February 2, 2017

Hatteras Island Real Estate:
 2016 Real Estate Market Summary


Year-end results have been finalized for the 2016 real estate market on Hatteras Island. The following table provides detailed information comparing the major market indicators at the end of 2016 with the same data at the end of 2015.

Thanks to a last minute spurt of closings in December, the year ended with fairly respectable results for residential properties. Home sales were up 6.7 percent over 2015, and the total dollar value of sales increased 4.8 percent.

The average sale price for residential properties last year was $326,249 while the median sale price was $271,000. Average selling prices have vacillated between approximately $325,000 and $350,000 over the past eight years. The variations in median sale prices have been greater than for average sale prices. During 2016, buyers showed a clear preference for properties at the lower end of the price spectrum. It was a seller’s market for homes priced below $300,000. Above that price point, the supply of properties exceeded buyer demand in all price categories.

Taking a slightly longer view of the residential market on Hatteras Island, the profile since 2014 shows positive trends indicative of a market in the early stages of recovery. The inventory of properties for sale is down, and sales are up. While the average selling price remains flat, the median sale price has consistently risen over the past three years, as has the total dollar value of home sales.

In contrast to the residential market, the undeveloped lot market on the island had a very poor year in 2016. All major market indicators reported double digit declines except selling prices which increased between 15 and 20 percent depending on the statistical measure being used.

Delving deeper into the selling prices, higher priced waterfront properties accounted for almost 42 percent of lot sales last year. The average selling price of waterfront lots was $176,704, while the average selling price of non-waterfront properties was $68,870. My sense is that buyers were taking advantage of the relatively low prices of the higher demand building sites.

Geographically, the southern end of the island between Buxton and Hatteras Village accounted for 37 percent of all sales in 2016. The Tri-Village Area represented 33 percent of purchases, and Avon recorded 30 percent of the transactions.

Finally, it appears that the wave of short sales and foreclosures that plagued the market several years ago is for all practical purposes over. At the present time, there are two lots and one home short sale available for purchase. In addition, there are only two residential and four bank-owned lots for sale.

When you think about all of the challenges that Hatteras Island has faced over the last few years and the positive developments that are taking place concerning the stabilization of access to the island via Highway 12, I believe that it is reasonable to anticipate a continuation of the improvement that we have seen in the real estate market.

Let us never forget the very special place that Hatteras Island represents in an increasingly turbulent world, and the refuge that it provides to residents and visitors through its simple pleasures of the wind and the waves and the solitude of the beach and the sea. 

(Tom Hranicka is a broker with Outer Beaches Realty. Questions, comments, or suggestions for future articles may be sent to Hranicka at P.O. Box 280, Avon, NC  27915 or emailed to [email protected]. Copyright 2017 Tom & Louise Hranicka.  All rights reserved.
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