Real Estate Market Shows Surprising Surge in Sales for March 2020

Real Estate Market Shows Surprising Surge in Sales for March 2020

Real Estate Market on the Outer Banks for March 2020

The month of March produced some surprising results for the real estate market on the Outer Banks, N.C.

Despite public fears and some restrictions on normal business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Outer Banks real estate market experienced brisk sales throughout March 2020, for the most part. Sales increased by 7 percent for March and reflected a 14 percent increase from the same period in 2019.

Nationwide, residential property available on the market continued to decline in March, reflecting a 15.7 percent decrease in inventory, according to the National Association of Realtors. The inventory of residential homes for sale on the Outer Banks is down 18 percent from last year. Less available inventory on the market helped drive up median sales prices for the month.

Outer Banks Real Estate by the Numbers

Data from the Outer Banks Association of Realtors (OBAR) indicates that a total of 196 residential properties were sold in March, at a residential median sale price of $348,950. The numbers reflect a 7 percent and 5 percent increase, respectively, from March 2019. 

The March 2020 MLS Statistical Report provides comparisons of key data from over two years. Findings include:

  • Monthly sales for March 2020 showed a 7 percent increase from February. Changes between February and March 2019 and February and March 2018 were -6 percent and -1 percent, respectively.
  • The number of homes under contract for the month was down by 2 percent from a year ago and continues to fall.
  • Lots and land sales experienced a 23 percent increase between March 2019 and March 2020. Median sale price also increased by 56 percent to $78,000. The increase in price is attributed to the -3 percent change in lot and land inventory.
  • The number of foreclosures in Dare County leveled off in March 2020 after experiencing a surge in January. Distressed sales saw a 33 percent increase this March as compared with a year ago.

Kill Devil Hills had the highest number of oceanfront homes for sale between January and March 2020, with 67 residential units changing hands. It reflects a 109 percent increase over last year’s sales from the same period. In comparison, Ocracoke Island saw the biggest drop in sales for January through March at -50 percent from the same time last year.

Looking Forward

Overall, realtors on the Outer Banks experienced a 22 percent increase in sales during the first quarter of the year, with under-contract listings up 18 percent. The month of April may not be as promising. Due to social distancing requirements and stay-at-home orders to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Dare County is currently closed for business to everyone except local residents. The decision to shut down most of the local economy has effectively brought the real estate market to a standstill.

It is too soon to tell what long-term effects COVID-19 will have on homes for sale on the Outer Banks. If Dare County remains shut down for most of the summer, the market may be slow to rebound.

If you have any questions or concern please feel free to call Madonna at 252-202-6702.