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The Market Report – Western North Carolina 2014

Looking at the nation’s housing and economic indicators, there is plenty of positive news to justify continued investor optimism in 2015.

THE GENERAL MARKET

The housing recovery has progressed in fits and starts this year, with historically low mortgage rates and the strongest job gains since 1999 slowly luring buyers into the market. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.93 percent in the week ended Dec. 11, down from 4.53 percent at the start of January, according to data from Freddie Mac in McLean, Virginia.

At the 2014 Realtors Conference & Expo, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, or NAR, predicted a rebound for existing home sales for the next two years, and he projects the national median existing-home price will rise at a moderate 4 percent in each of those years.

On the new home front, David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, forecasted in an Oct. 31, 2014 National Association of Home Builders webinar that multi-family housing starts were projected to increase 15 percent in the rest of 2014 and hold steady in 2015.

Two major concerns remain: tight lending standards, which continue to keep people who could otherwise afford to buy a home from qualifying for a loan to finance the purchase, and interest rates, which are expected to hit at least 5 percent by year-end. However, as the run-up in home prices decelerates and lending standards become less strict, homeownership may become more attainable for many Americans. Starting Dec. 13, Fannie Mae is allowing lower down payments for first-time buyers and permitting borrowers who are refinancing to reduce equity to 3 percent to cover closing costs.

THE LUXURY MARKET

U.S. millionaires see real estate as the top alternative-asset class to own this year, according to Morgan Stanley.

About 77 percent of investors with at least $1 million in assets own real estate, according to a survey released today by the New York-based investment bank’s wealth-management unit. “After a year where the Standard & Poor’s Index rose 30 percent, some millionaires are moving money out of traditional, long-only strategies to find outperformance, and turning toward alternatives such as real estate and private equity,” said Gary Kaminsky, a vice chairman at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in New York. “Sophisticated, high-net-worth investors are much more concerned about losses.”

Wealthy foreigners have bought high-end U.S. properties for their safety and because they’re denominated in dollars, the world’s reserve currency, he said. This helps domestic millionaires maintain the value of their property investments. This is creating competition, which drives U.S. real estate prices up. U.S. sellers have multiple channels to sell into which gives them more liquidity.

THE FORECLOSURE AND REO MARKET

The number of U.S. properties in the process of being foreclosed upon dropped last year to its lowest level since 2006, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said on January 15th, 2015. In total, 1,117,426 properties were at some stage of foreclosure proceedings in 2014, down 18 percent from 2013 and off 61 percent from the peak of the aftermath of the housing collapse in 2010, when 2,871,891 properties had foreclosure filings under way. The data for the year overall showed the foreclosure market is “close to finding a floor and stabilizing at a historically normal level,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a statement.

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA

When compared to 2013, the real estate market is up in almost all counties of Western North Carolina. In 2014, the counties of Western North Carolina posted a total sales volume of $2,011,717,532, selling 9,286 properties, up % over 2013.

PINNACLE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

2014 was an extraordinary year for us. Here are some of our highlights: • Over $12,000,000 in total sales • Top office in Lake Lure • Highest sale in Henderson County • Third highest sale in Rutherford County • Second highest sale in Lake Lure • Ranked 13th in the Hendersonville Board of Realtors • Highest average transaction in Lake Lure We look forward to a prosperous 2015!

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The Market Report – 4th Quarter 2014

Overall, the 4th quarter of real estate sales in Western North Carolina continued the trend of a slightly improving market; especially in the more affluent areas of Asheville and Hendersonville.

The Grove Park area, along with Beaver Lake and Reynolds Mountain show 27% increase in sales price and a 22% increase in units sold.

South Asheville including Biltmore Forest, The Ramble, and Biltmore Park also posted a higher 4th quarter compared to 2013, as did both Champion Hills and Kenmure in Henderson County.

Lake Lure again showed a decrease in overall sales despite the second highest sale on the Lake happening in December.  Thankfully, activity has returned to Rumbling Bald Resort, which didn’t record a single sale last quarter and is only slightly down from the 2013 4th quarter.

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The Market Report – 3rd Quarter 2014

Overall, the real estate in Western North Carolina either stayed level or improved from the 2nd to the 3rd Quarter.

Primary market neighborhoods like Biltmore Forest, with it’s million dollar plus homes, Biltmore Lake, and Haw Creek, showed a modest increase in sales, more transactions, and higher list price to sale price percentage.

Lake Lure however, has shown a decrease in number of transactions and high-dollar sales. However, to put that in perspective, Lake Lure is a resort community of mostly secondary homes and the prime selling season is from Memorial Day to Labor day, so the decrease is to be expected.

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Asheville North Carolina Named Most Beautiful Place in America to Live and More

Asheville, North Carolina (PRWEB) July 23, 2014

No need for mascara or lipstick, Asheville, North Carolina’s acres of mountain terrain won the ultimate beauty contest in 2011. ABC’s Good Morning America, announced its list of “Ten Most Beautiful Places to Live” and this little city nicknamed Land in the Sky near the Blue Ridge Parkway topped the charts at #1. But beauty is not only what’s Asheville’s know for. In 2013, Conde Nast Traveler named Asheville on the list of Friendliest Cities in the World. More recently, Purina ONE selected Asheville in May 2014 as a “perfect dog-friendly city” after touring the country to find the best place to kick off its 28-Day Challenge. In June 2014, Livability.com placed Asheville at #4 on its “Top 10 Foodie Cities 2014” round-up.

Asheville, North Carolina beat Aspen, Colorado with flying colors for the top beauty title. This culturally rich beautiful mountain town is nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Asheville’s stellar outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking and fishing appeal to folks of all ages. Families from far and wide travel to the region to check out the rich cultural festivals and foodie venues. Visitors enjoy this place so much that many end up searching for Asheville homes for sale while they’re on holiday to see if Asheville is right for them. Check out which Asheville neighborhoods Real Estate Scorecard believes are getting even more beautiful as time goes on:

BILTMORE LAKE – A bass fisherman’s dream! This luxury community filled with Asheville homes is known for its catch and release fishing, gorgeous mountain views and its 1,300 acres of superb architectural planning. Add Biltmore Lake‘s convenient location near the Blue Ridge Parkway and additional amenities like the lakefront Biltmore Clubhouse, two tennis courts and 4.2 miles of hiking trails and this is clearly the most ideal destination for retirement.

THE CLIFFS AT WALNUT COVE – For the golfing enthusiasts of the family, this is one of the best places to live in North Carolina mountains. This upscale, gated gated community comes with its own fine dining at the Walnut Cove Tavern, four lighted Har-Tru tennis courts, a superb Wellness Center and, of course, 18-hole Championship Jack Nicklaus golf course. This 1,500-acre golfing paradise set in a valley is more than what any Baby Boomer could bargain for who wants to live close to downtown Asheville.

SOUTHCLIFF – Quaint elegance is the best way to describe this gated mountain community. It is 400 acres of manicured parks, six miles of walking trails, and plenty of farmhouse and cottage-inspired Asheville homes for sale. The rustic porches and bridges sweeten the already breathtaking landscapes of the mountains in this cozy Asheville neighborhood for house-hunting retirees and young families.

THE RAMBLE – Location, location, location. It’s hard to beat The Ramble’s proximity to downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Luxury Asheville homes and European-style estates are built among a 1,000 acre forest. An extensive trail system provides hiking adventures outdoor lovers crave in Western North Carolina. Award winning restaurants and shopping can be quickly accessed at Biltmore Park Town Square.

REYNOLDS MOUNTAIN – Perched up on a mountain, the twinkling lights of downtown Asheville will steal your breath away at Reynolds Mountain. Situated on the north end of the city, Reynolds Mountain offers low maintenance townhomes and cliffside Asheville homes. It urban towncenter at the base of the mountain is home to a large YMCA fitness center and outdoor cafes.

CHAMPION HILLS – Competitive folks will love the opportunity to win at Champion Hills. Complete with a resort-style heated outdoor pool, 18-hole Tom Fazio Championship golf course, fitness center and four lighted tennis courts, this mountain golf community will keep any fitness fanatic in top shape. The 100 social clubs and hobby organizations occupy the social butterflies of the family, and the grand 25,000 square foot clubhouse offers a scenic venue for folks to reunite and share the events of their memorable days.

All of these neighborhoods have been welcoming folks looking to relocate to the Western North Carolina area. Now is still an excellent time to buy while Asheville home prices are still affordable. Asheville shows off its natural beauty year round and continues to win the reputation of being one of the best places to live in North Carolina mountains.

About Real Estate Scorecard:

Real Estate Scorecard writes unbiased real estate reviews providing in-depth information about popular gated communities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, all in an effort to help people discover where to retire in the Southeast.