It proved to be the opposite.
“Most election years, buyers will sit on the side-lines,
but the COVID phenomenon pushed buyers
to upgrade their homes and to buy second homes,”
Young says. “The result was our best year ever, espe-cially
in the high-end market locally.”
New Hanover County had $2.5 billion in closed
brokered sales, a 31 percent increase over 2019. Bruns-wick
County saw a 50 percent jump in closed sales,
while Pender County logged a 44 percent increase.
The top sale in New Hanover County was $5.5
million, a 10 percent increase over last year. Four
homes matched or bested the highest New Hanover
County residential sale of 2019, which was $5 million.
At 3.2 million, Brunswick County’s top sale was 45
percent more than the previous year, however Pender
saw an 8 percent decrease.
“All of the beach markets in the region, from
Ocean Isle Beach through Brunswick County, New
Hanover County beaches and on up into the Topsail
area have all been on fire this year,” says Nick
Phillips founder and principal broker of Landmark
Sotheby’s International Realty.
The flight to “refuge markets” from big cities was
huge and spurred in part by more people working
“There is a seismic shift in the way corporations do
business and people who can work from anywhere
are coming to our area,” Phillips says. “Companies
large and small have now realized they don’t need their
teams to work inside office buildings to be productive.
The pandemic also reminded people of the value of a
second home as a refuge for their family.”
Phillips closed the No. 2 New Hanover County
sale of the year, a waterfront estate on Futch Creek
Road in Porters Neck built by Lending Tree CEO
Doug Lebda. It sold for $5,277,000. The 3.6-acre
home site is uniquely situated on a knob in the creek.
Surrounded by water on three sides, it enjoys sunrise
and sunset views. The property was previously
owned by the late Episcopal bishop of East Carolina,
Thomas Wright, and his wife. The new home Lebda
built on the site in 2014 retained the double-sided
fireplace they enjoyed. The property includes a 2,000
sf guest house and saltwater pool.
“It was only on the market for a few days before a
Raleigh tech CEO purchased it as a retreat property,”
Named “On Water,”
home and guest
house at 1625
Road in Porters
Neck closed for
No. 2 sale in New
views on three
sides for spectac-ular