May 2021 Real Estate Market on the OBX

May 2021 Real Estate Market on the OBX

Shattering Sales Record Trend Continues in the OBX
Record-breaking. When it comes to the state of the Outer Banks Real Estate Marketplace, this phrase sums it up nicely.

Despite a global pandemic that put a stranglehold on inspections and closings for a few months in the spring of 2020, the real estate market continues to shatter every sales record on the books. May 2021 is no exception. The market continues to favor sellers, with tight commodity and bidders willing to pay well above market value to snatch up the limited offerings.

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Here are some of the jaw-dropping statistics that have realtors excited:

• Total annual sales reflect a 105 percent increase.

• Residential sales for 2020 totaled 795 units.

• Residential sales for 2021 (to date) total 1,554 units — a 95 percent increase.

• Lot and land sales stand at 152 units for 2020.

• Lot and land sales for 2021 (to date) total 381 units — a 151 percent increase.

Tight inventory continues
Prospective buyers continue to face challenges with tight inventory. It is not uncommon for buyers to face stiff competition, with five to 10 competitors for every open property that hits the market.

Overall inventory is down by 50 percent. Residential inventory for 2020 peaked at 1,247 units. For 2021, residential inventory is down by 68 percent, with just 402 units available. Lot and land inventory fared a little better, with only a 25 percent decrease in availability. There were 763 lot or land units presented on the marketplace in 2020 versus 402 thus far into the 2021 sales year.

In its Weekly Housing Market Monitor, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed active listings are still down by slightly more than half from a year ago. Demand continues to outpace supply — a trend NAR does not see reversing itself anytime soon.

Why is inventory so tight?
Blame technology for the ongoing tight inventory in the Outer Banks and across the nation. Listings are online and available for viewing 24/7. During the lockdowns in 2020, prospective buyers could still peruse homes for sale and snap them up — sight unseen — if they found their perfect match. Mortgage pre-approval is also much easier, thanks in part to technology. Online brokers make it easier than ever to qualify for a home loan at affordable interest rates.

Another reason for the stagnant inventory is that people are buying new homes without putting their old homes on the market. With bottom-of-the-barrel interest rates, refinancing the property to squeeze cash from it is sometimes more lucrative than selling.

Top OBX performers
All Hatteras was the top OBX performer in May 2021, with a 564 percent increase in sales over the previous year. A total of 73 residential units were sold, with an average median sales price of $484,000.

Other Outer Banks towns that reaped the benefits of a seller’s market in May include:

• Duck, with 32 total sales, reflecting an increase of 220 percent

• Corolla, with 49 total sales, reflecting an increase of 172 percent

• Nags Head, with 35 total sales, reflecting an increase of 169 percent

Roanoke Island was the lowest performer with only 19 total sales, reflecting a 12 percent increase over last year.