August Market Shows Stable Prices and Demand Despite Year-over-Year Fluctuations in Sales and Inventory

September 28, 2023

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sales were down year-over-year across the four-county Catawba Valley Region in August, falling 5.8 percent as 356 homes sold across the region. When compared to July 2023, sales increased by 13.7 percent or 43 more units. Sales included in this report are according to data from Canopy MLS and include single family, condo and townhome sales in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.

In August 2023, the number of new listings increased 13.8 percent, with 445 homes being listed for sale as opposed to 391 in July. On a year-over-year basis, however, there was an 8.8 percent decline in new listings. The volume of new listings in August was akin to the levels observed in the spring market of this year, particularly in March and April, when the figures hovered around 450 listings.

Regarding pricing dynamics, the median sales price climbed from $280,000 in July to $308,834 in August; a 10.4 percent increase. On a year-over-year basis, both the median and the average sales prices—$336,055 in the latter case—witnessed increases of 20.6 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively. Sellers continue to secure nearly all of asking price, achieving 97.4 percent according to the original list price to sales price measure, which represents a modest decline of one percent compared to the previous year. Throughout 2023, sellers have on average received 96.5 percent of their listed price.

“While it is important to be aware of current interest rates and consider their implications, it should not paralyze the decision-making process or deter clients from buying a home if all other factors align favorably. Given that home prices have remained resilient, a rapid decline in interest rates to 5 percent or lower could actually exacerbate current affordability challenges by driving prices higher.” said Emily Wood, a Realtor®/broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Foothills and president of Catawba Valley Association of Realtors®. 

Demand from buyers has steadily climbed over 2023. August experienced a 2.8 percent increase in pending sales. A total of 398 homes were under contract, relative to 387 homes for the same period the previous year. The month of August registered an increase of 57 additional pending sales compared to July 2023, marking a 16.7 percent uptick. It is worth highlighting that Alexander and Burke Counties saw significant surges in demand, registering year-over-year increases of 24 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively.

When looking at a 12-month rolling average from September 2022 to August 2023, the market overall experienced a decline in pending sales, however, it is noteworthy that the price ranges of $300,001 to $400,000 and $401,000 to $500,000 experienced a surge in contracts by 30.8 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively. Additionally, there was a 3 percent rise in buyer interest in the $300,000 and above category. Homes with four or more bedrooms, which are typically found in the $300,000 and up price range, saw a 43.3 percent increase in days on market. These factors confirm the current price stability of the market. 

The Showings report for August revealed that year-over-year foot traffic in the Catawba Valley Region declined by 14.1 percent and decreased by 4.6 percent in comparison to July 2023. The towns of Newton and Hickory captured the most buyer interest, with 5.9 and 6.6 showings per listing, respectively. Meanwhile, the towns of Lenoir and Morganton saw month-over-month improvements in foot traffic compared to July.

Market timing metrics also revealed notable trends in favor of buyers when compared to 2022. Days on market until sale doubled from 17 to 34 days, year-over-year. The market was flat when compared to last month. Three of the four counties saw a substantial increase in days on market year-over-year with only Alexander County seeing a slight decrease from 19 days in 2022 to 15 days in August 2023. Caldwell and Catawba Counties experienced the largest increases in time on market of 70.6% and 156.3% respectively.

Wood continued, “As the fall market gains momentum, market stability appears to be largely independent of current interest rates. When we compare this to the same period last year, when interest rates were around 5 percent, the slight changes in the current inventory, prices and demand are minimal. We are talking about 40 fewer homes newly listed and 10 more homes under contract. When you really look at the numbers it’s clear that activity is not all that different.”

Since March of the current year, inventory levels have consistently hovered in the 500s. Despite a year-over-year decline of 9.8 percent in available inventory, August recorded 563 available units at report time. The market has consistently held 1.7 months since April 2023. Months of supply has also been relatively unchanged, with the region averaging 1.6 months of supply this year.

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 August saw a minimal increase of 4.2 percent year-over-year as 25 homes sold compared to 24 that sold a year ago in August. Pending contract activity increased with 31 homes under contract verses 25 homes under contract a year ago.  New listing activity decreased by 15.2 percent year-over-year as sellers brought 28 homes to market during the month. Inventory increased slightly from 35 homes in August 2022 to 36 homes in August 2023. This equates to a 1.7 months of supply which is up from 1.3 months of supply this time last year. The median sales price of $285,000 climbed by 23.9 percent year-over-year while the average sales price of $288,988 increased by 10.1 percent compared to last year to $262,371. However, the average list price decreased by 4.1 percent to $273,764 bringing the original list price to sales price measure to 97.6 percent, down from 98.4 percent in 2022. Days on market decreased 21.1 percent, as homes averaged 15 days on market until sale compared to 19 days on market in August 2022.

Burke County home sales in August decreased 26.8 percent year-over-year as 60 homes sold compared to 82 that sold in August 2022. However, pending contract activity increased 13.3 percent to 94 homes under contract during the month compared to 83 during the same period last year. New listings declined by 17 percent as sellers brought 83 homes to market compared to 100 in August 2022. Inventory at report time declined 25.2 percent to 92 homes for sale or 1.4 months of supply. In August 2022 months of supply was slightly higher at 1.6 months. The median sales price increased 29.3 percent year-over-year to $320,000 additionally the average sales price rose 18 percent to $362,745. The average list price was down 8.3 percent year-over-year to $335,165. This brought the original list price to sales price measure down 0.5 percent to 97.9 percent in August compared to 97.7 percent in August 2022. Days on market rose 33.3 percent to 24 days in August compared to 18 days this time last year.

Caldwell County home sales decreased 13.1 percent year-over-year with 73 homes sold compared to 84 that sold in August 2022. Additionally, pending contract activity fell 6.1 percent year-over-year as 77 homes went under contract during the month compared to 82 in August 2022. New listing activity fell 7.2 percent as sellers brought 90 homes to market versus 97 during the same period last year. Inventory increased 10.1 percent to 120 homes for sale at report time or 1.9 months of supply. Prices saw a modest increase this month. Both the median sales price ($250,000) and the average sales price ($304,745) increased 6.2 percent and 14.7 percent year-over-year respectively, while the average list price rose 20.7 percent to $342,773. This brought the original list price to sales price measure down from 99 percent to 97.7 percent while days on market until sale showed homes averaged 29 days on market versus 17 days on market in August 2022.  

Catawba County closed sales increased 5.3 percent year-over-year as 198 homes sold compared to 188 that sold in August 2022, while pending contract activity slightly decreased by 0.5 percent to 196 homes under contract during the month. New listings also decreased 5.4 percent year-over-year to 244 homes listed compared to 258 that were newly listed in August 2022. Inventory dipped 11.8 percent to 315 homes for sale at report time or 1.8 months of supply which is flat compared to August 2022. Tighter supply forced the median sales to increase again this year by 17.6 percent to $326,000 while the average sales price was mostly unchanged, rising 1 percent to $345,454. The average list price increased 9.6 percent to $401,727. This brought the original list price to sales price measure to 97.3 percent compared to 98.5 percent in August 2022. Days on market substantially increased from 16 days in August 2022 to 41 days on market in August 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: 9/28/2023