People are drawn to Western North Carolina for its stunning mountain views, variety of outdoor experiences and activities, and overall quality of life. Before you begin a tour of open houses and MLS listings, it's good to have an overview of Asheville, NC real estate. (Feature photo courtesy of Asheville Real Estate News)
Asheville, located in Buncombe County, has become a tourist destination due in part to its access to outdoor adventures, world-class restaurants, thriving artist communities, and unique culture. With a population of around 90,000 people, Asheville retains that small-town feel with big-city amenities. The combination of the Art Deco charm of downtown, moderate weather, and Southern hospitality make Asheville a popular area for homebuyers in the Southeast. The Asheville real estate market offers options for relocation and investment properties, as well as building sites and rehab opportunities.
The popularity of Asheville housing, whether for residential or short-term rentals, creates a high demand with low inventory, driving home prices up. The result has led buyers to discover Asheville’s surrounding small towns and neighborhoods, each with their own charm and appeal.
- Downtown Asheville area includes popular neighborhoods like Montford, Kenilworth, and Grove Park
- East Asheville area includes Haw Creek, Fairview, Black Mountain, Lake Lure (SE)
- South Asheville area includes Biltmore Forest, Biltmore Park, Mills River, Arden, Fletcher, Hendersonville
- North Asheville area includes Woodfin, Weaverville, Marshall, Mars Hill, Hot Springs
- West Asheville area includes West Asheville, Candler, Waynesville, Sylva, Bryson City
In addition to Buncombe County, nearby Haywood and Henderson counties attract area buyers. They offer a slower pace while still being close to the attractions like Biltmore, downtown Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Want an insider’s look? Find statistics and resources on the Asheville, NC real estate market below.
Asheville Real Estate Market Trends
2019 Asheville Area Housing Market Sales Volume
- City of Asheville: $697 million
- Buncombe County: $680 million
- Henderson County: $567 million
- Haywood County: $283 million
- In Asheville and Buncombe County, sales went up over 10% than 2018.
In 2019, the average home list prices hit an all-time high in the area
- City of Asheville: $338,401
- Buncombe County: $361,424
- Henderson County: $323,428
- Haywood County: $257,638
On average, homes for sale in Asheville, Buncombe County, and Hendersonville County were on the market for around 65 days. Haywood County homes averaged 82 days on the market. However, median days on the market skewed lower at around 30 for the first group and 40 in Haywood.
When a new home hits the housing market in Asheville, there is a flurry of activity until it sells. New real estate listings can result in multiple offers for sellers, making it all the more important for buyers to know what they want in this speedy market. The same applies to the rental market. A good real estate agent can be incredibly helpful in this fast market, especially for newcomers to Western North Carolina.
2020 Asheville, North Carolina Real Estate Forecast
Asheville’s brisk housing market continued steadily in the first months of 2020. These are the netted sales for January and February:
- City of Asheville: $100 million
- Buncombe County: $93 million
- Henderson County: $73 million
- Haywood County: $37 million
* March 2020 sales remained strong even as the world economy faced uncertainty with the spread of the coronavirus.
Real estate experts predict a strong 2020 market, despite the election year and pandemic. They also see technology and AI tools becoming more important for those searching for homes. Condos and multi-family properties will see higher demand, as density increases. Trends are headed in a less-permanent direction, with younger buyers attracted to homes with amenities and apartment-style layouts.
Due to the natural surroundings in the area, many buyers are attracted to green homes, built to specific eco-friendly standards. There are many companies specializing in certified green built homes in the Asheville area. With a continued focus on the environment and climate, energy-efficient and green homes will continue to rise in popularity. See our guide for Green & Eco-Friendly Real Estate.
Local Market Statistics
Asheville, NC housing market statistics vary depending on the price of the home or property. For this overview, we’ll use a home priced at between $300,000 and $350,000, the average sale price in Asheville.
Within the Asheville city limits, the median price per square foot was $212 in 2019. This was an increase of 3.3% from the previous year, and a record high for the decade. Buncombe County, excluding Asheville, saw a median price per square foot of $173, a large 8% increase over 2018.
For renters, it is also a competitive market. In 2019, the average apartment rent In Asheville (and a 10-mile radius) was about $1060/month for a 1-bedroom and $1300/month for a 2-bedroom. This price was higher at the beginning of 2019 but has decreased slightly. This dip can be attributed to the construction of new apartment units.
Home Sizes in Asheville, NC
The majority of Asheville homes for sale consist of single-family homes, making up about 80% of the market. The remaining 20% consists of condos and townhouses, but that number is changing with new construction. The majority of single-family homes have three bedrooms and are around 2,000 square feet in size. Depending on the area, you’ll find a larger or smaller sqft that works for you and your family. Read more on Downtown Asheville Condos.
Tamsen Todisco is a freelance writer and graduate of A-B Tech and UNC Asheville. She's lived in Asheville since 2008 and has been writing about Asheville Real Estate for Asheville Real Estate News since 2019. She's also produced content for the Asheville coworking and hospitality industries.