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Wilmington NC - 2017 Real Estate Review

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 06 February 2018 18:51
Million Dollar Homes in Wilmington NC Million Dollar Homes in Wilmington NC

Wilmington, NC 2017 Year-End Real Estate Stats

2017 vs. 2016 Real Estate Home Sales for Wilmington, NC

Are Coastal Winds Blowing in Improved Home Sales? 2017 vs. 2016 Real Estate Report for Wilmington, NC

Positioned along the beautiful North Carolina coastline, Wilmington is unique among its neighboring municipalities. As a port city, it serves as the main entry for ocean-delivered goods, and with direct beach access, Wilmington also serves as a desirable tourist destination.

While the local economy experienced a downward trend during the first part of the 21st Century, Wilmington has since rebounded across multiple sectors. With unemployment rates continuing to drop by nearly 2 percent for the next several years, the once-stalled housing market is now blossoming with life.

Wilmington NC Real Estate Trends

If you’ve watched Wilmington real estate trends over the past several years, you’ve likely sat on the edge of your seat. Although the nation’s residential real estate market remains relatively stable, real estate in New Hanover county is reminiscent of a Hollywood thriller. Most notably was the sudden decrease in sales and home value in March 2016.


Although the rebound from this dramatic drop is slower than originally forecasted, the upward trend in sales and property value seems to be leveling off. As any region in the United States, forecasting real estate trends isn’t as easy as you may think.


Because Wilmington, and its surrounding cities, are heavily influenced by tourism and ocean trades, the real estate market isn’t as easy to predict as equally sized locations. However, as we dive into 2017 Wilmigton real estate statistics, it’s clear this coastal city isn’t easily swayed. Without further ado, let’s explore the 2017 Wilmington real estate market performance and see how its performance compares to the previous year.


Home Sales in Wilmington, NC - 2017 Review


Overall, the housing market in Wilmington experienced exponential growth during 2017 with a short supply of Wilmington homes for sale. While there are several sectors that remained relatively stagnant, the housing and rental markets continued their upward trend.


Perhaps the most notable month in 2017 was October. During the spookiest month of the year, there were approximately 886 homes sold. When compared to October 2016, which saw only 665 residential home sales, October 2017 experienced a 33 percent increase in total sales volume. When compared to sales data dating back to 1998, this was the highest number of homes sold in a single month within the New Hanover region.


As we broaden our scope, the overall sales volume between October 2016 to October 2017 grew by 40 percent from $168 million to an astonishing $236 million. In terms of home value, this means not only more homes were sold, but the median price value of each home also grew.


Perhaps the most exciting statistic, especially for sellers, is the average number of days each home spent on the market. When compared to the same time period in 2016, the number of days spent on the market was 12.5 percent fewer. Homes spent an average of 77 days on the market compared to 88 during the same time period in 2016.


While October was a very solid month, we can’t discuss 2017 sales stats without mentioning the horrors of spring 2016. Since 2012, this time period experienced the lowest number of sales on record. Dwindling to a measly 26 home sales during March 2016, it seemed the local real estate market had hit an unexpected downward spiral. Along with minuscule sales, median sales price dropped from an average of $278,000 in 2015 to $212,500 in 2016.


Thankfully, 2017 didn’t follow the same path. When compared to the same time period, 2017 experienced a significant growth with a total of 135 sales and a median sales price of $240,000. As we moved into the summer months, the upward swing continued to peak at 215 sales and a median sales price of $272,000. Throughout 2017, the most active and profitable month was July, which is pretty standard for New Hanover county.


Median Sales Price in Wilmington - Y-O-Y Review


As we move deeper into 2018, and data from the previous year has had time to settle, let’s take a look at how home value performed among different property types.


Out of two, three and four bedroom properties, the overall median sales value increased by 2.6 percent between 2016 and 2017. However, not every house segment performed well. Here’s a deeper breakdown:


Two Bedroom Homes - Three Bedroom Homes - Four Bedroom Homes - All Home Types


  • Two Bedroom Homes - This was the worst performing housing segment. Compared to the same time period in 2016, value for two bedroom houses dropped by 11.4 percent from $175,00 to $155,000. However, during the first part of 2017, the value for two bedroom homes peaked at $212,000. Out of all housing types, this seems to be the most volatile.

  • Three Bedroom Homes - Growth in this segment was relatively small. Between 2016 and 2017, three bedroom houses experienced a 1.3 percent value increase from $234,000 to $237,000. Like the previous segment, the beginning of 2017 was its strongest time period with a median sales price of $249,000.

  • Four Bedroom Homes - This segment experienced the greatest growth in sales prices during the reporting period with a 10.9 percent growth from $350,000 to $388,000. Unlike the other housing segments, the beginning of 2017 wasn’t good for four bedroom homes as its value plummeted to $327,000.

  • All Home Types - As mentioned earlier, the entire housing market price value grew by 2.6 percent from $253,500 to $260,000. However, there must have been something in the air during the first part of 2017 as the median home value hovered just under $275,000 during this three month period.


Home Sales in Wilmington, NC - What Will 2018 Show?


While median sales value, number of days on the market and overall home sales seems to be performing strong, there are several factors that will determine the 2018 Wilmignton real estate market. Topping the list is a serious lack of affordable homes for sale in Wilmington neighborhoods. The entire region remains a sellers market, which is fine for upper-class buyers. However, the middle class may find it difficult to locate a desirable home in their desired price range.


It’s important to note that the entire region, including Pender and Brunswick counties, are growing exceptionally fast. This is obvious when looking at current unemployment rates, which are hovering around 4.7 percent.


What does all this mean for the local Wilmington real estate market? It’s difficult to make a complete forecast at this moment, but if trends in 2017 continue, then we can expect a peak in home sales and property value during the summer months with a slow tapering as the weather cools closer to winter. Regardless, Wilmington, NC appears to be in for a productive and profitable 2018.

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Dean Cacioppo

Dean Cacioppo Credentials

Dean has worked as a real estate agent, real estate instructor and has years of experience working on the technology side for major Real Estate Brokers, Agents and MLS’s.  Dean has sat on the Board of Directors for multiple MLS’s including being elected to President.  Years of serving on a number of MLS Committees for multiple boards, served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Louisiana REALTORS and participated in many task forces and committees for the benefit of all Real Estate Agents in Louisiana.

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