December 2017 Outer Banks Real Estate Market Report

 dec 2017 OBX real estate market report kite surfing - Photo: Andrew Gosine

The Outer Banks Association of Realtors released the December 2017 MLS Statistical Report – you can get the full report here

No doubt about it.  Last year, 2017, was a banner year for real estate on the Outer Banks.  It is the best year since 2005 for unit sales and volume sales; when the market was really hot before the down turn.  Average and median sale prices are the higher than 2014.  Days on market are down 43% and inventory levels are at the lowest since 2010.

Real estate unit sales in the Outer Banks for the year ended December 2017 were 2,560 units; an increase compared to December 2016 from 2,298 units; an 11% increase.  Recorded volume for the year ended Dec 2017 was $839,032,277 compared to last year which was $745,691,745; a 13% increase.

Some highlights from this month’s report follows. 

Overall Market

Inventory continues to be the low for all of this past year and is trending lower  in each month going back to 2010.  Residential inventory is down 5% compared to the end of 2016.

Lots and land quantity sold increased by 16% from last year.  The average sale price for lots fell by 14% while the median price increased by 4%. Land inventory is down by 11% compared to last year.

Commercial unit sales are down by 19% at the year-end compared to last year.  Only 26 commercial units were sold compared to 32 last year.  The average and median sale prices have little relevance with such a small sample and appear skewed from a large sale last year.  Commercial inventory is down 16% compared to last year with only 58 units active on the market compared to 69 units last year.

Distressed Property

For the year ending 2017, overall distressed sales are down by 4% with 108 units sold.  The average price has not changed but the median price has increased by 7% compared to last year.  Total volume sold is down by 7%.

There were 28 residential short sale units sold, compared to 31 at the end of last year.  Average price for short sales increased by 2% while the median price increased by 9% from one year ago.  

Sales for bank owned properties fell by 1% from 81 to 80 units this year. The average sale price for Bank Owned property fell by 5% compared to last year; while the median increased by 3%. 

The effect distressed real estate will have on the overall Outer Banks market will continue to diminish as foreclosure and short sale inventory is depleted and the market returns to pre-recessionary levels of distressed real estate. 

Residential Real Estate

Single Family

For the year ending Dec 2017, single family units sold increased by 12%; with the dollar volume increasing by 16% compared to unit sales and volume in 2016.

Single family unit sales increased from 1531 at the end of 2016 to 1712 at the end of 2017.

The average single family home price increased by 4%, this is the same increase reported for Nov 2017.  The average sale price for a single family home in the Outer Banks is $405,273 up from $391,538 for Dec 2016.  Median sale prices are up 3% to $325,000.


Condominium sales in the Outer Banks increased by 9% with the associated dollar volume up by 12%  from the end of 2016 to the end of 2017.

Over the same time period, the average price of condos has increased by 3%; from $254,785 to $261,832.  The median condo values shot up 10% over the past year from $235,000 to $258,000.

December condo unit sales were 193 compared to 177 a year ago.  Unlike many other markets, the Outer Banks did not see an oversupply of condo construction during the boom years and current demand for condos has been strong in 2017. 

Lots and Land

Over 2017, residential land unit sales increased by 14%.  The average sale price fell by 8% while the median price was up slightly at 1% compared to last year.  Residential lots average price is $111,967 with the median at $75,000.

The figures for all land show an increase in unit sales of 16% with the average sale price down by 14% but the median price up by 4%.

Market Highlights

Overall Days on the Market for the all residential properties is down by 43% in December.  Outer Banks properties are selling much faster; especially new inventory.

New Construction building permits finished 2017 below 2016 levels with 281 units compared to 292 last year.  Manteo permits has the largest decrease from 24 in 2016 to 9 in 2017, Hatteras Islands permits were 47 in 2016 to 36 in 2017, Nags Head decreased by 5 to 30 in 2017.  Permits increased on Roanoke Island from 27 to 38 in 2017 and increased in Southern Shores from 21 to 31 in 2017.

Outer Banks Town Statistics

For the year ending December 2017 median sale prices for the towns in the Outer Banks and the percent change compared to year end 2016 appear below:

Dec 2017 Median Home Prices & Percent Change for Outer Banks Towns

Dec 2017 Median Home Prices & Percent Change Table for OBX Towns

Hatteras Island experienced the largest percentage gain of 13% followed closely by Corolla at 12%.

The Outer Banks real estate market had an excellent year in 2017.  From client interest over the past few weeks, 2018 is on track for another solid sales year. 

If you have been thinking about an Outer Banks vacation home purchase, second home purchase or permanent home, now is the time to act.  Purchasing power will decrease once the anticipated mortgage rates increase.  Smart buyers and investors will lock in rates now before the increase. 

The Outer Banks rental market continues to be strong to provide income from the investment and enjoyment for the family for years to come. Buy now to position the home for the 2018 rental season.

Buy with Eillu and save more with our buyers rewards plan. The Outer Banks continues to be named a top beach destination every year.  Beach nourishment has recently been completed for a large portion of Dare County beaches and will ensure strong future appreciation for real estate. 

If you have considered selling your Outer Banks home, now may be the best time.  The lower inventory levels will allow your property to be seen with less competition.  The strong demand will sell your home with fewer days on the market.  Our 1.5% listing commission will save you thousands of dollars!

Schedule an appointment today to find your vacation rental property, second home or investment property. 

Eillu listing commission 1.5%       Eillu buyers rewards CTA

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Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
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