Catawba Valley Region 2020 home sales outperform 2019, poised for continued growth in 2021

January 27, 2021

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Data from Canopy MLS showed buyers were busy closing on homes for the holidays, as home sales in the Catawba Valley region during the month of December 2020 increased 14.2 percent over December 2019 sales with 345 homes sold. Year-end figures show that even a pandemic couldn’t dampen the region’s housing market in 2020 as sales topped 2019 home sales by 3.4 percent with 3,993 properties sold last year. The Catawba Valley Region consists of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties. Completed transactions include single-family and condo/townhomes only.

Pending sales in December 2020 were strong and show an abundance of buyers are seeking homes in the four counties surrounding Hickory, N.C. Contracts rose 35.7 percent year-over-year during the month as 270 properties went under contract, which means that sales over the next 45-60 days should be steady. Contract activity was strong throughout the year as buyers, tempted by low mortgage rates and high affordability, sought homes in the foothills with 4,129 properties under contract throughout 2020, an increase of 6.5 percent over 2019’s contract activity.

New listings, which signal increasing seller confidence, rose 35.0 percent year-over-year in December 2020 as sellers listed 278 properties for sale. New listings for the full year, however, were down 2.3 percent compared to 2019 with just under 4,500 homes listed in 2020.

Cory Klassett, president of Catawba Valley Association of Realtors® and a Realtor®/broker with RE/MAX Legendary, said, “Without a doubt, the pandemic presented challenges last year just as the spring selling season was getting underway. However, agents within the region were able to quickly adjust to showing homes safely and virtually, and sales last year still managed to outperform 2019. This points to the overall health of our market, even as buyers face headwinds of limited supply.”

Inventory cycled lower in December and declined 51.8 percent year-over-year to 1.2 months of supply, which will continue to pressure prices in 2021. The 2020 average sales price of $244,281 bears this trend, as it rose 16.2 percent over 2019’s average sales price. However, year-end figures show the median sales price, the best measure of price over time, had only risen 12.4 percent over 2019 to end the year at $190,000, which shows the relative affordability of homes across Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties. Sellers are getting closer to receiving nearly all of asking price with the original list price to sales price ratio trending at 96.7 percent for the year. Buyers and sellers also experienced faster days on market in 2020 with properties averaging 43 days until sale versus 52 in 2019.

Klassett added, “Buyers seeking homes in the region can expect continued supply challenges and a market that highly favors sellers. Sellers should know that with so few listings for sale, new listings receive optimal exposure and have the added benefits of the home selling quickly while receiving close to asking price, making this an almost ideal time to sell.”

Alexander’s County positive sales activity continued in December 2020, with homes sales rising 70.0 percent year-over-year as 34 homes sold compared to 20 homes sold in December 2019. Year-end figures show Alexander County’s sales for the year rising 21.0 percent over 2019 with 340 properties sold in 2020. Though pending sales fell 10.5 percent year-over-year in December 2020, pending sales activity for all of 2020 was up 16.8 percent over 2019, which means that buyer demand should still be steady over the next few months. New listing activity was also positive in December and ended the year up 10.4 percent over new listing activity in 2019. Prices will continue to be pressured by inventory, which fell 45.6 percent year-over-year in December, leaving the county with 1.3 months of supply. Year-end figures show both the median sales price ($182,000) and the average sales price ($242,901) increased 9.0 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively, over prices in 2019. Days on market until sale averaged 49 days in 2020 compared to 59 days in 2019. This dynamic of low supply, high demand and price increases will likely continue this year as buyers continue to look to rural communities close to the Charlotte region for increased choice and affordability.

Burke County’s closed sales, pending contracts and new listing activity were all positive in December 2020, which caused year-end figures to be roughly on par with overall sales activity in 2019. Year-end figures show 2020 sales activity unchanged compared to 2019, with 807 properties sold and 826 properties under contract over the course of 2020. December 2020 shows 61 properties still under contract, and thus sales should be steady over the next 45-60 days. Inventory in December 2020 declined to more than half of December 2019, leaving 99 homes for sale at report time or 1.4 months of supply. The median sales price in 2020 was $180,000, a 12.5 percent increase over the 2019 median sales price. Sellers are getting closer to full asking price in Burke as shown by the original list price to sales price ratio of 95.9 percent in 2020. Homes sold quickly last year, with days on market averaging 45 days versus 59 days in 2019. Burke County’s location nestled in the mountains will continue to lure buyers interested in the growing second home market of western North Carolina.

Caldwell County’s home sales in December 2020 were down 9.4 percent compared to December 2019 with just 58 homes sold. However, year-end figures show Caldwell poised for continued growth this year, as indicated by home sales at year-end rising 2.0 percent over sales in 2019 with 782 homes sold last year. Pending contract activity, which indicates buyer demand, soared in December, rising 84.4 percent year-over-year compared to December 2019. Contract activity also outperformed 2019, rising 4.9 percent year-over-year with 815 properties under contract last year. New listing activity rose 8.3 percent year-over-year in December 2020 as sellers brought 52 homes to market, but it was down 7.2 percent for the year compared to new listing activity in 2019. Inventory is low and fell 57.4 percent year-over-year, leaving 1.2 months of supply and a tight market that will impact prices. Prices are relatively affordable, but had double-digit increases at year-end with the 2020 average sales price ($200,630) rising 17.2 percent over 2019’s average sales price and the 2020 median sales price ($171,000) rising 15.2 percent over 2019’s median. The original list price to sales price ratio showed sellers in 2020 received 96.5 percent of asking prices, and homes averaged 44 days on market last year.

Catawba County’s home sales in December 2020 were positive, with closed sales rising 10.8 percent year-over-year as 174 homes sold compared to 157 sold in December 2019. Pending sales were also strong in December and rose 40.0 percent year-over-year as 133 properties went under contract, while new listings rose 48.4 percent year-over year with 141 properties listed in December in a show of strong seller confidence. Year-end figures were also positive, with closings in 2020 up 2.8 percent over 2019; pending sales up 9.3 percent over contract activity in 2019, and new listings up 1.9 percent over 2019’s new listing activity. Inventory continues to fall and was down 49.8 percent year-over-year at report time, leaving 1.2 months of supply, which means that buyers will continue to see price increases in 2021. Both the median sales price ($205,000) and the average sales price ($268,737) for 2020 were up 11.1 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively, over prices in 2019. Sellers saw the original list price to sales price measure at 97.0 percent at year-end 2020 with homes averaging 41 days on market until sale in 2020.

Canopy MLS, a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of Canopy Realtor® Association, announced the consolidation of the MLS of Catawba Valley (MLSCV), which was effective on August 31, 2020. For more information about Canopy MLS or for residential-housing market statistics, visit and click on “Market Data.”

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 nearly 20,000 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: 1/27/2021