Emerging Markets in WNC

A review of sales in bedroom communities and areas surrounding Asheville, from Jan. 1 - April 1, 2023
Out of Inventory

Emerging Markets in WNC Report

By Oby Morgan - Realtor with Christie's Ivestor Jackson Blackstream


Low Inventory and Sustainable Demand

The emerging markets across the region have seen a slow start to 2023. Sales are down year over year in most of these areas. Although year-over-year numbers are down, most of the areas are up when looking at our four-year trend lines, and have seen historic sales over that period.

Many factors have begun to affect sales, but we do see light at the end of the tunnel with an upward trajectory of pending contracts (not shown) that point to a robust 3rd quarter of 2023. Inbound migration to the Sunbelt region has continued to take place, however, lagging inventory numbers have stifled sales year over year. We have seen values continue to increase as demand is high and inventory is low, oftentimes leading to multiple offer situations and bidding wars.

Scroll down and open each accordion below to see a breakdown of each emerging market.


  • Brevard

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    Brevard saw its sell-through in the $400K+ price range cut almost in half with only 35 sales compared to the same time period in 2022. While the sell-through has begun to lag, Brevard is still a hotbed for buyers looking to be close both to the Asheville Regional Airport as well as to the cities of Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC. Pending contracts are up and should remain high going into the late spring and early summer months.


  • Mars Hill & Marshall

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    New construction and development have started to transform these two towns located just north of Asheville in Madison County. As you have seen from the charts below, sell-through has increased slightly year over year. We see this trend continuing as more development becomes approved by local zoning boards. Further, as a result of Asheville’s rising home prices, expect to see new construction activity pursued strongly throughout these two emerging markets.

  • Old Fort & Marion

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    These communities are front and center with outdoor enthusiasts from across the region. With the revitalization of downtowns in both Marion and Old Fort, we expect to see more sell-through in the coming months moving into the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2023. Sales have slipped year over year due to the lack of inventory – which has continued to be the pivotal catalyst for the lagging numbers.


  • Kings Mountain & Shelby

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    With the Highway 74 Bypass being a little more than halfway complete, we are continuing to see migration into both of these markets from larger regional cities such as Charlotte and Greenville. Luxury ($1M+) sales and listings have seen an uptick as of the last 90 days with 1 home under contract at the present time and 7 currently on the market for sale. Moss Lake is no longer the “hidden gem of Cleveland County” due to its nonstop upsurge in growth. Thanks to continued business and commerce in this area, we see property values continue to rise as more buyers flock to the area in search of a slower pace of life compared to nearby larger cities.


  • Columbus & Tryon

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    The luxury ($750K and higher) markets in both Tryon and Columbus have witnessed showing activity and pending sales rise as the weather begins to warm. We did, however, see a dip in sales numbers in the previous 90 days as compared to the same time period in 2022. Presently, there are 5 properties under contract with asking prices over $750K. Summer should prove to be a hotbed of activity if inventory can keep up with the high demand heading into the upcoming 3rd quarter of 2023.


  • Waynesville

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    While sales numbers are slightly down year over year, demand remains very strong. Pending sales above $400K are noted at 29. Waynesville has traditionally seen an influx of buyers from Florida during the spring and summer months and this year is no different. Inventory levels are either at or near all-time lows. New construction in the area has been limited as commercial lenders have started to pull back on spec loans and new developments. These factors have led to increased values in most of the Haywood County market area.


  • Lake James

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    Despite a slow start to the year, the Lake James area has started to rebound and should have a great spring and summer selling season. Current sales numbers were off from the same 2022 time period mainly due to low inventory in the colder months. With that said, today we see a total of 4 homes under contract at Lake James – with an average list price of over $1.2M. Keep an eye on sales numbers moving into the spring and summer seasons, as we foresee this area having an influx of sales activity in the coming months.


  • Black Mountain

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    Black Mountain traditionally has a very robust selling season, starting in April and going through August. Thanks to many tourists and second homeowners visiting the area for much of the spring and summer, we tend to see sales numbers rise to a greater extent later in the summer. While current sales are tracking below that of 2022, we have seen pending sales bursting at the seams in the early spring. According to the numbers, 28 homes above $400K are under contract to sell. These financial indicators point to a strong 3rd quarter of sales in 2023.


  • Canton

    Homes valued over $400,000 sold from January 1 – April 1


    What does this mean?

    Based on the unfortunate news of the Evergreen Packaging plant closure in Canton, many homes over $400K have started to hit the market. Those homes have gone under contract fairly quickly. Many buyers – both second home and investors – view Canton as undervalued. They have started to flock to the area for its easy access to the Pigeon River, close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and easy commute to Asheville. We anticipate more sales activity in Canton and expect to see prices climb steadily over the next 12 months. Keep an eye on this area for continued sales activity and new development growth over the next 12 to 24 months.

These Market Reports are based on information from the Canopy MLS for the period(s) and area(s) as titled above those data sets.
We welcome feedback of any kind.


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