Buyers will likely continue navigating price increases amidst competition and tight supply

For more information: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

February 6, 2024

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At yearend 2023, home sales across the Catawba Valley region were down only 9 percent year-over-year as 3,869 homes sold across the region in 2023. Sales activity at yearend 2023 trended at the same level as 2019 sales. A closer look at the data provided by Canopy MLS showed there were 381 more transactions in 2022 than in 2023.  Sales data in this report reflects single-family, condos, and townhomes sold in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.

Closed sales during the month of December 2023 totaled 275 for the four-county MSA, and were down 4.8 percent compared to sales in December 2022. December sales compared to November 2023, showed an increase of 1.1 percent as buyers and sellers scrambled at yearend to take advantage of falling mortgage rates.

Yearend figures showed both contracts and new listing activity down year-over-year by 4.9 percent and 4.3 percent respectively. Contract activity which signals buyer demand, showed a little more than 3,900 homes in under contract status in 2023, with the previous year (2022) having 200 more listings in pending status.  Buyer demand during the month of December increased 12.1 percent year-over-year with 250 homes pending during the month. Demand has risen consistently across the MSA since May 2023. Canopy MLS showing report indicated that showing activity, which tracks buyer interest through the number of showings, was highest last year in Newton and Hickory, both located in Catawba County, followed by Morganton. 

There were 4,741 new listings offered by sellers last year, compared to 4,955 new listings offered in 2022. Seller activity, which indicates seller confidence, has risen consistently each month since September 2023, helping to boost inventory and supply, which also rose at yearend.

"Housing demand and listing activity overall were consistent last year, which really shows the resilience of our market since the peak of activity in 2021.  With last year’s sales trending to the level of 2019, we know moving forward, the sales activity we are seeing is at a healthy, more sustainable level. And as rates fell during fourth quarter both buyers and sellers responded, which is a promising sign for this year,” said Karleta Smith, a Realtor®/broker with Keller Williams Denver and 2024 president of Catawba Valley Association of Realtors®. 

Inventory at report time (January 5, 2024) rose 19.6 percent to a little over 700 properties for sale compared to yearend 2022, when 591 homes were on market. Months of supply rose significantly, 29.4 percent to 2.2 months compared to 1.7 months of supply at the end of 2022.

A look at inventory by price range at yearend showed single-family homes priced between $300,000 to $400,000 had a 44 percent increase year-over-year in inventory.  However, the townhome market also grew last year and could present buyers seeking greater affordability with more options, as townhomes priced $200,000 to $300,000 had a 125 percent increase in inventory at yearend, while townhomes priced from $300,000 to $400,000 showed a 75 percent increase in inventory.

All price indices rose at yearend. The 2023 median sales price of $275,000 increased 10.8 percent compared to 2022, while the 2023 average list price showed a modest increase of 5.2 percent to end the year at $324,055.  A look at median sales price trends over the past five years shows the region has sustained double-digit price growth annually since 2019, climbing as high as 16.6 percent from 2020 to 2021. This is probably due to how quickly buyers blazed through supply since the start of 2019, when the region had three months of supply and more than 800 properties in inventory. The 2023 average list price increased 8.3 percent year-over-year to $362,733, which brought the original list price to sales price measure down slightly to end the year at 96.4 percent.

Smith continued, “Even though the outlook for 2024 looks positive and is healthier than previous years, the market still highly favors sellers. In fact, sellers in the region throughout last year secured 96.4 percent of asking prices, which should be a great motivator to list this year. And with demand already building each month ahead of the prime selling season, buyers will likely see continued price increases, amidst competition and tight supply. We need to see an influx of new properties in order for prices to remain steady this year. Buyers looking for homes in the spring should strategize now with a Buyer’s Agent to prepare.”

The average time to sell a property increased throughout last year. Figures at yearend showed days on market increased 50 percent year-over-year, and properties averaged 33 days on market until sale compared to 22 days on market in 2022.

A closer look at sales across the four counties. County Summaries reflect yearend/annual figures only. See data for December 2023.

Alexander County home sales at yearend 2023 showed a decline of 22.3 percent as 254 homes closed in 2023 compared to 327 that closed during the previous year. There were 259 pending contracts written in 2023, which is down 13.7 percent compared to the number of contracts written in 2022. Just 41 homes in pending status was the difference between 2022 and 2023 buyer activity. New listings for all of 2023, were only off by 8.5 percent with sellers offering 322 homes for sale compared to 352 homes offered in 2022. Prices rose modestly at yearend. The 2023 median sales price of $265,000 rose 2.7 percent year-over-year while the 2023 average sales price rose 4.9 percent to end the year at $313,522.  The 2023 average list price increased 7.2 percent year-over-year bringing the original list price to sales price measure in 2023 to 95.6 percent. Homes spent more time on market in 2023, as days on market at year end showed a 71.4 percent increase to 36 days on market compared to 21 days in 2022.

Notably, closed sales during the month of December 2023 rose 27.3 percent year-over-year, contracts increased 30.8 percent compared to December 2022, and new listings increased 66.7 percent in Alexander County when compared to December 2022.

Burke County
 home sales in 2023 totaled 776 at yearend, a decline of 12.5 percent year-over-year, while contract activity showed 787 homes went into under contract status last year, a decline of 6.9 percent. New listings were down 5.8 percent at year end and showed sellers offered 924 listings in 2023 compared to 981 new listings in 2022. Inventory at report time showed 136 homes for sale at yearend, an increase of 11.5 percent year-over-year while months of supply increased 23.5 percent to 2.1 months in December.  The 2023 median sales price for a home in Burke was $250,000, while the 2023 average sales price topped out at $299,343; both price indices are up by 8.7 percent and 8.5 percent year-over-year respectively. The 2023 average list price of a home in Burke rose 3.3 percent over 2022’s list price to $321,914. This brought the original list price to sales price ratio for the year to 95.9 percent while homes averaged 32 days on market until sale in 2023 compared to 27 days on market in 2022.

Caldwell County home sales were down 9.6 percent year-over-year and revealed 737 properties closed in 2023, compared to 815 that closed in 2022. Contract activity was only down slightly for the year, falling 2.9 percent to 767 homes under contract versus 790 under contract in 2022. New listing activity for the year topped activity in 2022, rising 1.2 percent as sellers listed 946 homes for sale compare to 935 newly listed in 2022. Inventory rose 34.7 percent in December to 132 homes for sale or 2.1 months of supply.  Supply is up 40 percent year-over-year.  The 2023 median sales price of $240,000 increased 8.8 percent year-over-year while the 2023 average sales price increased 10.2 percent year-over-year to $288,754. The 2023 average list price increased 15.8 percent to $325,743. This brought the original list price to sales price ratio to 96 percent while days on market showed homes continued to sell quickly last year in Caldwell County, with properties averaging 29 days on market until sale compared to 20 days on market in 2022.

Notably, during the month of December 2023, closings rose 27.9 percent year-over-year, contract activity rose 41.5 percent year-over-year and new listing activity was also stronger in December, rising 33.3 percent when compared to listing activity in December 2022.

Catawba County which had the greatest share of sales activity in the region, had slightly more than 2,100 closings last year, a decline of only 5.4 percent compared to 2022, when 2,221 properties closed. Pending contracts totaled 2,090 for the year and were down 3.7 percent compared to 2022, when 2,170 properties were recorded in pending status. New listing activity showed sellers listed 2,549 homes for sale last year, a decline of 5.1 percent when compared to new listings in 2022.  Both inventory and supply rose by 15.8 percent compared to December 2022.  Inventory at report time showed 389 active listings or 2.2 months of supply.  Still, due to tight supply, prices increased.  The 2023 median sales price rose by 13.2 percent to $300,000, while the 2023 average sales price increased by 2.3 percent to $346,817. The 2023 average list price increased 8.1 percent year-over-year to $393,490, which brought the original list price to sales price measure for the year to 96.7 percent compared to 98.6 percent in 2022. Days on market showed homes sold quickly last year and averaged 34 days on market until sale compared to 21 days on market in 2022.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit and click on “Market Data.” For an interview with a Realtor®/broker representing the Canopy MLS service area in the western/mountain region of North Carolina, please contact Kim Walker.

Canopy MLS is a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of Canopy Realtor® Association and is the private broker cooperative used by Realtors® to bring buyers and sellers together with access to thousands of residential listings in a multicounty service area, including Charlotte, Asheville and Catawba Valley regions spanning across North Carolina, South Carolina and outside of the Carolinas. Canopy MLS, which has 21,000 subscribers, provides the most trustworthy, timely, accurate and complete property data along with proprietary tools for showings, market stats, predictive analytics, and more. Canopy MLS is used by its members to support consumers in their residential real estate transactions, whether selling, buying, investing or renting.