Asheville, North Carolina, is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning mountain scenery, vibrant arts and culture scene, and delicious food. In recent years, Asheville has also become a desirable place to live, with an increasing number of individuals and families choosing to relocate to the area from larger cities. As home prices have climbed across the country, real estate prices have reflected this in Asheville. But the biggest question for buyers looking for affordable real estate is, is Asheville real estate overpriced?
Current Market Trends
Understanding the local real estate market is one of the most important aspects of buying or selling a home. Market knowledge is power! While the average home price in Buncombe County decresed 2% in August 2023, homes were valued 11% higher compared to last August.
The extremely limited supply is at least one factor driving prices up, and the positive home value appreciation trend seems to be holding despite global uncertainty. Low inventory and high demand are also contributing to homes selling quickly in the area.
A consistently higher average vs. median home price tells us that Buncombe’s high-end market is strong, with prices significantly higher than the rest of the market. Learn more about current real estate market trends in Buncombe, Henderson, and Haywood counties, with data updated monthly.
Factors contributing to high real estate prices in Asheville
There are a number of factors that contribute to the high cost of real estate in Asheville, including:
- Popularity as a tourist destination: Asheville is a popular tourist destination, which drives up the demand for housing, both for primary residences and vacation rentals. Low inventory and high demand lead to higher prices.
- Limited land supply: Asheville is surrounded by mountains, which limits the amount of land available for development. This scarcity of land drives up the price of the land that is available.
- Zoning restrictions: Steep slope ordinances, protected ridge ordinances, and the effect of single-family-only exclusionary zoning is a factor that can lead to higher prices.
- Limited inventory: There are less sellers in the market now due to low mortgage rates in their current homes, Asheville can’t build as many homes as other Southeast cities, and there are primarily higher-end homes being built.
- Utilities: Municipal water and sewer services are often necessary to bring new housing units to market. Due to the mountainous topography in Western NC, the utility grids for Asheville and other small towns can only extend so far. Sewer grids tend to be concentrated in the lower lying elevations and are limited to areas closer to towns. Steep slopes also make it difficult to pressurize municipal water supplies to higher elevation areas. Good development sites with utility access can be hard to find and they tend to be expensive. Limitations to the availability of utilities are certainly a factor that drives prices up because it costs more for developers to bring their projects to life.
- Lifestyle: Asheville offers one of the best lifestyle options in the USA, especially for folks who enjoy outdoor recreation, foodies, beverage enthusiasts, and art lovers.
- Building challenges: Asheville is notoriously challenging for developers to bring new products to market due to permitting challenges, higher labor and material costs, weather challenges during building, and other building challenges.
- Mortgage rates: Higher mortgage rates across the board contribute to a higher cost consideration for all buyers.
Are there still good opportunities for buyers in Asheville?
Even though real estate prices in Asheville are high, there are still good opportunities for buyers who are willing to be flexible with their location and budget.
For example, buyers may be able to find more affordable homes in less expensive neighborhoods or in nearby towns. Buyers may also consider buying a fixer-upper and should always work with an experienced real estate agent who understands the market and will advocate for their clients and provide expert guidance.
Tips for finding good real estate deals in Asheville
Here are a few tips for finding good real estate deals in Asheville:
- Be flexible with your location. Consider buying a home in a less popular neighborhood or in a nearby town. Learn more about Asheville neighborhoods and surrounding Western NC towns.
- Consider buying a fixer-upper. You can often find good deals on homes that need some work.
- Consider rate buy downs on the loan; some homebuilders are offering these incentives and buyers can refinance later.
- House hacking, or finding ways to generate income from your home, can be a great option for making a home more affordable. One option depending on where you buy is to rent out portions of your property!
- Be patient for the right opportunity; real estate investments are not made often and patience helps to make them count!
- Work with an experienced real estate agent from Altamont Property Group, a top-producing, full-service firm with offices in Asheville and Pisgah Forest. A great agent can often find off-market deals or move quickly on properties as they are listed.
Whether or not Asheville real estate is overpriced depends on your individual circumstances. If you’re willing to be flexible with your location and budget, then there are still good opportunities to find a home at a fair price. With the advantages of living in such a desirable area like Asheville, or if you’re relocating from a larger metropolitan area with higher prices, home prices may still be well within reach of your budget.
It’s important to do your research and work with a qualified real estate agent when buying real estate in Asheville. They can help you assess your needs and budget, and they can show you homes that fit your criteria.
Contact Altamont Property Group to get started with your real estate search today!
Altamont Property Group