There are so many reasons to love living in Hickory, North Carolina. Not only has Travel + Leisure ranked it one of the 10 Most Beautiful and Affordable Places to Live, but U.S News also ranked it as one of the Best Places to Live in the U.S. Hickory residents have known for quite some time this beautiful mountain town is somewhere special. Yet, many people wonder what this positive press will mean for the local market. Is Hickory going to continue growing? Will Hickory real estate properties increase in value, or will the market slow down due to increased interest rates?
Whether you are a prospective buyer, seller, or investor, understanding what's happening with the market is essential. It can not only influence what you will do, but if you are buying and investing in real estate, it could determine how much you can afford to pay for your next property. Here's a comprehensive look at the current market forecast and what you can expect in 2023.
Hickory real estate highlights of 2022
With just over 43,000 people calling Hickory home, this quaint mountain town doesn't have the most competitive real estate market in North Carolina. Yet, many people are drawn to the area thanks to the beautiful mountain scenery, affordable real estate, and tight-knit community feel. As a result, Hickory's population is steadily increasing by about 1.55% annually, with many people relocating to the area and searching for homes for sale in Hickory, NC.
This, combined with record-low interest rates during 2021 and a massive influx of millennial buyers entering the housing market, meant demand for Hickory housing was at an all-time high. In recent years, Hickory's property values have begun to increase, appreciating over 90.20% since 2000, with an average property value increase of around 2.83% annually. As of April 2023, the median sales price for a Hickory home is $254,285, a 3.8% increase from 2022.
Factors that drove Hickory’s 2022 real estate market
From around 2020 to the end of 2022, most real estate markets saw a massive increase in activity thanks to many mitigating factors. The year 2022, in particular, was hectic for Hickory. In 2022, the average sale time for a Hickory home was 13 days, much shorter than ever for the area. The high demand for quality housing and the short-list times meant Hickory was in a seller's market during 2022, where the need for real estate outpaced the available housing inventory. So what were some reasons why Hickory's real estate market was red-hot during 2021 and 2022?
First and foremost, interest rates were at an all-time low. During January 2021, interest rates hit a record-low of just 2.65%, which heavily increased purchase power for prospective homebuyers. It was also at this time more millennials were entering the housing market, with millennials making up 43% of first-time homebuyers. For the first time in history, millennials became the largest population of any generation to purchase a home, outpacing baby boomers. These factors, combined with limited supply chains, increased remote work, and a massive decrease in housing inventory, meant Hickory was part of a red-hot real estate market.
Things that will shape Hickory’s 2023 real estate market
Through most of 2022, homebuyers had some of the lowest interest rates they would see in generations. Yet, this was a double-edged sword for them since most buyers were involved in multiple building wars, with house prices increasing well above the list price. While this wasn't as volatile in Hickory, it was a problem that had to be addressed. As a result, the federal reserve raised mortgage rates to over 6% for the first time since 2008. With such a drastic increase overnight, many buyers and sellers wondered what this would mean for Hickory's local estate market. Would Hickory still be a seller's market, or would demand drastically decrease, resulting in a housing crash?
As of April 2023, Hickory has not experienced a housing crash. In fact, even despite increased interest rates, Hickory's property values continue to appreciate, with real estate prices increasing up to 3.8% since 2022. So why has demand for Hickory real estate increased, even with increased interest rates? There are a few reasons behind this.
First and foremost, Hickory is one of North Carolina's most affordable real estate markets. With the median price at around $254,285, Hickory is much more affordable than competitive markets such as Asheville or Charlotte. Hickory also has an incredibly robust local economy, with an unemployment rate of just 4.5%, which is much lower than the national average. On an even more positive note, Hickory's job market is projected to grow to 38.7% over the next ten years, which is also higher than the national average.
Combining these factors, Hickory's real estate market is still a seller's market. Unlike in 2021 and 2022, Hickory's 2023 seller's market is sustainable, which is a win-win for buyers and sellers.
Should you invest in Hickory real estate?
Considering all these factors, many buyers and sellers wonder what this will mean for their real estate transactions. Is 2023 a good year to buy or sell real estate in Hickory? The short answer is yes. For sellers, while the overall demand for real estate has decreased across the nation, Hickory is one of the areas where demand is still high. This is because Hickory is an incredibly affordable real estate market compared to many other areas of the country, which has increased the demand for quality housing.
If you are a buyer or an investor, it is also an excellent time to purchase a property in Hickory. Not only is Hickory a wonderful place to live, but property values also keep increasing yearly, which means your investment will keep appreciating over time. Whether you are considering buying or selling, there has never been a better time to move on Hickory real estate.
Make your move to Hickory, NC
Are you ready to buy your dream home in Hickory? Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or are relocating to the area, you need a local expert by your side who can guide you through the process. With over 30 years of industry experience, trust Joan Everett to help you find your perfect Hickory property. Contact Joan today to get started on your house hunt.
*Header photo courtesy of Joan Everett