As the Cape Fear region continues to show growth in the housing market, local real estate agents are reporting that the Wrightsville Beach market is surging to levels not seen in more than a decade.
Cape Fear Realtors reports that the region in May reached a housing price high not seen in nine years. Already, home sales in Wrightsville Beach are outpacing previous years. There have been 23 single family home sales so far in 2017, while there were just 7 single family home sales in Wrightsville Beach in 2016 and 11 in 2015. In 2006, there were 16 single family home sales.
Also, condos and other properties are also moving at a brisk pace, real estate professionals said. So far in 2017, there have been 73 total sales in Wrightsville Beach, including condominiums and other properties, compared to a total of 17 last year.
“It’s very active here. It’s on fire,” said Michelle Clark, Realtor at Intracoastal Realty Corporation.
Clark said there are several factors that are helping propel sales. One is a low inventory of potential houses, while another is rising interest rates, which is spurring fence-sitting buyers into action before rates go any higher.
“Interest rates have been creeping up a little bit and for buyers that have been on the fence, that has motivated them a little more,” Clark said. “There’s always a steady stream of people looking, but people now seem more serious and more ready to buy than in the past. They’re just more comfortable with things.”
Randy Williams, Realtor with Hardee Hunt & Williams, described the market as “brisk.”
In Wrightsville Beach, there are fewer than 100 properties even available, making them a premium for sellers, he said.
“I think it’s balanced between buyers and sellers market,” Williams said. “We have not yet had a full recovery on the island. There are certainly transactions occurring that are moving prices up, and buy the end of the year, I expect we will have seen some appreciation of housing values.
The Wrightsville Beach real estate market often will have different dynamics than other suburban areas since it’s predominantly a market for second homes, Williams said.
“There’s no urgency to sell,” he said. “Owners will say, ‘If I can’t get my price, I’ll rent it or hold on to it.”
But with the improving economy, Sounia Nejad Chaney, a Realtor with Intracoastal Realty, said there is higher demand for Wrightsville Beach properties than before.
“We’re always getting request for new listings,” Chaney said. “It’s almost like a wait list for property.”
Where there was once more interest from investors, Chaney said that more residents are looking to buy a home in Wrightsville Beach in order to live.
“Wilmington area has everything, the beach, fishing, boating, Broadway shows, everything is here,” Chaney said. “Buyers are doing everything possible to get here.”