10 things to know
Sellers have the power in New Bern’s booming real estate market as Covid-19 has drawn people to its small town charms.
The median listing price in New Bern is $ 215,000, up 14.2% from May 2020 and the average number of days a home spends on the market is 79, up from 206 in May 2020, according to Rocket Homes New Bern Housing Market Report.
Donna Harmatuk, COO for Keller Williams Realty New Bern and Morehead, uses her twenty plus years of experience to break down the New Bern real estate market and explain the most important things people should know right now.
1. Salespeople have the power
For the first time in 15 years, the New Bern real estate market is a seller’s market.
“The current housing market in Craven County is incredible. I’ve been doing this for 22 years and have never seen a market like this, which means lack of inventory and demand from buyers, ”Harmatuk said.
The new norm is that sellers receive eight to ten offers on their property, a statistic unprecedented a few years ago. Some listings cost as much as $ 50,000 more than the listing price, as the housing stock in New Bern declined 13.4% in May to 252.
2. The demand for luxury homes is back
“The biggest increase is in luxury homes … right now we have a dearth of luxury properties that has never been the case,” Harmatuk said.
New Bern hasn’t seen any luxury buyers since 2005 and 2006, just before the 2008 stock market crash. Now the demand for luxury properties, which had been in the market for years, is on fire.
People sell their homes in more expensive areas, collect the proceeds, and descend to New Bern where they can get more for their money.
3. Rising investor demand
“Investors are back. We have a lot of people right now with extra cash and they are able to buy investment property,” Harmatuk said.
People want passive income and buy investment property, which is great for homes that may need a bit more work. Harmatuk said the rental market is unlike anything she has ever seen and that there is a lack of rentals in the market.
4. Even with higher prices, it’s still a good market for first-time home buyers.
“It’s a great time to step in as a first-time home buyer, even though the prices are higher,” Harmatuk said. “Affordability is the best we’ve seen in a long time, which means they’re making more money.”
Interest rates stay low and there are loan products that deal with down payments – usually the biggest hurdle for first-time buyers. The lifestyle brought on by the pandemic has saved people even more money on down payments as well.
5. Covid-19 has drawn people to the New Bern lifestyle
“We have more buyers than registrations and I think it was a combination of things,” Harmatuk said. “It was a small town mentality in the United States and I think the cost of living is a factor.”
Covid-19 has prompted many people to leave large cities and metropolitan areas because they were drawn to the small town lifestyle and anxious to stay in case something similar happened again. New Bern is still surrounded by water, without being hampered by the costs of living by the sea.
“People choose to live here because it’s pretty special,” Harmatuk said.
6. Older retirees sell
“I think we’ve seen a lot of people thinking about what it would be like to be closer to their family,” Harmatuk said.
New Bern has a large retiree community and many people who came down 20 years ago to live out their dream – to sail, play golf and enjoy the community – have been made to reflect during the pandemic. Many have realized the importance of living closer to their families, especially when they are unable to travel, and have decided to relocate.
7. “Move-Up” buyers drive demand for mid-level homes
“The $ 300,000 to $ 500,000 range is on fire right now,” Harmatuk said. “These are not first-time home buyers, but upward buyers.”
Top buyers are people who are in their second home and need more square footage, which typically places them in a price range of $ 300,000 to $ 500,000. Homes in the Greenbrier and Taberna neighborhoods largely fall into this category and are in high demand.
8. People want more livable homes
“I think there were gifts that came out of it. It was horrible for a lot of us… people had time to think about what they wanted, and what they want. , it’s a more livable house, ”Harmatuk said, referring to the pandemic.
Spending more time at home has made people reevaluate what they really want in a home. Realizing that while quarantine can happen once, it can happen again, with people starting to want things like swimming pools, backyards, fences, home offices, screened porches, etc.
9. Lack of inventory is the biggest challenge in the market
“Lack of inventory is the biggest challenge in the market, which means sellers want to sell, but they can’t find anywhere to go,” Harmatuk said.
Even though this market allows people to sell their homes for a profit, people are reluctant to put their home on the market because they fear they won’t find a new one. Finding the seller of a new dream home could cause them to miss the optimal offer to sell their current home.
10. This market is good for New Bern, but won’t last forever
“It’s a good market and it’s good for New Bern. It’s good for our stores and good for our economy because it’s all about real estate,” Harmatuk said. “It’s really important for us to put real estate at the center of a lot of other professions.”
Harmatuk said real estate markets are cyclical and what goes up must come down. Prices and demand will eventually stabilize and it is important that people stay informed about the market. Fortunately, the New Bern real estate market is at the end of the country’s overall market change, which means the city will know that a change is coming before it happens.