Nov. 2010: Beaufort County jobless rates down, home sales up

    An unexpected improvement in employment has led to a solid increase in home sales in Beaufort County this November. The number of residential properties sold in Beaufort County had been in decline for three straight months, going from 33 units sold in August, to 13 in September, to 12 in October. Last month, I illustrated this drop by providing a snapshot of the Washington market, with 19 residential sales in August, nine in September and just five in October.

    Already this November, according to the National Association of Realtors Residential Sold Report, 12 homes have been sold countywide, nine of those in Washington. This upsurge comes two months after the Beaufort County unemployment rate improved from 10.5 percent in August to 9.9 percent in September, according to an Oct. 29 report from the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina.

    It will be heartening to both buyers and sellers if the employment and housing trends continue in this positive direction. Beaufort County unemployment data for the month of October will be released Nov. 30.

    From August to October, we witnessed a paradox: the inventory of houses on the market was getting smaller even though people weren’t buying homes. With November home sales on the uptick, the decreasing inventory and strengthening prices start to make economic sense. Over the past four months, the number of active residential listings in Washington has steadily shrunk from 355 in August, to 344 in September, to 326 in October and, now, 311 in November. Simultaneously, according to the law of supply and demand, the average price of a Washington home increased from $223,055 in August, to $227,221 in September, to $230,061 in October and, now, to $234,129 in November.

    Many people, however, are still letting their listing contracts expire or are choosing to withdraw their homes from the market prematurely. Since Aug. 1, 132 residential properties in Washington have expired, and 55 have been withdrawn. There are a couple dozen properties in Beaufort County that are facing foreclosure in the next couple months, as well.

    The foreclosures currently scheduled at the Beaufort County Courthouse are:

Nov. 17, 2 p.m.    house at corner of Water and Riverview streets, Belhaven
Nov. 22, 12:15 p.m.    50 Charles Place, Grimesland
Nov. 22, 12:15 p.m.    Lot 29, Carolina Shores Subdivision, Bath
Nov. 22, 12:30 p.m.    896 Biggs Road, Washington
Nov. 23, 11 a.m.    Lot 371, Cypress Landing, Chocowinity
Nov. 23, 2 p.m.    200 W. 15th St., Washington
Nov. 29, 12 noon    468 Minor Run Road, Edward
Nov. 29, 12 noon    617 Van Nordan St., Washington
Nov. 30, 10 a.m.    2.71 acres on SR 1520, Long Acre Township
Nov. 30, 10 a.m.    281 Chambers Point Road, Belhaven
Nov. 30, 11 a.m.    Lot 26, Battalina Creek Subdivision, Belhaven
Nov. 30, 11 a.m.    Lot 27, Battalina Creek Subdivision, Belhaven
Nov. 30, 11:30 a.m.    4647 Voice of America Road, Washington
Nov. 30, 1 p.m.    18953 NC 33 HWY E, Edward
Nov. 30, 2 p.m.    104 Harbour Way, Washington
Dec. 8, 10:30 a.m.    172.79 acres, Tracts A-F, Plat Cabinet G, Chocowinity
Dec. 8, 12 noon    3630 NC HWY 99 S, Belhaven
Dec. 28, 11 a.m.    1289 Bayview Road, Bath
Dec. 30, 10:30 a.m.    Lot 30, Beaufort Pointe Subdivision, Chocowinity
Dec. 30, 10:30 a.m.    Lot 28, Beaufort Pointe Subdivision, Chocowinity
Dec. 30, 10 a.m.    1235 CBH Lodge Road, Washington
Jan. 11, 2:30 p.m.    1197 Horse Pen Swamp Road, Washington

    The national mortgage rate for the 30-year fixed loan is 4.55 percent, up from 4.37 percent last week. Even though 4.55 percent is still historically low, such a drastic short-term rise may affect buyer confidence where the jobs market had just strengthened it.

October 2010: Beaufort County housing already feeling fall chill Real Knowledge, Real Estate December 2010: Beaufort County homeowners pricing on a curve

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