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Bumpy Road – No Cause for Panic

Home Sales Worst Since 2015

While this statement is true, it’s no cause for alarm. Overall market trends and signs for the Highlands/Cashiers Real Estate Market have many positive indicators. Many more homes are currently under contract and inventory is reducing. Let’s take a closer look at the market before we make any drastic decisions.

Single Family Home Sales Statistics
Land Sales Statistics
Overall Market View


Mountains and Mole Hills

“Don’t Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill” is an idiom that has often been applied to real estate brokers. Basically, it had to do with them exaggerating properties in order to make sales. Not really an honest tactic, thus the reason many people see real estate brokers in the same category as attorneys and used car salesmen. Here, we just want to look at the facts to form an honest opinion.

home sales trends for highlands cashiers area
July Home Sales – Highlands/Cashiers MLS


If you look at the preceding graph you notice, right away, that home sales are down. However, this is just the number of homes sold in the month of July, only. This trend also shows a decline in the last several years. Again, this is only for the month of July. How does this stack up historically for Highlands/ Cashiers MLS?

real estate market highlands cashiers
Historical Home Sales – Highlands/Cashiers MLS

In the above graph we can see home sales over a period of time. Yes, the home sales are low for July. However, we notice that every July has had a dip for several years. So this trend could be considered typical. However, in looking at the 2018 year we notice an overall increase in home sales, well above the previous years. As a result, one could easily see that this is somewhat of a strong market. In fact, the overall sales volume and unit sales are well above previous years. Also, when we look at the “median” price it is well above what we’ve experienced in times past.

Median/Average. What’s the Difference

This is an easily misunderstood concept. Many think of them as being the same. While Median is a “type” of average, most people consider the “Mean” when talking about average.  While they can run close at times, there can be vast differences.  In all mathematical correctness mean, median and mode are all types of averages.

Here is how one website explains these averages:  The “mean” is the “average” you’re used to, where you add up all the numbers and then divide by the number of numbers. The “median” is the “middle” value in the list of numbers. (courtesy https://www.purplemath.com/modules/meanmode.htm)

median mean average
Median Versus Mean Average

In the above example you can see the “Median” is the middle of the market at $367,500. The “Mean” (what we typically refer to as average) is $500,335.48. So there can be a vast difference in averages.

After having said all that, we see that our Median Market Range for Highlands/Cashiers Real Estate is at $395,000. This has hovered around the $400,000 mark for several months. It used to be closer to the $200,000 mark. This would indicate that more larger homes are being sold. This is another indicator that this market is stronger now.

Single Family Home Sales Statistics
Land Sales Statistics
Overall Market View

Reduced Inventory

Another strong indicator for Highlands/Cashiers Real Estate Market is Inventory. While the summer months typically see the largest number of homes on the market (1200-1400), this year we have only been in the 900-1000+ homes range. This is the lowest inventory we’ve seen in years. This means less competition for Sellers. Around Lake Glenville (aka Thorpe Reservoir) inventory under $1,000,000 is almost non-existent.

While there is still plenty of inventory compared with unit sales, the prices vary greatly. So trying to find something in any particular market value can be limited. Interesting to note, though, is that the sales are only getting about 91% of asking price. This would indicate that many homes are still overpriced. This hurts Sellers. The search  parameters of Buyers could put you in a different category all together, meaning potential Buyers may not even see your property.  Sellers should take advantage of this market and price strategically so as to be seen.

July 2018 Statistics for the HCBOR:


Total homes listed in Highlands/Cashiers MLS: 921

Homes Sold This Month: 45

Average Unit Sales per Month/1 Year Average: 62

YOY Inventory: 14.9 months. While inventory is down overall, with over a years worth of inventory on hand, there is still plenty for Buyers to choose from.

Average DOM: 288

Average DOM (YOY): 330

Median Sales Price: $395,000.

Average List/Sell Ratio: 91.44%

Synopsis: The market is still showing strong, overall. The best thing for Sellers is to consider strategic pricing. For more information on how to price your home, Click Here or Contact Highlands/Cashiers Agent.



Land Units Sold: 22.

Total listed in all MLS: 1100

Inventory: 50 months. With over 4 years of inventory there is no real demand for land. This continues to hold land prices low.

Real Estate Land Sales
Highlands Cashiers Land Sales

Synopsis: While we did have a couple of months rise in land sales, July’s sales show no real change. However, there may be some promise in the near future as we do see trends starting to change a little.


Overall Market View:

  • 33% of home sales ranged from $200,000 to $499,999.
  • 14% of home sales ranged from $500,000 – $749,999.
  • 14% of home sales ranged from $750,000 – $1,000,000.
  • 19% of sales were above $1,000,000.

The big winners for July were the homes between $750,000 to $1,000,000. Those sales doubled while all other ranges remained relatively unchanged.

BUYERS: The home market in the Highlands/Cashiers area has shown significant improvement. Sellers are still bargaining on their home prices. However, those that are priced closer to Fair Market Value may be more reluctant to negotiate as much. The climate is changing, but there are still bargains to be found. Waiting until the next selling season could make a significant difference.

SELLERS: Overall signs appear to be in your favor. If you’ve been considering the sale of your home, now may be the time to get a Comparative Market Analysis to see what your home may be worth in this market. For a free CMA, contact a local Broker.

CONCLUSION: The Highlands/Cashiers real estate market is seeing some of the best home sales in years. Inventory is down and more homes are needed. While there are many opportunities to buy, one needs a good agent to ensure they are purchasing at Fair Market Value. Buyers should understand the difference between a salesman and an agent that is looking after their best interests.

Selling Homes in Highlands, Cashiers, Glenville and Sapphire Area, as well as Franklin and Sylva. Contact Listing Agent Here.



This material is based upon work performed by Rick Creel, Broker. It is intended to provide an overall view of the real estate market for Highlands, Cashiers and surrounding areas of the Highlands/Cashiers Board of Realtors. It is composed of data from the HCBOR and NAR for this MLS only. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations are those of the author and do not reflect the views of any others. There can be no assurance that this information is complete, accurate, or includes all available market data; all information is subject to change. Users of this information are advised to consult with their financial experts about the interpretation and usefulness of information contained herein. For more information or to consider listing your home with an agent or buying a home CLICK HERE.

By Rick

Real Estate Broker for Franklin, Highlands, Cashiers, Glenville, Sapphire and surrounding areas of NC. JW, Pioneer.

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