Buyers seeking affordability and interest in second homes in the foothills of NC, drove home sales in the Catawba Valley region to record breaking levels in 2021

Feb. 2, 2022

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Catawba Valley region home sales at yearend 2021 showed the four-county region sustained tremendous growth last year, as 4,672 homes sold over the course of 2021. Buyers driven by low mortgage rates and tempted by the region’s affordability and proximity to both Charlotte and the mountains of North Carolina, purchased a record-breaking number of homes last year.

The nearly 4700 homes purchased at year end represented a year-over-year increase of 16.2 percent over home sales in 2020.  Sales during the month of December were mostly on par with closed sales activity in December 2020, increasing 1.9 percent, as 377 homes sold, just seven more than sold in December 2020. These are transactions according to data from Canopy MLS and include single-family and condo/townhome data only.

Pending sales activity, which signals buyer demand, was strong at yearend, showing just how desirable the area has become.  Buyers drove 4,839 homes under contract last year, an increase of 18.5 percent over contract activity in 2020, which means buyer activity will continue to be strong in the region in first quarter 2022.  December’s pending sales activity, which was up 37.9 percent may have been partially driven by the threat of mortgage rates increasing, as buyers drove 324 homes under contract during the month, compared to the 235 contracts written in December 2020. 

New listing activity at yearend was also strong. Sellers listed some 5,241 homes for sale in 2021, an increase of 16.1 percent year-over-year, when compared to 2020’s new listing activity. 

Donna Austin, president of Catawba Valley Association of Realtors® and a Realtor®/broker with Coldwell Banker Boyd & Hassell, Inc., Realtors® said, “Our region has enjoyed phenomenal growth over the past two years, as buyers seeking affordability as well as those driven by interest in the second home market, have purchased homes at near record pace last year.  Buyers looking for homes this year will see inventory is at a critical level, which means prices are rising as a result of demand. Fortunately, interest rates which are also rising, are still at historic lows and will likely continue to fuel buyers interested in the slower pace, beauty and quality of life here in the foothills of North Carolina.”

Properties sold quickly in 2021, as indicated by homes averaging 23 days on market until sale last year, compared to 43 days on market in 2020.  As inventory continues to fall, the dynamic of low supply amidst steady demand will continue to impact prices throughout the region in 2022. At the time of this report in December 2021, there was less than a month of inventory (0.8 months of supply or approximately 24 days of supply) throughout the four counties, as only 319 homes were available for sale in December 2021.

Low supply will continue to pressure prices.  Yearend figures showed both the 2021 median sales price ($222,500) and the 2021 average sales price ($277,680) increased 17.1 percent and 13.5 percent year-over-year respectively, while the 2021 average list price increased 10.2 percent over 2020’s average list price to $290,103.  This brough the original list price to sales price for all of 2021 to 98.7 percent, showing sellers receiving nearly all of asking prices last year for their homes.

Austin continues, “Even as inventory continues to fall, our outlook overall remains healthy, as seller and new listing activity at yearend was relatively strong. However, buyers should expect that supply-chain issues, inventory and rising prices could present obstacles to affordability. Overall, we expect this year’s housing market to be somewhat similar to last year, which means continued growth and high demand.” 

A closer look at sales across the four counties 

Alexander County home sales were on par with last year, rising slightly, 0.6 percent year-over-year as 346 homes were sold in 2021 versus 344 that sold in 2020. Pending sales for the year showed that 372 homes went under contract during the year, an increase of 10.4 percent over 2020’s pending contract activity, which shows buyer demand is steady in this county. New listings also ended the year on a high note, rising 11 percent year-over-year as sellers brought 402 homes to market during the year compared to 362 on market in 2020. Prices were pressured by inventory amidst high demand for most of the year.  The average sales price for all of 2021 was $262,949, an increase of 8.9 percent over 2020, while the median sales price for all of 2021 was $217,000 and rose 19.2 percent over last year’s median. The average list price for the year was $283,405 and it was 6 percent higher than the average list price in 2020.  Inventory in December 2021 totaled 27 homes or 0.9 months of supply, which is 27 days of supply at the current pace.  The original list price to sales price measure ended the year at 98.2 percent, which means that sellers on average received nearly all of asking prices last year, while their homes were enjoyed faster days on market, averaging 22 days until sale.

Burke County closed sales at yearend 2021 rose 21 percent over sales in 2020 with 985 homes sold last year versus 814 sold in 2020. Pending contract activity shows demand was strong in 2021 and will continue to be strong in 2022, as the year ended with 1,003 homes in pending contract status, a sign of steady sales to come. Buyers will enjoy the 20 percent year-over-year increase in new listing activity here at yearend, showing seller listed 1,075 homes for sale in 2021. However, inventory at report time in December, showed just 85 homes for sale or 1 month of supply, which means challenges lie ahead for buyers this spring, as price increases will continue. Both the 2021 median sales price ($205,700) and the 2021 average sales price increased 14.3 percent and 15.1 percent year-over-year respectively. The 2021 average list price of $264,279 showed an increase of 6.5 percent over 2020’s average list price. Sellers last year received 97.8 percent of asking price, according to the original list price to sales price ratio, while homes sold quickly, averaging 27 days on market until sale compared to 46 days on market in 2020.

Caldwell County home sales at yearend increased 14.6 percent year-over-year as 902 homes sold in 2021 compared to 787 that sold in all of 2020. Pending contracts show buyer demand at yearend was strong, rising 11.5 percent year-over-year as 904 homes went under contract in 2021, compared to 811 homes under contract in all of 2020.  New listing activity was also positive and showed seller confidence strong at yearend. Sellers listed 972 homes for sale last year versus 869 listed in 2020.  Still, inventory at report time is tight and showed 61 homes for sale in December 2021, or 0.8 months of supply (24 days of supply). Low supply will pressure prices in the coming months and caused prices to rise substantially over prices in 2020.  Both the 2021 median sales price ($200,000) and the 2021 average sales price ($233,135) rose 17 percent and 16.1 percent when compared to 2020 prices. The 2021 average list price of $251,050 increased 19.3 percent over 2020’s average list price. The 2021 original list price to sales price ratio of 98.8 percent showed sellers in the driver’s seat last year, receiving nearly all of asking price, while their homes sold quickly, averaging 22 days on market until sale in 2021 compared to 45 days in 2020.

Catawba County home sales at yearend 2021 totaled 2,439, an increase of 17.4 percent year-over-year, while pending contract activity rose 20.7 percent over 2020, with 2,560 homes under contract for the year. New listings were positive and rose 16.9 percent over activity in 2020, with 2,792 homes listed in last year.  The 2021 median sales price was $237,000, an increase of 15.6 percent year-over-year while the average sales price was $303,555 for all of 2021, an increase of 12.8 percent year-over-year. The average list price rose 9.6 percent over the average list price in 2020 to end the year at $314,888. Inventory is tight and at report time showed 146 homes for sale or 0.7 months of supply which is 21 days of supply at the current pace. Sellers in Catawba last year received 99.1 percent of asking price according to the original list price to sales price ratio, while homes sold quickly, averaging 21 days on market until sale.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit and click on “Market Data.” For an interview with a Hickory-area Realtor®, 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 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: 2/2/2022