What’s Happening with Pricing on Horse Farms and Homes in the Tryon Area Market?
Two things – which makes pricing these days a little tricky – part art, part science, part fact, part gut. Using comparable prices on similar sold listings is the way buyers, sellers and agents have come up with fair market values of properties forever. The bubble, especially in western North Carolina where many homes were bought as second or vacation homes, prices dropped and froze because there was too much inventory that nobody wanted. Buyers may have paid too much during the price escalation, or just could no longer afford to keep a house because of pressure from other conditions. So the market was flooded. There was no demand. Serious (or involuntary) sellers either reduced their prices to get them sold, or just waited. Many many properties in the Tryon area towns just sat or are still sitting on the market — for years.
Timing has always been a significant, often overlooked factor in buying houses. Last summer in the Tryon area towns marked a significant time for buyers and sellers. The area has re-emerged after the bubble not only as a magic Goldilocks zone – not too cold, not too hot, not too crowded, lots of clean air, open space and nature. A beautiful landing spot which now is becoming a trendy destination because of its quaint unspoiled small town lifestyle — suddenly attractive for millions of baby boomers aged 45-70 who can’t wait to get out of the freezing cold stress and noise into the warm bosom of the Carolina Foothills. Add a huge boost of sudden recognition as secret equestrian haven by the now internationally famed Tryon International Equestrian Center, and we have an important timing issue.
Time affects pricing. The market has now had 7 or 8 years of falling and stalled out prices. All of the renewed interest in the area has created lots of selling activity – a large percentage of properties that have been for sale forever have all of a sudden been snapped up. So inventory is now very low. What that means in determining the market value of a property is a little more complicated than just comparing closed similar sales.
Recent numbers from data tracking companies now show that prices are being affected not by historic prices as much as by pressure from current active available inventory – which means that it’s a very good time to sell the type of properties that are in demand.
For example – available horse farms in Tryon’s Hunting Country Road area – the Golden Triangle, are now hard to find. Properties with enough land for horses priced under $500,000 are either old grandma houses with low ceilings and small dark rooms, tired 60s-90s standards, or so far flung from the high demand equestrian zone that they feel way out in the boonies. Updated equestrian properties with big sunny windows, high ceilings and master suites on the main floor are what
people want. Almost everything fitting this description is priced above $1,500,000 – way out of reach for most buyers coming to the area who need to stay in the $300,000 – $800,000 range. There is basically nothing to sell in these price points prices that are nice move-in- ready houses with pastures and a barn (investors take note – there’s a real need here).
Now that our phones and email boxes are starting to explode with interest from equestrians around the world, motivated and ready to move to where the action is, we’re
going to see pricing based on availability and features – historical pricing may go out the window. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will go up right away, it’s just time now to make some overdue adjustments based on current conditions. It’s an exciting time in the Tryon Area. The Spring event season is soon – saddle up and get ready for an interesting ride.