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With the unofficial start to fall in the High Country underway, Realtors® in the area are preparing for the second round of the selling season. But with residential inventory dwindling, buyers are moving on to land purchases, according to the High Country Association of Realtors®.

Land sales are growing as buyers are realizing that in order to have a piece of mountain living, their options may lead them to vacant lots to build their homes.

Residential: August saw a total of 294 homes sell in the High Country, as compared to 372 homes sold last August. Alleghany Realtors® sold 18 homes totaling over $5 million. Ashe County Realtors® sold 47 homes that totaled $13.5 million. Avery County Realtors® sold 72 homes that totaled nearly $37 million. Watauga County Realtors® sold 131 homes totaling close to $68 million. While unit sales are down, the market is still pretty strong on sales volume. High Country MLS reports over $135 million in total sales for August. That’s over a 45 percent increase compared to two years ago (prior to the market inflation).

The High Country’s residential unit sales continue to decline, while residential sale prices climb, according to the High Country Association of Realtors®. The median sales price for the month of August was recorded at $340,000, compared to last August, which saw a median price of $319,900. With residential inventory in the area continuing to be in short supply, buyers’ other option is to turn to land listings.

Land: In Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga there were 149 tracts of land that sold for a combined total of over $17.2 million in August. This is compared to last August when the High Country recorded 114 tracts that sold for $10.3 million in August 2020. The tracts sold last month totaled 914 acres.

This August, 57 tracts were sold for $7.12 million in Watauga County. Ashe County recorded the second most land sold with 39 tracts that brought in over $3.7 million. Avery County followed with 24 tracts selling for over $3.2 million and Alleghany recording nine tracts that sold for a little over $460,000. All counties, except Watauga, saw land sale totals grow in August as compared to the previous month.

Commercial: The High Country again recorded a total of five commercial properties sold for the month of August. The properties combined totaled over $5 million. The property sold in Watauga County, accounted for $4.2 million. Alleghany ($145,000), Ashe ($85,000) and Avery ($950,000) each recorded one commercial property sale in August. And there was an additional commercial property that sold for $168,000 in MLS that was located in a neighboring county.

Alleghany County: Alleghany County Realtors® sold 18 homes for $5.6 million. The median sold price for those properties was $295,000 — a 68.57 percent increase from August 2020.

Ashe County: Ashe County Realtors® sold 47 residential properties totaling $13.59 million. The median sold price was $279,000 — a 5.42 percent decrease from August 2020.

Avery County: Realtors® sold 72 homes in Avery County which totaled nearly $37 million. The median sales price for those properties was $303,000 — a 7.62 percent decrease from August 2020.

Watauga County: Watauga County Realtors® recorded 131 residential properties selling for nearly $68 million. The median sold price was $405,000 — a 6.8 percent increase from August 2020.

Interest Rates: With the acceleration of inflation and economic growth stabilizing, Freddie Mac predicts mortgage rates to moderate into the remainder of the year. The mortgage enterprise reports 30-year fixed rate mortgages have increased slightly to 2.87 percent as of Sept. 7, according to the High Country Association of Realtors®.

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