We have all experienced it. You are at a gathering and an acquaintance approaches you. They give a friendly greeting and quickly pose a question about sports, the weather, or a local event to start the conversation. However, when you are a REALTOR®, people often instead ask, “What’s happening in the real estate market?” Many truly want to know where the market is headed so they can keep up with the value implications to their home.
Interestingly, there is no shortage of data readily available. Local real estate firms frequently cite market data and trends in their advertisements. Some provide information from national data sources and others from our Highlands-Cashiers MLS. However, the local market is highly varied, even within communities that border each other.
Let me peel back the onion just one layer to reveal what I mean.
In 2023, 635 single-family homes were sold in our local MLS at an average sales price of $1.29M. That compares with year 2022 data of 710 single-family home sales at an average sales price of $1.21M. That equates to a 6.77% increase for the average closed price for single-family homes in our local market. If a client asks me “Does that mean my home increased around 6% in 2023?”, my response is “To give you a good answer, I need to know a little more information about your home, such as location, view and style.” Let me share why.
If we delve into comparing two local communities’ recent sales and also look at two counties’ sales results, we quickly see remarkable differences.
In 2023, homes within Cullasaja Club sold at an average sales price of $2.43M. That compares with year 2022 data of an average sales price of $2.21M in the same community. That equates to a 6.1% increase year-over-year and closely matches the overall local market’s rise in value. However, if we look at nearby Highlands Falls Country Club, in 2023 homes there sold at an average sales price of $1.55M. That compares with year 2022 average sales price of $1.19M in the same community. That equates to a 30.7% increase!
When you compare closed prices of homes within Jackson County to homes sold within Macon County and recorded in our local MLS, the Jackson County homes had a 6.5% year-over-year increase, similar to the overall market, while Macon County homes had a 12.1% year-over-year increase!
So, the next time you ask a REALTOR® about the real estate market, consider asking more targeted questions about specific locations or value segments you’re interested in. It not only encourages the REALTOR® to share more accurate insights, but also unveils the depth of their knowledge. You may be pleasantly surprised at the valuable information you uncover!