Buyer demand increases in October across the Catawba Valley region

December 7, 2023

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

October marks the third consecutive month of rising contract activity

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The market update for October reveals a year-over-year decrease of 11.7 percent in closed sales, ending the month with 303 transactions compared to 343 in the same month last year. Additionally, the region saw a 17 percent drop from September 2023, accounting for 62 fewer closed sales. The sales data in this report is sourced from Canopy MLS and encompasses single-family homes, condos, and townhomes sold in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties.

The number of new listings in October 2023 remained consistent with the previous year, totaling 411 properties. However, there was a month-over-month dip of 6.4 percent, which translates to 28 fewer homes coming onto the market. Despite this, the influx of new listings was still higher than average for the past year.

Median sales prices experienced a modest decrease from $294,500 in September to $288,000 in October, marking a 2.2 percent reduction. Yet, when looking at the year-over-year data, both median and average sales prices have seen increases of 10.8 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, with the average sales price reaching $327,145. Sellers have consistently secured close to their asking price, with the original list price to sales price ratio standing at 96.5 percent, a marginal gain of 0.1 percent over the past year. Overall, in 2023, sellers have generally received 96.4 percent of their list price.

"Despite the ebbs and flows we've seen this month, I'm optimistic that 2023 is wrapping up better than anticipated. With the market trends pointing upwards and whispers of declining mortgage rates on the horizon, buyers should work with a Realtor® to strategize now for the spring market. Real estate always has its twists and turns, but 2024 is could be an interesting year for both buyers and sellers alike." said Emily Wood, a Realtor®/broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Foothills and president of Catawba Valley Association of Realtors®. 

In October, there was a 7.2 percent year-over-year increase in buyer demand, with 328 properties entering into contracts. Additionally, there was a 5.1 percent increase in pending sales with 16 more units, when compared to the previous month of September. Contract activity increased across the region except Caldwell County, which experienced a slight 6.2 percent decline when compared to October 2022. When analyzing the 12-month period from October 2022 to October 2023, the market has seen a 9.1 percent drop in pending sales on average. Notably, October 2023 marks the first month since March 2022 to report an uptick in pending sales. Throughout 2023, most monthly declines were under ten percent, with the exception of February and March, which both recorded a 12.8 percent fall. Moreover, the number of pending sales has consistently been in the same range this year, indicating a trend toward market stabilization.

The Showings report for October revealed that year-over-year foot traffic in the Catawba Valley Region remained steady at 3.9 showings per listing, while month-over-month slightly increased by 0.5 percent. Catawba County had the highest buyer interest of the four counties with 4.7 showings per listing. Newton and Hickory remained at the top of buyers lists, with 7.3 and 4.7 showings per listing respectively.

Wood noted, “As we move into the season where inventory typically grows, buyers next spring should be presented with a broader range of choices and more favorable conditions. Despite this seasonal uptick, our area is still facing a chronic shortage of housing. We're seeing some relief as new construction picks up, helping to ease the tight market. Moreover, with the recent dip in interest rates and a growing acceptance of the market's current state, we should see more sellers entering the market in first quarter.”

The average time to sell a property has seen a slight increase over the past year, growing from 24 days to 27 days. A breakdown by property type shows that condos linger on the market the longest, taking an average of 40 days to sell, which is a significant 122.2 percent increase from the previous year. Single-family homes are next, typically selling in 32 days, while townhomes sold faster, often closing within 20 days. Smaller homes with three bedrooms or fewer, and those priced under $300,000, tend to sell in 29 days or less, which is a notable increase from last October's swift 20 days or less timeframe.

Since March of the current year, inventory levels have consistently remained in the 500s with a jump to 664 units in September. This month saw another increase to 684 available properties. This is a 2.9 percent year-over-year increase and the largest amount of inventory seen in 12 months.

In October, there was also a 10.5 percent increase in months of supply, which reached 1.9 months. To break it down by property type, there was 2.0 months of supply for Single-Family homes, 1.6 months of supply for Townhomes, and 3.3 months of supply for Condos. The Condominium segment experienced the most significant increase in inventory, with a notable 65 percent rise.

A closer look at sales across the four counties:

(Due to smaller sample sizes in counties where there is a smaller pool of listings, percentage increases or decreases may seem extreme)

Alexander County home sales in October saw a minimal decline of 4.8 percent year-over-year as 20 homes sold compared to 21 that sold a year ago in October. Pending contract activity slightly increased with 23 homes under contract verses 22 homes under contract a year ago.  New listing activity decreased by 13.3 percent year-over-year as sellers brought 26 homes to market during the month. Inventory was nearly the same with 41 units compared to 42 the previous year. This equates to 1.9 months of supply which is up from 1.6 months of supply this time last year. The median sales price of $2219,950 was down 22.8 percent year-over-year while the average sales price of $266,185 decreased by 21.5 percent compared to last year to $339,292. Increasing this month was the average list price, rising 15.6 percent to $431,413 bringing the original list price to sales price measure down slightly to 92 percent. Days on market increased substantially by 80.8 percent, as homes averaged 47 days on market until sale compared to 26 days on market in October 2022. 

Burke County 
experienced increases in most metrics except closed sales and percent of list price received. Home sales in October were down 21.3 percent year-over-year as 59 homes sold compared to 75 that sold in October 2022. The median sales price increased 22.2 percent year-over-year to $275,000, the average sales price rose 5.7 percent to $287,918, while the average list price increased 8.2 percent year-over-year to $332,292. The original list price to sales price measure decreased slightly 0.3 percent to 94.7 percent in October compared to 95 percent in October 2022.

Pending contract activity increased 41.5 percent to 75 homes under contract during the month compared to 53 during the same period last year. New listings rose by 13.8 percent as sellers brought 91 homes to market compared to 80 in October 2022. At report time, inventory was flat with 127 homes for sale or 1.9 months of supply. In October 2022 months of supply was at 1.7 months. Days on market rose 28 percent to 32 days in October compared to 25 days this time last year. 

Caldwell County saw decreases in pending sales, closed sales, and percent of list price received this month while experiencing increases in all other areas. Pending sales declined 6.2 percent year-over-year with 61 homes in contract compared to 65 in October 2022. Additionally, closed sales decreased 21.1 percent year-over-year as 56 homes sold during the month compared to 71 in October 2022.

New listing activity increased 9.5 percent with 81 properties listed. Inventory rose significantly 33 percent to 153 homes for sale at report time or 2.5 months of supply. The median sales price increased 12 percent year-over-year to $249,845, the average sales price rose 15.5 percent to $300,959, while the average list price increased 34.4 percent year-over-year to $352,614. This brought the original list price to sales price measure down from 97.5 percent to 97.2 percent while days on market until sale showed homes averaged 21 days on market versus 20 days on market in October 2022.  

Catawba County closed sales decreased 4.5 percent year-over-year as 168 homes sold compared to 176 that sold in October 2022, while pending contract activity slightly increased by 1.8 percent to 169 homes under contract during the month. New listings saw a 6.2 percent decline year-over-year to 213 homes listed compared to 227 that were newly listed in October 2022. Inventory dipped 4.7 percent to 363 homes for sale at report time or 2.1 months of supply. The median sales increased again this year by 8.1 percent to $305,550 while the average sales price rose 5.8 percent to $356,907. The average list price increased 16.7 percent to $426,734. This brought the original list price to sales price measure to 97.4 percent compared to 96.9 percent in October 2022. Days on market decreased slightly from 26 days in October 2022 to 25 days on market in October 2023.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit and click on “Market Data.” For an interview with a Realtor®/broker representing the Canopy MLS service area in the western/mountain region of North Carolina, 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, Asheville and Catawba Valley regions spanning across North Carolina, South Carolina and outside of the Carolinas. Canopy MLS, which has 21,000 subscribers, provides the most trustworthy, timely, accurate and complete property data along with proprietary tools for showings, market stats, predictive analytics, and more. Canopy MLS is used by its members to support consumers in their residential real estate transactions, whether selling, buying, investing or renting.

Original Publish Date: 12/7/2023