As reopening gets underway, the Asheville region’s contract activity shows increasing buyer interest

June 19, 2020

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Spring sales across the Asheville region were impacted for a second consecutive month, falling 39.3 percent year-over-year compared to May 2019, according to data from Canopy MLS. For the thirteen counties that make up the region, there were 685 properties sold during the month compared to 1,129 sold in May 2019.  Compared to the previous month (April 2020), the region’s sales are down by 7.1 percent. 

Pending contracts, usually a strong measure of buyer demand, were positive in May, rising 18.2 percent year-over-year with 1,265 contracts entering the pipeline. Compared to the previous month, contracts are up significantly (50.6 percent) as buyers and sellers, buoyed by reopening, adjust to changes in the marketplace.

“Tom Mallette, a Realtor®/broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® Heritage and a Canopy MLS Board of Directors member, representing the Asheville region said, “We’re pleased to see showing activity recovered in early June and as of this week is up nearly 30 percent (MLS-wide) compared to activity this time last year. The positive pending contract activity in May and the significant increase compared to April show buyer activity on the rise, even as lenders imposed tighter lending standards and documentation in April and May. Current numbers show buyers are adjusting and more of this activity will lead to positive sales.”

The region’s new listing activity, which usually points to seller confidence, was down 31.4 percent year-over-year with 1,253 new listings added in May. Compared to April 2020, new listings increased 33.9 percent, another positive sign of recovery. Prices across the region held steady, with the median sales price ($267,000) rising 2.7 percent year-over-year and the average sales price dipping slightly by 0.9 percent year-over-year to $306,954. Inventory declined 34.0 percent, leaving 3.8 months of supply, as homes across the region averaged 66 days on market in May.

The Asheville region includes Burke, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey counties.

Asheville MSA

Year-over-year sales across the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) declined 43.8 percent with 438 homes sold in May compared to 779 homes sold this time last year. Compared to the previous month sales were down 9.3 percent. Pending contracts, which signify buyer demand, rose 12.4 percent compared to May 2019, and were up sharply by 57.3 percent compared to April 2020 with 307 more contracts added since last month. New listing activity, which was down 28.1 percent year-over-year with 865 listings added to the market, also showed major positive gains when compared to April 2020, rising 34.7 percent. All price indices increased year-over-year in May. The average list price rose 12.1 percent to $449,813 compared to last year, while the median sales price ($305,000) and the average sales price ($343,377) rose 7.0 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. The list price to sales price ratio increased 0.9 percent year-over-year to 96.1 percent, showing sellers throughout the MSA are getting closer to asking prices. 

Mallette added, “Increases in month-over-month activity in both pending contracts and new listings shows the MSA and counties throughout the region are in various stages of recovery, which should continue as we move through Phase 2 of reopening. And while the activity we usually see at this time is still not at the levels of the previous year, we believe this recovery will continue as all parties to the sale adjust to doing business following strict CDC guidelines.”

Inventory throughout the MSA remains tight, falling 31.6 percent year-over-year with just 2,095 homes on market or 3.3 months of supply. Homes sold quickly as indicated by days on market, which averaged 60 days in May.

Buncombe County

Buncombe County saw sales decline 47.7 percent year-over-year as 232 homes were sold in May 2020 compared to 444 sold last May. Sales compared to April 2020 were down by 2.5 percent. Pending contracts rose 11.6 percent year-over-year with 452 contracts written compared to 405 written during the same period last year. New listings remained depressed and were down 29.1 percent year-over-year as sellers listed 454 homes for sale in May 2020 compared to 640 new listings last May. Prices continued to rise in response to seller’s market conditions. Both the median sales price ($332,613) and the average sales price ($390,428) increased and were up 6.3 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, compared to a year ago. Inventory was down 31.6 percent year-over-year in May, leaving the county with 3.2 months supply of homes for sale. Homes sold quickly, as days on market averaged 53 days in May 2020 compared to 62 days in May 2019.

Haywood County

Sales in Haywood County fell 42.6 percent year-over-year with 66 homes sold in May 2020 compared to 115 homes sold last May. Compared to April 2020 sales were down 28.3 percent. Pending sales remained negative, declining 6.8 percent year-over-year with 109 contracts written, while new listing activity fell 32.5 percent as sellers listed 129 properties during the month. Prices held steady year-over-year with the median sales price slipping by 3.4 percent to $212,500 and the average sales price ($243,957) increasing 0.3 percent compared to last year. Inventory was down 28.2 percent year-over-year with 362 homes on market or 3.8 months of supply. Days on market until sale in May 2020 averaged 81 days compared to 79 days in May 2019.

Henderson County

Henderson County’s sales contracted 35.0 percent year-over-year with 130 closed sales in May compared to 200 closings in May 2019. Pending sales were positive and rose 21.0 percent year-over-year, with 248 homes in the pipeline compared to 205 last May.  New listings totaled 251, down 21.3 percent compared to May 2019 when 319 listings were added to the market. Prices continued to rise, pressured by inventory, which declined 33.4 percent year-over-year with 512 homes for sale at report time. The median sales price of $293,750 increased 4.9 percent compared to a year ago, while the average sales price of $309,104 rose 5.0 percent year-over-year. Days on market averaged 59 days in May compared to 51 days on market a year ago, and the county had 2.9 months of supply of homes for sale at report time.

Madison County

In Madison County sales were down 50.0 percent year-over-year with 10 homes sold, compared to 20 homes sold in May 2019. Pending sales, which totaled 34 in May, rose 47.8 percent year-over-year, while new listings remained negative and declined 41.5 percent year-over-year with only 31 homes listed compared to 53 listed last May. Year-to-date pending sales activity is positive, rising 13.8 percent with 99 contracts in the pipeline during the first five months of 2020 compared to 87 during the first five months of 2019. The median sales price ($317,500) increased 19.0 percent year-over-year while the average sales price ($353,509) declined 21.8 percent year-over-year. Madison County is a buyer’s market with 6.5 months of supply and 124 homes for sale compared to 188 homes for sales in May 2019. Properties averaged 102 days on market in May compared to 138 days this time last year.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit and click on “Market Data.”  For an interview with an Asheville-area Realtor®/broker, please contact Kim Walker.

Canopy MLS is a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of Canopy Realtor® Association and is the private broker cooperative used by Realtors® to bring buyers and sellers together with access to thousands of residential listings in a multicounty service area, including Charlotte, the mountains area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond.  Canopy MLS, which has 17,700 Subscribers, provides the most trustworthy, timely, accurate and complete property data along with proprietary tools for showings, market stats, predictive analytics, and more, used by its members to support consumers in their residential real estate transactions, whether selling, buying, investing or renting.

Original Publish Date: 6/19/2020