September OBX real estate update, August OBAR stats

Demand for real estate on the Outer Banks is still high, and inventory is still low. That’s the focus of the August Statistical Report just out from the Outer Banks Association of Realtors. OBAR said in June and July sales were “cooling”, and they were just comparing to last year. Compared to 2019 this market is still hot.

The stats

Looking at the August stats sales are still strong despite limited inventory. Residential inventory in 2020 was 723 units. Residential inventory 2021 only 501 units, down 31%. But residential inventory in 2019 was 1499 units, a 67% decrease compared to 2021. Year-to-date residential sales in 2020 totaled 1734 units. Residential sales in 2021, 2377 units, up by 37%. Compared to 2019’s 1408 units current residential sales are up 69%.

Demand is still high, inventory is historically low. It’s not a bubble, it’s a lack of inventory.

The median residential price continues to rise up 34% compared to last year at $500,000. Compared to 2019, that is a 56% increase. By class, the median sale price for a single-family dwelling is $545,000, $373,700 for condos.

After a couple of month’s talking about the “cooling market,” it is important to note that this is still a hot seller’s market. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist of CoreLogic says “It’s not the white-hot market from earlier in the year, and it’s not the 2020 market benefiting from a wave of pent-up demand but make no mistake this is still a hot housing market.”

More on inventory

An oft-asked question about inventory is whether we will see more this fall and winter. That frequently happens on the Outer Banks as some owners feel the time to list their property is after they have taken the summer rental profits. In the past twelve months, active residential listings were at the low point in March with 380 units. So 501 units the day the report was from OBAR was released, and 520 the day my report was compiled is looking a little better. 

Still, that 520 number is 28% below last year and 65% lower than 2019. It looks like the tight inventory conditions will be with us for a while.

There are a few changes in the monthly statistical report from OBAR. Beginning in September distressed sales will no longer be a part of the published report, but will still be tracked and available upon request. Currituck County building permits have been added to the report. The total number of permits is up 332 in 2021 versus 252 in 2020, with Moyock leading the way with 197 permits.

Another change is in what is reported for the individual areas. Beginning in January of this year OBAR was issuing monthly comparisons instead of the annual year-to-month end comparisons used in previous years. With the August report, they are returning to the annual comparisons.  

Individual area stats

Below are the year to date stats for the individual areas for August:

  • Corolla – Sales up 47%, median sales price up 28% to $719,500.
  • Duck – Sales up 8%, median sales price up 2% to %528,000. But without the co-ownerships, where 5 plus weeks are sold, not the property itself, sales were down 48%, median sales price up 83% to $1,031,999.
  • Southern Shores – Sales up 18%, median sales price up 27% to $500,000.
  • Kitty Hawk – Sales up 5%, median sales price up 27% to $500,000.
  • Colington – Sales up 22%, median sales price up 15% to $342,500.
  • Kill Devil Hills – Sales up 40%, median sales price up 18% to $390,000.
  • Nags Head – Sales up 53%, median sales price up 27% to $611,500.
  • All Hatteras – Sales up 79%, median sales price up 39% to $520,000.
  • Roanoke Island – Sales up 4%, median sales price up 20% to $426,000.
  • Currituck Mainland – Sales up 26%, median sales price up 16% to $319,350.
  • Ocracoke – Sales up 256%, median sales price up 19% to $423,750.

Information in this article is based on information from the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® MLS for the period January 1, 2019, through September 16th, 2021.

Mike is a long-time “Outer Banker”, both as a vacationer and a full-time resident. You may also know him as “Moose”, his nickname since he was 15 years old, and his on-air radio name for decades in Raleigh, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Norfolk, and formerly on Beach 104 every morning on the “Moose & Jody Show” for over 14 years. Michael has built successful businesses on the Outer Banks. He is active in the community as well as a founding board member and Vice President of “Outer Banks Forever”, Past President of “The First Flight Society”, a founding member of “The Outer Banks Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition”, and Past President and current member of “First Flight Rotary. Moose shares your love of the Outer Banks and understands the uniqueness of the area. Learn more at