking for.” 


Today, while most home searches begin online with aggregated results for any area, chances are that is only part of the story regarding the area and specific properties. Market trends vary across the board and have different impacts based on the sector. The housing market of Western North Carolina, with a focus on the Cashiers-Highlands plateau, remains steady with inventory and buyers.

Landmark Realty Group Experts Navigate the North Carolina Real Estate Market

Home buying in the North Carolina real estate market is a seamless process with the Landmark Realty Group. Whether searching for a first home or a forever property in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the knowledgeable brokers of Landmark Realty Group can assist you with finding the perfect location.


Browse the impressive portfolio of homes listed in the region. Landmark Realty Group brokers specializes in the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, Lake Toxaway, Lake Glenville and Sapphire Valley. We boast the best views of the surrounding mountains and great access to all nature has to offer. Take your time with the virtual portfolio and keep a list of properties to request viewing in person.


Allow one of the expert brokers at Landmark Realty Group to guide your home search in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Since our brokers live here, have roots in the region, they know the area well and can help answer buyer questions and work to fulfill a wish list for a new home. Landmark Realty Group brokers are ready to showcase the great communities in the region to find a condo/townhouse, featured estates or land.

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