The last few years have seen an influx of people to Asheville, drawn here by the area’s natural beauty, vibrant culture, and outdoor adventures. If you’re considering a move to the area, you may be wondering if now is a good time to buy in Asheville. According to Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura, it’s important to understand all the facets of Asheville’s real estate market before making a move.
Migration changes affecting the Asheville area
According to Figura, the country is undergoing major migration changes, driven by a few factors. One is how people work: Obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed the workplace, with many more people able to work remotely. “This makes places like Asheville a lot more desirable than they have been pre-Covid, where careers were more place-based,” says Figura.
Another factor is climate change. “There’s an old expression, when you’re in trouble, run for the hills,” says Figura. “What we’re seeing now is a lot of people moving to Asheville for safety and security and quality of life.”
Asheville offers a desirable mix of features that add to quality of life. “We have great restaurants, a music scene, great outdoor activities, and interesting, eclectic people who make it a vibrant city, and it’s no surprise that people are drawn to the area,” says Figura. “We seem to have the recipe for what a lot of people are looking for.”
Demand vs. inventory
The migration of people to the area is reflected in recent inventory numbers, a measure of how many homes are on the market relative to demand. “Second-quarter market analysis points to record-low inventory and record-low days on market,” says Figura.
According to Figura, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to build houses now to keep up with demand, thanks to a couple of factors. “One is high construction costs and labor shortages, and the other is we’re pretty land-locked: We’ve got the mountains that surround us, and building subdivisions like a lot of other places do to expand the housing stock quickly is very challenging and nearly impossible to do in Asheville,” he says. “So while we are adding housing stock, we’re doing it more slowly than demand is keeping up.”
Vacation rental growth in the Asheville area
Another factor affecting supply is a lot of Asheville’s housing stock is turning into vacation rentals. “We’re one of the most popular places for AirBnB and VRBO, and a lot of our longer-term rentals are turning into short-term rentals, which is putting pressure on the rental market as well as the for-sale market as we lose some housing stock,” says Figura.
Putting all these factors together means Asheville’s market should remain desirable for quite awhile, according to Figura. “While I always counsel people that housing prices fluctuate and there are no guarantees, it seems like the fundamental indicators are pointing to Asheville as a very solid investment for residential real estate in the time to come” he says.
If you’re ready to buy in Asheville or Western N.C., please contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.
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