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A bird’s eye view of 315 Summer Rest Road from the dock. The property sold in September 2014 for $2,150,000. PHOTO COURTESY OF LANEY REAL ESTATE CO. Overall total residential sales volume in New Hanover County was up $57 million, for a year-end sold volume of $1,093,869,124, a solid 5.5 percent gain over 2013. “2014 was a second consecutive growth year in New Hanover County, up 5 percent versus 2013, which also grew versus 2012,” Intracoastal Realty Corporation Vice President of Sales Chris Livengood says of the gain. “It was just a safer environment in that sellers and buyers felt like they could triangulate on values easier,” says Intracoastal Realty’s Vance Young, the No. 1 ranked Broker in New Hanover County with a combined sold and list total of 96 sales, for $75 million in sold property. “The buyer felt more comfortable in the marketplace and the sellers felt comfortable coming to the market.” That comfort translated into 90 more New Hanover County sales than 2013. “Buyers were back in the marketplace,” Young continues. However, he says, “They had a sharp pencil; they had to take their medicine to sell what they were selling to turn around and buy. The buyer last year was as educated as ever, they had been through the downturn and they had an appreciation of capital much more so than ten years previously, so what I am saying — the buyers were by no means a pushover — but they were in the marketplace ready to buy.” The exclusive enclave of Figure Eight Island again dominated the top dollar sales in New Hanover County, with nine of the Top 20 big-ticket sales occurring there, closing out 2014 with $37 million in Realtor-assisted sales. The top sale in the county, oceanfront, at No. 6 Beach Road South, sold furnished for $3.5 million. The home, while a 20 percent decrease from the previous year (see WBM February 2013) offered a fabulous floorplan with a professional Palm Beach décor, 4 bedrooms, 5 and one-half baths, with a yacht club warranty. Kirra Sutton listing agent for Figure Eight Realty says, “Buyers were already a part of the island because their families already have homes here. They wanted something virtually move-in ready that they could upgrade at a later date.” Climbing from a ranking of 13th in 2013, to No. 6 in New Hanover County, Intracoastal Realty’s Buzzy Northen was again the selling agent on 2014’s top sale, as well as the 2013 listing and selling agent on the county’s top sale ($4.375 million), plus that year’s listing agent on the second top sale ($4.150 million). “We have really seen it turn at Figure Eight, it definitely has become a seller’s market because of the declining inventory,” Northen says. “The inventory has been cut more than half in the last two years; sellers are able to command more on their pricing, that is the biggest thing going at Figure Eight. It is totally different, because a year ago, I had three or four houses to show people flying in, but now it is tough.” 14 th REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP A N N U A L WBM february 2015 34


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