Outer Banks property sales surge to levels not seen since the 2005 boom
by The Virgina Pilot on 1/24/20 by Jeff Hampton
business/vp-nw-obx-sales- 20200124- ddzpalxohnbkxbwh3qvsdvds2u- story.html
David and Kimberly Cherington bought their Nags Head home last year, becoming part of a surge in Outer Banks homes sales not seen since the 2005 boom. The Cheringtons now get to walk the beach whenever they want, even in cold weather, and watch soundside sunsets every night.
“It was immediate love,” said David Cherington.
Residential and commercial sales in 2019 on the Outer Banks rose to 2,609, nearly 400 more than in 2018 and the most since 3,201 properties sold in 2005, according to a year-end report published by the Outer Banks Association of Realtors.
It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason.A robust economy, low interest rates and good fall weather contributed, said Dan Sutherland, director of multiple listing services for the association.
In November, when real estate action typically declines, property sales reached 250, Sutherland said. It was the highest total for any month of the year except May. November sales are normally under 200. The report includes Dare County and parts of Currituck and Hyde counties. Kill Devil Hills led the region with 334 sales last year, according to the report. Hatteras Island followed with 268 and Nags Head with 223.
Kill Devil Hills has the largest population of the incorporated towns on the Outer Banks, said Mayor Ben Sproul. The town has more land on the west side of U.S. 158 where there are modest, affordable homes compared to the large rental properties along the ocean side, he said.
“It’s where more permanent residents live,” he said.
Population growth and more retirees moving here explains some of it, said realtor Danny Fenyak. The Dare County population increased to 36,501 people in 2018, about 2,500 over the 2010 count, according to census figures. Housing units grew to 35,012, up about 2,500 during the same years.
Meanwhile, the number of houses available on the market fell by 5%, indicating the Outer Banks is still a seller’s market, Sutherland said.
"Outer Banks sales can randomly surge", said realtor Jeff Scott. "Often the property is a second home. Sellers do not have to sell and buyers do not have to buy", he said. "Home prices on the beaches still have not reached the levels of 2005, while they have rebounded fully in many metropolitan markets", Scott said. "The strong market is driven in large part by vacationers to the Outer Banks who want to return and live. They visit in spring or summer and come back on fall weekends looking for a house. They buy before Thanksgiving". There is a huge group of people who do that,” he said.
Some vacation here for years before they relocate.
The Cheringtons married and moved from the middle of the country to the Washington, D.C., area, David Cherington said. One of the first things they wanted to do was go to the ocean. A beach near their home was very crowded, and their first ocean experience was less than exciting. Both of them heard the same advice when they returned to work — go to the Outer Banks.
They have come every year but once since 1997, he said. When all the children left home, the couple decided to move here. He is a consultant and can work anywhere, and Kimberly got a job teaching school in Dare County.
“We love being here every day,” he said.