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December Market Report: Outer Banks Real Estate

13 Dec 2019
Related Items: 
Real Estate Sales

This month I want to take some time out to explore from a linear perspective, why the Outer Banks market is still experiencing some challenges.  Below you’ll find a snapshot review from 2005 in three-year increments to show how things have transitioned during this particular market cycle.



Source: OBAR MLS

January 1, 2019 - December 1, 2019 / Residential Properties Sold

Here’s what this tells us:

  • 2005 was considered the peak
  • 2008 was the beginning of the decline, starting with a 50% drop in units sold
  • 2011 – 2014 was the lowest point for price, showing a 32% drop for the overall OBX market (some areas it was a higher percentage)
  • Units sold has made an incredible rebound from the peak in 2005 with only a 7% difference in the number of homes sold from then to 2019
  • Average price has only recovered by 5% since 2011
  • Average price is still 28% less than the peak in 2005
  • In 8 years, the pricing has changed by only 5% for the entire market

You can see here that while we are selling almost as many homes as before, the appreciation has been extremely slow.  Thus, expecting the price of your home to change drastically in a short period of time on the Outer Banks has proven to be non-existent.

This can also explain why if you purchased a home on the Outer Banks between 2009 and 2017, there may not be much if any change to the market value of your home.  This is more amplified on the Northern Beaches (Corolla, Duck, 4 Wheel Area) as those pockets of our market are still experiencing an excess of 14 months of inventory.

Without strategic timing, real estate still remains a long-term investment for maximum return.  If you have been thinking about selling your home, consider the following: If this cycle mimics the last century of recorded history, we are right about year 11 of a 20-year cycle.  Based on that, we should start to see prices really making changes around 2023 – 2025.  

Keep in mind though, buyer demands have changed.  They no longer want to put in sweat equity, they want homes move-in ready with updates already done.  If you want to wait out the market for the next up cycle, now is the time to start planning any maintenance and upgrades to make your home more valuable and saleable. 

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