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North Carolina Home Prices Aren’t Declining, But Headlines Might Make You Think They Are

If you’ve seen the news lately about Southport and Oak Island North Carolina home sellers slashing prices, it’s a great example of how headlines do more to terrify than clarify the North Carolina Real Estate market. Here’s what’s really happening with prices.

The bottom line is North Carolina home prices are higher than they were a year ago at this time, and they’re expected to keep rising in Southport and Oak Island, just at a slower pace.

But a recent article from Redfin notes,

“Price Drops Hit Highest Level in 18 Months As High Rates Dampen Buyer Demand.”

And that might make you think prices are declining.

Now, while it’s true the latest report from Realtor.com also shows 16.6% of homes on the market had price reductions in May, which is up from 12.7% last May, that doesn’t mean overall home prices are falling.

The key is knowing the difference between the asking price and the sold price.

Understanding Asking Price vs. Sold Price in Southport and Oak Island North Carolina

In essence, the asking price, also known as a listing price, is the amount a seller in Oak Island, NC hopes to get for their home when they list it. In reality, sellers can’t just put any price tag on their house and expect it to sell for top dollar. Today’s Oak Island, NC buyers are savvy customers, and when they aren’t willing to pay a premium for a home because their budgets are strained by higher mortgage rates, North Carolina sellers need to adjust. And that’s what’s happening right now.

Based on North Carolina market factors and what offers that seller receives, that asking price can change. If a seller isn’t getting much foot traffic, you may see them revise the price and make an adjustment to reignite interest in the home, sometimes that’s because they’ve overpriced it from the start. That’s where price reductions come in, and when you see “price drops” in a headline, it sounds like declining home prices.

Mike Simonsen, CEO and Founder of Altos Research, says:

“Not only is the share of homes with price cuts elevated compared to one year ago, but more price cuts are happening each week than last year.”

On the other hand, the final sold price is the amount a buyer actually pays when the transaction is complete.

Here’s the most important thing to note: Actual sold prices are still rising, and they’re expected to continue to do so at least over the next 5 years.

What Does This Mean for Oak Island NC Home Prices?

So, while there’s been an increase in price reductions in Oak Island and Southport, NC recently, this doesn’t mean overall home values are declining. Instead, it’s a sign that demand is moderating. And, as a result, sellers are adjusting their expectations to align with today’s market reality.

Even with more price reductions in North Carolina, home values are still growing on an annual basis, as they do nearly every year in the housing market. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), home prices went up 6.6% over the last year (see below):

This map shows how prices rose just about everywhere in the country, indicating the market is not in decline.

So, while North Carolina seller price reductions are often a leading indicator that prices may moderate in the months ahead, which experts have been saying for a while is expected to happen, they aren’t necessarily reason for alarm. The same article from Redfin also states:

“. . .those metrics suggest sale-price growth could soften in the coming months as persistently high mortgage rates turn off homebuyers. For now, the median-home sale price is up 4.3% year over year to another record high. . .”

And with inventory as tight as it is today in Brunswick County, NC, price moderation is much more likely in upcoming months than price declines.

Why This Is Good News for Buyers and Sellers in Oak Island and Southport North Carolina

For North Carolina buyers, more realistic asking prices mean a better chance of securing a home at a fair price. It also means you can enter the real estate market with more confidence, knowing prices are stabilizing rather than continuing to skyrocket.

For Oak Island North Carolina sellers, understanding the need to adjust your asking price can lead to faster sales and fewer price negotiations. Setting a realistic price from the start can attract more serious North Carolina buyers and lead to smoother transactions.

While the uptick in North Carolina price reductions might seem troubling, it’s not a cause for concern. It reflects a market adjusting to new conditions. Home prices are continuing to grow, just at a more moderate pace in Brunswick County North Carolina.

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Jon Langley

Hi! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Southport and Oak Island Real Estate Blog! My name is Jon Langley, and I'm a REALTOR® in Brunswick County, NC. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in the Southport & Oak Island area. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Southport Oak Island Realty Group. Looking forward to connecting!

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