April 2015
By BJ Oelschlegel

With the greater percentage of sales contracts being subject to bank financing, and bank fi­nancing being contingent upon a favorable appraisal, it is critical to examine the market when considering a listing price for a property. A listing price has to be consistent with what has sold in the past 12 months. The comparables, used by the ap­praisers, have to have occurred within the prior 12 months. I know that I have written about this before, but the market is liquid.

I pulled all of the closings, on the island, during the last 12 months. Interestingly, there were 11 lots and 11 houses sold or put under contract. Another noteworthy fact was that none of the houses were sold due to foreclosure, but three of the lots were bank owned. One of these foreclosed lots was in the Jackson Tract and went for $120,000; a Lighthouse Road lot with 10,500 square feet went for $73,000 and a very large tract which was primarily marsh went for $15,500.

The remainder of the lot sales were standard contracts. Three were smaller lots, ranging be­tween 5,000 and 8,000 square feet, and selling for $75,000 to $85,000.

Three more contiguous par­cels were the same size lots but sold to a government related group who will use the land for parking for The Ocracoke Lighthouse; these lots went for $125,000 each.

There are two more lots in the Pamlico Shores area which went under contract, but have yet to close.

Residential sales fall into 3 categories: condos, town­homes and single family dwell­ings. The condos all sold in a range under $200,000. One 2bdr/2bath with 1,170 square feet sold for $170,000. The same floor plan condo unit, but with some major upgrades, sold for $199,000. A one-bedroom penthouse condo just closed for $179,000.

A 1,800 square feet water-front townhome, with 3 bed­rooms and 3 baths, closed in December for $425,000.

The seven single-family properties, either selling or going under contract within the last 12 months, fall into two categories: those under $300,000 and those ranging be­tween $400,000 and $540,000.

Those in the higher range have either water access or expansive views. The proper­ties that were sold in the un­der-$300,000 range, had issues with either limited bedrooms, buildings in need of major work, or sellers who were will­ing to accept a lower price in order to move on.

While it remains a buyer’s market–with sellers taking a heavy beating–the good news is that we have buyers and con­tracts.

We are anticipating a brisk market this season, with the expectation that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sometime next winter.

 BJ Oelschlegel is a regular columnist and a broker with Ocracoke’s Lightship Realty

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