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Blowing Rock Real Estate | | wataugademocrat.com – Watauga Democrat

Blowing Rock real estate trio

A distinctive feature of many Blowing Rock properties are their views. These homes were among the listings in June 2022. Each of these three listings were found on the Jenkins Realtors website.

BLOWING ROCK — Unprecedented strength in the High Country’s real estate market continued in May 2022, but there are early indications that the seller’s market may be softening somewhat, said Pam Vines, former president of High Country Association of Realtors and co-owner of Blowing Rock-based Jenkins Realtors.

“Rising interest rates cause a softening of demand as the affordability of home financing comes into focus for buyers,” said Vines. “Add to that, looking at current market performance vs. an extremely strong period a year ago that was, in part, still driven by COVID-19 might be a little misleading. In 2020 and 2021, because of the pandemic people were escaping densely populated, urban areas and they discovered Blowing Rock as a great alternative for where they wanted to spend their time working, as well as playing.

Blowing Rock real estate

Mountain living at its finest is represented in this June 2022 listing on the Allen Tate website.

“It is important to understand that higher interest rates don’t stop buying interest in the market, it mostly affects the price point, the affordability of where they want to invest,” said Vines.

While the Blowing Rock market remains strong, market realities are emerging, too.

“While there is a certain level of buyer anxiety as interest rates rise, there is also some anxiety among potential sellers thinking they may have waited too long to take advantage of the strong demand environment. There have been instances where listing prices have come down just a bit to reflect those changing market conditions,” added Vines.

The near-term shift in the market’s demand characteristics is seen most readily in inventory levels. In short, if there are no properties in inventory to buy, prices will rise until one or more homeowners are willing to sell. Over the last two years, buyers were scooping up new listings as quickly they became available, often with several competing bids above the listing price.

Blowing Rock real estate idyllic

This Blowing Rock listing in June 2022 has an idyllic setting, found on the Allen Tate Realtors website.

“Those inventory shortages and bidding wars make sellers happy,” said Scott McIntosh, branch leader in the High Country for Allen Tate Realtors in Blowing Rock, “but at the same time they can frustrate the buyers competing for a property. How many times do you lose a bidding competition above the price for which a home is listed before you start rethinking your desire to own a property in that area?

“So, I think you have a degree of buyer exhaustion kicking in, but you also have a certain push toward normalization of this market after an unusually high spike in demand created a short- to intermediate-term imbalance,” McIntosh added. “And yet, for many years you could argue that the Blowing Rock and High Country market was undervalued and the pandemic helped prompt the discovery of its many attributes, culturally and recreationally.

“Plus, much of the High Country, especially Blowing Rock,” continued McIntosh, “has high performance broadband Internet infrastructure now, so people can work from properties up here just as easily as they can in the big city. And to take that concept a bit further, places like Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Charlotte are growing. They are bursting at the seams while bringing in new, often high-paying jobs in the technology, healthcare and manufacturing sectors. Growth off the mountain means those people are looking for investments, places where they can smartly and even safely invest their money. In the High Country, including Blowing Rock, investors can buy houses as second homes, but there is also a huge demand for short-term vacation rentals in this area. So when an owner doesn’t want to use their second home for themselves, they can rent their home through Airbnb, VRBO, or one of this area’s many rental management companies and earn a healthy rental income stream, too, which offsets some of their second homeownership costs.”

Blowing Rock real estate

Views, views, views — and more views characterize this home listed on the Allen Tate website in June 2022.

As the calendar turns its pages into summer, there is at least marginal evidence that the market’s supply and demand characteristics are shifting. While active inventory in May 2022 was down 8.5 percent vs. May 2021, it was up 27.5 percent compared to just a month earlier (April 2022) in Ashe, Avery, Allegheny and Watauga counties, the area served by the High Country Association of Realtors. While the May 2022 median sales price of $411,750 showed a 32.4 percent gain vs. May 2021, it actually slipped a bit vs. a month earlier: down 8.5 percent vs. April 2022.

That said, according to the HCAR data reported for May 2022, the price sold per square foot increased 35.6 percent in the last 12 months and was 10.2 percent higher vs. a month earlier.

“Blowing Rock, both within the town limits and the surrounding area, remains one of the most sought-after zip codes in northwestern NC,” Vines pointed out. “At roughly 4,000 feet in elevation, it is an attractive escape from the often-oppressive heat of the Piedmont and coastal ranges of the Southeast U.S. When you add to that our access to so many outdoor recreation opportunities like hiking, fishing and horseback riding, as well as the many cultural attributes that have been nurtured by the town, Chamber of Commerce, and so many other organizations, Blowing Rock is just a great place to live, work, play and visit. Plus, Blowing Rock’s property taxes remain among the lowest in the state, which adds to the affordability of owning real estate here vs. in cities like Charlotte and Raleigh.”

On the Zillow website as of June 15, there were 191 agent listings within the 28605 zip code that includes the Blowing Rock town limits and its immediate surroundings, as well as nine other listings (sell by owner). Prices ranged from $3.8 million on the high side, in Blowing Rock with spectacular gorge views, to $349,000 for a 1,280 square feet, 4 bedroom house northwest of the Blowing Rock town limits. Unimproved land ranged from just over $39,000 for a 1.4 acre lot between Boone and Blowing Rock, to $3.4 million for 74 acres between Boone and Blowing Rock, near Tweetsie Railroad.

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