Back To Blog

Real Estate Rebound in Asheville, N.C.

asheville city sunset

Attracted to the climate and culture of Asheville, N.C.? Be prepared to pay a premium for real estate. For houses priced above $500,000, 2013 was the strongest year since 2007.

 

Families are drawn to Asheville, N.C., for its small-town feel, good schools and great outdoors. Young hipsters come for the eclectic vibe, craft breweries and lively music scene. And older Americans like the gentle seasons, health-care facilities and educational opportunities, such as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of North Carolina Asheville, which offers courses and activities for seniors.

But the great life comes at a price. For houses priced above $500,000, 2013 was the strongest year since 2007, said Don Davies, owner of a real-estate agency that bears his name and includes Realsearch, a service that tracks real-estate trends in Asheville and surrounding Buncombe County. In the first four months of this year, the average asking price rose to $459,500, from $409,400 in the year-ago period.

"We're approaching the record asking prices of 2008," said Mr. Davies. At the same time, he noted, the number of homes sold from January through April dropped by 6% from the same period last year, mostly because of thin inventory and buyers' difficulties in securing a down payment or mortgage.

Earlier this month, Hadley Cropp, an agent with Asheville Realty Group, represented buyers from Chicago who bought a home on Reynolds Mountain in trendy North Asheville, at the asking price of $860,000. The four-bedroom, three-bathroom property sold within two weeks of its listing. "The market has totally shifted," said Ms. Cropp. "It's a seller's market."

Boosting Asheville's appeal are its distinctly different neighborhoods. Young, progressive residents flock to the burgeoning River Arts District, with its vibrant arts scene. The cool crowd also likes West Asheville, a funky area across the French Broad River that has tattoo parlors, bike shops and creative eateries.

" This is like a resort, but there is enough infrastructure to get done what you need to get done. "--Home buyer John McNabb

Older, more established home buyers prefer the pricier community of Biltmore Forest near the Biltmore Estate, Asheville's biggest tourist attraction, and the Ramble, a newer, gated community nearby that is attracting young families. Demand for luxury homes above $1 million is coming back with strength, said Ann Skoglund, an agent with Beverly-Hanks & Associates. Her most expensive listing is a $10.75 million house modeled on a French château in Biltmore Forest, but most homes in the leafy suburb cost between $1 million and $1.5 million.

Houstonians John and Darlene McNabb bought a 9,000-square-foot Tudor-style house last year in Biltmore Forest, a community located a few minutes from Asheville and near a private country club that was started in 1922 by the Vanderbilt family.

The McNabbs paid $2.8 million for their four-bedroom home on 2.4 acres overlooking a golf course. While still Texas residents, they now spend several months a year exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with the food and art scene in Asheville.

"This is like a resort, but there is enough infrastructure to get done what you need to get done," said Mr. McNabb, vice chairman of investment banking for Duff & Phelps Corp. in Houston and chairman of Willbros Group Inc., WG +2.81% a Houston-based company specializing in energy infrastructure.

Recently, Asheville's downtown Art Deco district was filled with evening strollers, to a backdrop of street music and noise spilling out of restaurants, many of them with a farm-to-table approach. At one, a modern tapas place called Curate, every seat at the bar was taken. In the summer, there are free downtown concerts, along with art gallery walks and annual events such as an arts and crafts show and a beer festival. Beer is a big part of Asheville's ascent. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Colorado-based Oskar Blues have expanded into the area, and craft brewer New Belgium is building a new brewery in Asheville.

"It will bring in jobs, it will bring in tourists and it will bring in money," said Mike Miller, co-owner of Town and Mountain Realty. At the same time, he is concerned that Asheville will be "loved to death," as he said, with new arrivals driving up property prices and causing future home buyers to look elsewhere. Mr. Miller said that in the past most buyers came from the New York area and Florida, but he is now getting calls from across the country, as well as Canada and Japan. He also noted a growing interest in new and green construction.

Terri King, president of Coldwell Banker King in Asheville, said she is seeing increasing demand for downtown luxury condominiums, especially from older residents who retired to large houses outside Asheville who then downsized to more manageable homes within walking distance of local attractions. Properties currently under contract include two contemporary condos atop the Hotel Indigo, IHG.LN +0.32% a high-rise with sweeping mountain views. One, a three-bedroom, was listed for $918,900, while the other, a two-bedroom, was listed for $810,900.

"The challenge of being a destination market is that the cost of living is higher than in, say, Knoxville, [Tenn.]," said Ms. King. "When people come to Asheville, they typically get sticker shock."

Write to Cecilie Rohwedder at cecilie.rohwedder@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304081804579558030375906224

Photo - Mike Belleme for The Wall Street Journal

 

Ready to hit the market running? Check out the Asheville homes for sale over $500,000 here.

 

Add Comment

Comments are moderated. Please be patient if your comment does not appear immediately. Thank you.

Comments

  1. The Best Way To Make Some Cash With FOREX! on

    It's a great and also helpful piece of data. My business is satisfied which you simply shared this convenient info along with us. Please keep us up to date like that. Thanks for discussing.
    • lelur on

      Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vivid clear idea
      • Stockbroker Fraud Attorney on

        John Lawrence Allen has gotten stock investors more money back than anyone else I know. He's gotten millions back - http://blog.mymosaicrealty.com
        • alex campain on

          We're a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with helpful information to paintings on. You have done a formidable job and our entire group can be thankful to you.
          • best summer camp activities delray beach on

            Are there group therapy sessions who is dealing with depression and worry. I was happy getting up at 10am and sitting on Eileen's stoop telling jokes with my friends. Baseball camps can be an excellent way to give the children the social life they need while keeping them busy both physically and mentally. When it comes to the IRS, record keeping is everything. Time to fuel up for that daunting task of packing up and heading home. But it may create a lot of fear and anxiety for a younger teen that has never been away from home and has never been apart from his or her parents for so many days. However, it is often found that after a few weeks boredom begins to set in for lots of kids. For girls wanting to camp in a medieval castle, Vermont offers this plus a life sized Viking sail boat. While planning for this cleaning exercise, you may have to obtain any other item as necessary like a basket, pantry and a refrigerator. In hockey camp, the players undergo skating drills in order to promote their agility and balance while being under duress. My weblog :: best summer camp activities delray beach
            • ideas for wall art and pictures on

              Sharon especially loves decorating a home in wooden furniture and believes that nothing gives a home as warm and cozy a touch as all-wood furniture and decor. This allows for specific categorization of the content of the site making it easier to find what you're looking for. Wall decals make a good decorative option and wall art.
              • summer camps girls delray beach on

                There are a variety of outdoor activities for the kids of the Colorado Youth Program Mountain Summer Camp, including bird banding, astronomy, fishing, kayaking, hiking, white water rafting, evening campfires, wildlife study, mountain biking, canoeing, forest study, games, and aquatics study. After the jog we went inside the gym for weight lifting, the fighters started doing dead lifts and bench presses with weight I couldn't keep up with. Camping could be the greatest adventure that any family could enjoy in summer days. They attend the Boot camp each day for a particular number of weeks, but they leave home every night. The go camping schedule is frequently announced as a result of advertisements with newspapers in addition to websites. Surf House Accommodation: 1 Week 550 euros All-Inclusive. Know that most branded clothes are often priced above average, especially if it is made by well-known manufacturers. For girls wanting to camp in a medieval castle, Vermont offers this plus a life sized Viking sail boat. There should be at least one guard behind the sandbags in a good firing position, so try to snipe him yourself to keep the troopers alive. Planning to explore a rural area alone is dangerous. my blog post; summer camps girls delray beach
                • Anny on

                  hi there! , I like the composing very much! write about most of us keep up a correspondence much more about the report in AOL? I needed a pro within this home to eliminate my own difficulty. Could possibly be that is people! Looking ahead to search an individual.
                  • LaserCap Laser on

                    In the league of hair care products, its risk free trial and consumer testimonials are the talk of the town. Coenzyme Q10 improves scalp circulation and raises the tissue oxygenation levels, thereby promoting hair regrowth. The best secrets to great health is in quality, not quantity. Feel free to visit my site; LaserCap Laser
                    • low laser light therapy for hair loss on

                      FDA laser safety standards for identification, each 5-10 minutes, every 1 to 2 times will be able to achieve the maximum effect, general hair loss after three weeks there will be improved signs of immature hair growth hair loss site, in the course of treatment after three months, you can see the thicker and darker hair grow. Exercise is important to improve nutrient absorption and can aid in combating stress. Hair loss is something that affects millions of people all over the world, and it can be a very embarrassing problem for many. my blog post: low laser light therapy for hair loss
                      • Ilse on

                        This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Cheers! my site ... site (Ilse)
                        • fort lauderdale ray roger the plumber reviews on

                          A person having little expertise meanwhile can handle these issues before a professional comes in frame. Arranging a remodeling dependably begins with great aims: "We should overhaul the split and peeling flooring, floor in the kitchen," you say. You will have to explore different options and then choose the right one that you seem to find reliable and good for your kitchen. Feel free to visit my web site ... fort lauderdale ray roger the plumber reviews