|May 10, 2017
Hatteras Island Real Estate:
Change On Hatteras Island
By TOM HRANICKA
change is always with us, it usually happens in such gradual
increments that we don’t often recognize it until after it occurs.
I thought it might be interesting to take a brief look at some of the
changes that have taken place in the past on the island, and some
that are going on right now.
– The Hatteras Island real estate market appears to be in the early
stages of recovery from a prolonged buyer’s market. Over the past
three years, home sales have increased, housing sales prices have
risen, and there has been growth in the total dollar value of sales.
residential real estate market on Hatteras Island is off to a strong
start in 2017. Sales, prices, and the total dollar value of sales are
all showing increases, and the inventory of properties for sale is
down. These statistics represent a continuation of the recent trends
that we have been seeing. Buyers are continuing to show a preference
for properties priced below $300,000, although we have seen a surge
in the sales of high-end ($1 million +) homes this year.
the market for undeveloped lots on Hatteras Island is not
encouraging. During the 1st
Quarter only six undeveloped lots were sold on the entire island. All
major market indicators, except properties under contract to be sold,
declined by double-digit figures.
Funding for loans is plentiful and available for qualified buyers.
After an extended period of very low rates, interest rates have
started to rise. Currently, for 30-year fixed-rate loans, interest
rates are in the 4.25 percent range - still near historically low
– Several years ago, foreclosures and short sales represented a
significant segment of the real estate market on the island. This
temporary phenomenon appears to have run its course. Today, there is
one bank-owned residential property for sale and four undeveloped
lots. In addition, there are just four residential short sales in the
inventory of properties available for purchase, and no lots.
– The number of new residential single family building permits have
shown a meaningful increase over the past two years. Renovations and
repairs continue to be the mainstays of the construction business on
– The biggest change in commercial development that we have seen
over the past few years has been the appearance of chain retail
variety stores in over half of the villages. In some cases, the new
stores have been rather large in size while others have been somewhat
smaller. A new adventure themed facility in Rodanthe appears to be
Perhaps the changes that are most noticeable - and the ones that may
have the greatest long-term impact - are the efforts to stabilize
access to the island via Highway 12. New bridges are under
construction to replace the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet and the
interim metal bridge over the Pea Island Inlet. Plans are also moving
forward to construct a bridge in the Pamlico Sound that will
circumvent the S-Curves ocean overwash “hot spot” north of
Rodanthe. The Pea Island Bridge is scheduled to open to traffic this
summer. The new bridge over Oregon Inlet has a target opening date of
2018, and the Rodanthe Bridge construction is estimated to be
completed in 2020.
– By definition, barrier islands are characterized by a constantly
changing landscapes. Beach erosion and inlet shoaling are two of the
most common examples of this type of change. A beach nourishment
project was completed in Rodanthe several years ago. Another
nourishment project is scheduled for the Buxton beach this summer,
and very preliminary discussions are taking place to address more
recent concerns south of the Avon Pier. Shoaling around Hatteras
Inlet has had a very serious impact on the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry
channel as well as charter fishing boat access to the ocean from
Hatteras Village. Some dredging in the area of Hatteras Inlet has
already taken place and additional clearing efforts are planned for
the near future.
Road Beach Access
– Off road vehicle beach access and beach driving restrictions have
been a contentious issue for the past few years. Under the refreshing
leadership of Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent David
Hallac, an easing of restrictions on many aspects of vehicular beach
access are taking place and an open dialogue on other Park Service
issues is ongoing.
all of the changes that we have seen, one thing remains the same –
there is no place like Hatteras Island where we can all find peace
and quiet, the time to enjoy the wind and the waves and the sea, and
a very simple lifestyle uncomplicated by the stresses and strains of
the world that exists outside this wonderful piece of paradise.
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.)