January 2017 Wilmington NC Real Estate Market Update Video


The final numbers for the 2016 Wilmington NC real estate market have been compiled just in time for our monthly market update video.  As promised in our earlier market update (CLICK HERE to read it), this video and blog entry will have the final official numbers from the local Multiple Listing Service.  So, here is 2016, by the numbers:

  • Average Sales Price: $249,349
  • Median Sales Price: $209,018
  • Days On Market: 95
  • Total Units Sold: 8,848 (up 19.2% from 2015)

Based on the current pace of sales, the next few months (January through April) offer a unique opportunity to purchase in Wilmington because the market is moving a bit slower than it probably will this summer.  There are a few more houses on the market and not quite as many folks purchasing as there will be this summer.

This month’s video was filmed at Gravity Records here in Wilmington, NC.  If you’re into local music, vinyl records and vintage turntables and sound systems, this is the place to go!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to talk about real estate matters, please call, text or email us:

CB: 910-617-3683, CB@FineCoastalLiving.com
Danica: 910-617-0926, Danica@FineCoastalLiving.com


Unpermitted Space in Wilmington, NC Homes

When searching for a home there are so many different criteria that buyers must consider as they finalize their purchase decision: location, school districts, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the condition of the house, property taxes, surveys and, of course, the overall size of the house, to name a few.   But how big is a house anyway? The answer, as so often occurs in real estate, depends; it specifically depends on who is measuring the house and what they are measuring.

In a recent transaction we represented a client who acquired a bank owned home (foreclosure) that was listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as being 4,400 square feet. Interestingly, the actual size of the house is closer to 5,100 square feet and so begs the question “how big is it anyways?”

Inside the real estate industry many different types of people measure houses including real estate agents, appraisers, architects, the local tax office, contractors and others. Per the North Carolina Real Estate Commission Residential Square Footage Guidelines: “Although real estate agents are not required by the Real Estate License Law or by Real Estate Commission rules to report the square footage of properties offered for sale (or rent), when they do report square footage it is essential that the information they give prospective buyers be accurate. At a minimum, information concerning square footage should include the amount of living area in the dwelling.” The same publication defines living area as “space that is intended for occupation by people and that is:

  • Heated by a conventional heating system or systems;
  • Finished with walls, floors and ceilings of materials generally accepted for interior construction with a ceiling height of a leas seven feet;
  • Directly accessible from other living area (through a door or heated hallway or stairway.”

Our client’s house (5,100 square feet) was listed as 4,400 because the third floor was “unpermitted,” and thus could not be counted in the total square footage. Unpermitted space is functional and may be lived in, however it has not passed local building code inspections. In this instance the third floor was converted from attic space to living space and no inspections were completed during that process. Fortunately this was a benefit to our buyer since we were aware of the issue before writing the offer. Additionally the third floor wasn’t included in the overall size listed in the MLS.   Unpermitted space can be a major liability, though, if a buyer and their agent are not aware of its existence.  It can be extremely expensive to retroactively permit space in a home.

If you, or anyone you know, is in need of professional real estate advice, please give us a call or an email.

2016 Wilmington NC Real Estate Market Review

HiResWith 2016 behind us we can begin to look towards 2017 and what may occur in the market this year. Although the 2016 final numbers have not been compiled yet, we do have data from January through November 2016. Comparing those numbers to the numbers from January through November 2015 reveals that:

  • 19.03% more homes sold in 2016 than 2015
  • Average Sales Price remained steady at approximately $248,000
  • Homes Sold 14.36% faster (111 Days on Market as opposed to 95)

These numbers indicate that the market is beginning to favor sellers somewhat. Typically homes are selling for a higher percentage of their list price and in less time. Buyers also have less to choose from because homes are selling more quickly. While the market varies by price range (homes priced less than $250,000 are selling much more quickly than those price over $400,000), in general the market continues to recover from the mortgage meltdown as shown in the graph below:



The earliest data point in this graph is the average sales price at the end of 1996 ($139,639). Real Estate appreciates, on average, about 4% per year in the US.  The green line represents 4% appreciation each year since 1996.  The red line represents the actual Average Sales Price each year since 1996.  From 2003 to 2004 the average sales price increased approximately 13.5% and approximately 20% from 2004 to 2005, vastly outpacing the 4% average.  Prices peaked in 2007 and the real estate “bubble” is the time period from 2003 through 2009 during which the red line is above the green line.

The real estate market is currently recovering and the red line is below the green line.  As the green line grows closer to the red line, the market gets closer and closer to true “recovery.”  While no one knows exactly when the market will have recovered from the “bubble,” rising interest rates, changes in the economy and legislative changes that may occur in 2017 will markedly impact how quickly the market recovers.  For an interesting comparison, CLICK HERE to read a market review from a few years ago.

Stay tuned for our monthly market update video and more news about the final numbers for 2016.  If we can help you with your real estate needs in any way, please call or email!