Pending contract activity over the summer months signal heavy buyer competition for homes in the Catawba Valley Region

Sept. 1, 2021

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sales this summer across the Catawba Valley region show the four- counties surrounding, Hickory, the principle city in the area, poised for continued growth. Closed sales in July rose 2.7 percent year-over-year as 412 homes sold versus 401 that sold in July 2020; just 36 sales shy of June’s 448 closings. Sales figures included in this report are for single family and condo/townhome data only, based on Canopy MLS data.

Pending sales counts show heavy buyer competition drove contract activity in July, which rose 26.5 percent year-over-year as 497 homes went under contract versus 393 that were under contract this time last year. Contract activity compared to the previous month is nearly unchanged, and increased 0.8 percent compared to June 2021, insuring steady sales headed into the fall.

Sellers continue to respond favorably to the market, as indicated by the 26.9 percent year-over-year increase in new listings that brought 548 homes to market during the month. New listing activity compared to the previous month was mostly unchanged, rising 0.7 percent over June’s new listings. Continued growth in new listings should help to improve inventory over time. Year-to-date sales figures show the overall strength of the region’s housing market, as closings, contract and new listing activity are pacing well ahead of sales activity during the first seven months of 2020. 

Cory Klassett, president of Catawba Valley Association of Realtors® and a Realtor®/broker with RE/MAX Legendary, said, “As price growth continues to hamper affordability in both the Charlotte and Asheville areas, our region’s close proximity to both cities along with our more affordable price points, continues to make us attractive to buyers. And though buyers in our area are facing heavy competition, the continued growth in new listing activity that we’ve seen over the summer months will provide buyers with more choice.” 

Properties continued to sale quickly in July, as indicated by days on market averaging 18 days versus 48 days during the same period a year ago. The lower supply across the region highly favors sellers, who received more than asking price in July 2021, as the original list price to sales price ratio registered 100.2 percent. Prices are rising due to pressure from critically low inventory.  Both the median sales price ($225,000) and the average sales price ($278,297) rose 16 percent and 11.2 percent year-over-year respectively. While the average list price rose by 7.8 percent to $305,546.

Klassett notes, “As demand continues to outpace supply, price growth will continue and this will certainly impact first time and workforce buyers in our region. However, mortgage rates continue to be low and should help to off-set prices a bit. The complexity of this housing market coupled with the fast pace of sales, really means that buyers and sellers benefit most when using a Realtor®.” 

A closer look at sales across the four counties 

Alexander County home sales rose 35.7 percent year-over-year as 38 homes sold in July 2021 versus 28 that sold this time last year. Pending contracts, which gauge buyer demand and predict future sales, fell 11.1 percent year-over-year as 32 homes went under contract versus the 36 that were under contract in July 2020. New listings rose 10.3 percent year-over-year with sellers listing 43 properties for sale compared to 39 listed in July 2020. Inventory woes continue, declining 40 percent year-over-year in July 2021, leaving 30 homes for sale or 0.9 months of supply (approximately 27 days of supply) compared to 2 months of supply this time last year. Tight inventory continued to pressure prices, which rose by double digits.  Both the median sales price ($221,500) and the average sales price ($221,500) rose 31.2 percent and 32.2 percent year-over-year respectively, while the average list price rose 16.2 percent over last year’s list price to $323,200.  This brings the original list price to sales price ratio to 101.4 percent, showing sellers receiving all of asking prices and more during the month. Alexander County continued to see faster days on market, with homes averaging 18 days on market in July 2021.

Burke County closed sales rose 22.5 percent as 87 homes sold compared to 71 home sales in July 2020. Pending sales show that buyer demand is heavy in the county, rising 60.7 percent year-over-year with 98 homes going under contract during the month compared to 61 that went under contract last year. New listing activity rose significantly, 66.7 percent year-over-year with 120 homes newly listed versus 72 listed last July. The rise in new listings however does little to improve the current inventory situation, which declined 21 percent year-over-year leaving 109 homes for sale or 1.4 months of supply. Supply has improved a bit since last month’s low of one month of supply. Prices were mixed. The median sales price of $250,000 rose 16.3 percent year-over-year, while the average sales price declined 6.5 percent year-over-year to $251,181.  The average list price was $290,422 and represented a 15.3 percent increase of last July’s average list price. Sellers enjoyed 100.2 percent of asking prices in July, as evidenced by the original list price to sales price ratio while their homes sold quickly. Days on market until sale in July 2021 averaged 20 days versus 65 days this time last year.

Caldwell County home sales in July fell 15.8 percent year-over-year as 64 homes sold versus 76 in July 2020. Buyer demand is high, rising 36.4 percent year-over-year as buyers drove 105 homes under contract during the month versus 77 this time last year. Sellers responded favorably by listing 109 homes for sale versus 79 listed in July 2020, an increase of 38 percent year-over-year. Inventory fell 32.2 percent, leaving 78 homes for sale or 1.1 months of supply at the current sales pace.  Low supply and high demand continued to pressure prices, which rose slightly during the month. Both the median sales price ($188,000) and the average sales price ($226,434) rose 3.4 percent and 10.6 percent year-over-year respectively, while the average list price rose 14.2 percent year-over-year to $248,325. This brought the original list price to sales price ratio to 100 percent during the month, showing sellers getting all of asking price in July. Homes are selling quickly, as indicated by days on market which averaged 21 days in July 2021.

Catawba County home sales in July 2021 were nearly on par with last year’s closed sales activity, falling 1.3 percent year-over-year as 223 homes were sold compared to 226 that sold in Catawba County last July. Pending contract activity shows heavy buyer competition, rising 19.6 percent as 262 properties went under contract during the month.  New listing activity was also steady, as sellers listed 276 homes for sale, an increase of 14 percent year-over-year versus the 242 homes listed in July 2020. Prices increased in relation to inventory, which declined 30.4 percent year-over-year leaving 229 homes or sale or 1.2 months of supply. Both the median sales price ($235,000) and the average sales price ($309,607) rose by 13 percent and 15.6 percent respectively, while the average list price rose 5.3 percent to $332,162 in July 2021. Sellers in Catawba County received 100 percent of asking price as indicated by the original list price to sales price ratio and enjoyed their homes staying on market for less time.  The average time a home was on market was 17 days in July 2021 versus 46 days this time last year.

Canopy MLS, a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of, announced the consolidation of the MLS of Catawba Valley (MLSCV), which was effective on August 31, 2020. 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: 9/1/2021