3/14/2007 - Important Asheville Real Estate News by Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Asheville Breaks from National Housing Trends
Home appreciation rates in the Asheville metro continue strong despite a sharp downward trend experienced nationwide. According to a report published by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the annual same-home appreciation rate in Asheville was 11.7 percent as of the fourth quarter of 2006. The rate nationwide stood at 5.9 percent, a rate that has declined in each of the last four quarters.
The divergence in Asheville's appreciation trend is also reflected in its rank among other metro areas in the U.S. In the fourth quarter 2006 report, Asheville ranked 32 in the list, which ranks from the highest to lowest appreciation rate. Since the first quarter of 2006, Asheville has moved up 78 spots in the rankings, which typically includes about 270 other metros.
Asheville Apartment Vacancy Rate Drops to New Low
A recent apartment survey of the Asheville area reported a vacancy rate of 3.8 percent in December 2006, a drop from 5.2 percent in 2005, and 10.9 percent in 2004. The survey, conducted by research firm Real Data in Charlotte, NC, noted both the shrinking supply (due to condo conversions) and low number of apartment completions as leading to the low vacancy number. The report did catalog 178 units currently under construction, and another 743 units proposed, which should help relieve rates going into 2007.
Buncombe Ranks Well Among Largest U.S. Counties
Although there are more than 3,000 counties in the U.S., only about 320 have employment totals over 75,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes quarterly employment and wage growth rate rankings for these Largest U.S. Counties. Currently, Buncombe County is one of nine North Carolina counties included in the rankings. Over the last nine quarters ranked for employment growth (2Q 2004 to 2Q 2006), Buncombe has placed in the top 50 percent for six, of which two are in the top 25 percent. Wage growth rankings also place Buncombe with six of the nine quarters among the top 50 percent, and one in the top 25 percent. At no time did Buncombe County rank in the bottom 25 percent for either employment or wage growth.
Asheville Economy Tops Ninety One Countries
According to a recently released study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the gross product of the Asheville metropolitan area in 2005 equaled $13.6 billion, larger than 91 nations worldwide and 221 metro areas in the U.S. Since 1995, the annual growth rate of Asheville's gross product has averaged 5.2 percent.