New Hanover County Financially Strong | Wilmington NC real estate

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The State of the County address was given this week by Chairman Jonathan Barfield Jr. and the news was good.  After thanking all involved including the County and City staff, as it is a group effort to make this county a great place to live, Barfield said tough measures were taken to insure to maintain the quality of this area.  The 1/4 percent raise in sales tax last year helped maintain the county budget even though it was a hard tough decision to vote the increase in.  The schools, parks and core services were mentioned as projects that the county has paid particular attention to.  New Hanover counties credit rating is golden.  That will help this county move forward and continue to grow.  To read the whole address read more here….

To view the video click here.

The great town of Wilmington NC is what we call home and to say we of proud of our town, would be an understatement.  To view Wilmington NC real estate please visit

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Baseball on the Riverfront | Say it’s So!| Wilmington NC real estate

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There is talk of a minor league baseball stadium being built on the riverfront in downtown Wilmington NC.  There has not been a baseball team in Wilmington NC since the Port City Roosters, a Southern League minor team which was a Double A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners Major Club in 1995.  Some of the players that wore the Roosters Uniform you might recognize : Red Sox captain Jason Varitek, pitchers Derek Lowe and Ryan Franklin, infielder Desi Relaford and outfielders José Cruz, Jr. and Raul Ibanez.

Chuck Schoninger, the CEO of USA InvestCo owns property on the riverfront, 35 acres which he hopes to develop into a marina, a hotel,  condos, restaurants and to top it  off a Minor League Baseball Stadium.  Schoninger will travel to China to present his plan to Chinese investors with a Federal Program called Employment Based Program Number 5, or EB5, that was started by George Bush in 1990 to entice foreign investment.  With the opening of the Wilmington NC Convention Center, this will make an addition to the growing and thriving downtown area. For a complete story from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, read more here….

To search all Wilmington NC downtown properties, please visit

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January 2011 Wilmington NC Real Estate Report

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January 2011 Wilmington NC MLS Report

Based on the winter weather we have had it is obvious that our real estate market still has the Winter Blues. Our average sales price has dropped 17% from December 2010; that is quite a fall. Most of the transactions that closed in January we put under contract in December. When you break down the sales that took place in January 2011 there is only 1 transaction that closed above $700,000. While in December 2010 there were 14 sold transactions over $700,000 and January 2010 there were 5 sold transactions over $700,000. This greatly affects our monthly average sales price, our current monthly average sold price is $194,425 for the month of January. This is the first time that the monthly average sold price has dipped under $200,000 in a looooong time.

January’s average sales price has managed to show a decrease of 17% from December. Sold units are down 119 units over last month (about 31%) and even with last January. In the month of January we saw a increase of 71 homes in our listing inventory, we have 4,718 homes on the market as of February 1st. This continues to put us in a strong buyer’s market with a listing inventory of just over a 17.8 month supply. With the low sales in January this affects our month supply with an increase of 5 months from last month with 12.6. Our average list price has started the year under $350,000 range; we are currently at $343,053. In January sellers paid concessions in about 30.6% of all the month’s transactions.  Our average days on the market are at 132 days. The list to sold ratio has improved some to 94.4% this number needs to continue to get better. The number of homes that sold in 15 days or less continues to remain very low, 11.3% of January sold homes. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.05% with an average 0.7 points for the week ending February 10, 2011. We have already hit the historic lows in mortgage rates and they are now on the rebound. Call me so I can show you or your clients how they can get the benefit of these rates. Have a great week and let me know what I can do to help you and your clients.

Despite all the media comments about our markets we are still lending money for residential mortgages. If a client has income and credit and some sort of down payment; they can get a mortgage. It goes to the basic three C’s – Capacity, Collateral and Character.


Listing Inventory

In January we saw a increase in listing inventory of 71 units. We are about 496 units under February 1, 2010 and 687 units under February 1, 2009. We have 4,718 single family homes for sale in our MLS. The average list price of $343,053 is down by $5,950 from last month. Please note the consistent winter dip in listings – see chart below.


Monthly Average Sold Price – this is not a pretty section

Our monthly average sold price is down by 17% from last month and down 9.7% from January 2010. Our average sold price is down by $39,939 from last month. January average sold price ($194,425) shows a decrease of 15.9% from year end 2010.


Monthly Sold Units

We are 2 units shy of matching January 2010 sold homes of 267, while this January we have sold 265 homes. I am sure as January gets closed out we will see the numbers increase over last year’s production. The number of sold homes is up 68 homes from January 2010.



Average Sold Price Year to Date

Year over year our year to date numbers have dipped a little.

2003 year end average sale price $ 186,137

2004 year end average sale price $ 210,048

2005 year end average sale price $ 254,080

2006 year end average sale price $ 264,498

2007 year end average sale price $ 273,408

2008 year end average sale price $256,498

2009 year end average sale price $234,379

2010 year to date average sale price $231,141

While our 2010 year end numbers are lower than year end 2009 they do show promising signs that our sales are on the upswing. Looks like we have a setback with January’s average sold price – $194,425


Rolling 12 months

Our rolling 12 months gives us a better look at our production. It helps to smooth out a month that jumps up and down. When we look at February 1st, 2010 to January 31st, 2011 we have 4,526 sold units and when we compare the year prior February 1st, 2009 to January 31st, 2010 we have a 87 unit gain (4,439 sold units). When we look at the same rolling 12 months for average sold price we see that we are only down by 2.0%. So the dates of 2/1/2010 to 1/31/2011 we have an average sold price of $229,930 while from 2/1/2009 to 1/31/2010 we had an average sold price $233,436.


Median Sold Price

Our Median sold price decreased this month by 12.5% from last month. Our national numbers lag by one month. Our median sales price continues its jagged path – up then down then up and now down. I am hoping that our January dip in median sold price is a onetime event. I am hoping we can see the national median sales price reverse its downward trend as well as WRAR’s.



Pending Sales – A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not yet closed. Sales are typically finalized within one to two months from signing. With the new sales contract I am also counting Active Due Diligence and pending contracts. I look at the total pending units on a regular basis and this is how they chart out. Our pending index is dropping to our winter lows. In December we bottomed out about 575 units, we have since rebounded and have over 663 units that are pending – this is a 15% increase since the end of 2010.  With the new contract in place this is a good start to 2011.



Market Absorption rate – The number of homes sold in January, 265 divided by the current listing inventory, 4,718 gives us a 17.8 month supply of single family homes. This increased by 5 months from last month. We need to get this inventory back under 12 months supply. With a large inventory and the low sales in January this affects our market absorption. With rates where they are and plenty of inventory; we can get this number down.

List to Sold price ratio – the average list price of the sold properties is $206,188 and the average sold price is $194,425 for January which gives us a 94.4% list to sold price ratio – a good increase from last month. We have now managed to stay under 95% for over a year and several months. I want to quit counting the number of months and get this trend reversed.

Seller Concessions – We had 30.6% of sold properties report a sales concession for January, a increase of 4.2%. We want this number to go lower.

Days on Market – The average days on market for the sold properties is now at 132 for January. That is about 4.5 months to keep a property on the market. Only 11.3% of the properties were placed under contract in less than 15 days for the month of January.

Carolina & Kure Beach

There are currently 387 single family homes for sale and this represents little change from January 1, 2011 and 8.2% of our total WRAR inventory. The average list price is $390,006 and decrease of about $12,624 from January. In January there were 21 homes sold, divide that by the homes available and you have a 18.4 monthly supply of homes in Carolina and Kure Beach. The average sold price for the month of January was $230,953 and is down $37,893 from last month. When we look at a rolling 12 months for Carolina & Kure Beach we are up by 61 units and our sold prices are down 7.1% from the previous rolling 12 months.

This data was pulled on February 12, 2011, based on information from the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS Incorporated, for the period Jan. 1, 2005 through January 31, 2011.


The Market

Primary Mortgage Market Survey Press Release

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Rates Rise to 5.05 Percent Highest Level since April 2010

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®  which shows long- and short-term rates rising this week.

News Facts

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.05 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 10, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 4.81 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.97 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged 4.29 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.08 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.34 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.


Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Long-term bond yields jumped on positive economic data reports, which placed upward pressure on mortgage rates this week.

“For all of 2010, nonfarm productivity rose 3.6 percent, the most since 2002, while January’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell from 9.4 percent to 9.0 percent. Moreover, the service industry expanded in January at the fastest pace since August 2005.

“As a result, interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to the highest level since the last week in April 2010.”

Freddie Mac

Source:  Wilmington MLS and David Flory Cunningham Mortgage

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It’s Official Darius Rucker to Headline Wilmington NC 2011 Azalea Festival Concert

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Photo from

The party is getting started…. The 64th annual Azalea Festival will be held April 6- 10, 2011 in Wilmington NC.  Darius Rucker has been announced as the the headliner for the concert on April 6 at Trask Coliseum to open up the festivities.  Rucker was previously with Hootie and the Blowfish, before he set out on his own.  Deep voiced country music is what you will enjoy at the concert.  The other celebrities are Wilmington’s own  Tampa Bay Buccaneers place kicker and John T. Hoggard High School graduate Connor Barth; Miss North Carolina 2010 Adrienne Leigh Core; Emmy Award-winning actress and soap opera star Leann Hunley, who played the cougar-ish Tamara Jacobs on filmed-in-Wilmington TV series “Dawson’s Creek”; USS Gravely Commander Douglas Kunzman, making his second festival appearance; and Chris Lambton, who appeared on the ABC reality show “The Bachelorette.” The Avett Brothers are headlining a concert on April 8, and that show is sold out.

To listen to a hit “Come Back” song from Darius, click here.

The Azalea Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Wilmington NC and has for 64 years drawn many celebrities including headmaster Ronald Reagan.  Please join us in a great tradition.  Tickets for the concert are avaliable starting Saturday Feb. 12 at

While you are in town text 14059 to 44133 to search Wilmington NC real estate, or visit

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Your Conscience Getting to You? Then Volunteer | Wilmington NC real estate

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Do you often think “I should be doing more for the community or my neighbors”? Well here is your chance.  112 Organizations are holding a Conscience Fair to give you a chance to match your skills and your passions with a community group.  Volunteers make up a huge part of our town and help make Wilmington NC a vibrant conciensious area.  Please consider giving of your time, to something that will help others and reward you richly.

The 2011 Starnews Media Conscience Fair is on Saturday February 5th from 10- 3:00 pm in the McKeithan Center at Cape Fear Community College North Campus.  These are some of the groups that will have tables at the event.  There will be a speaker from QENO on how to be an effective non profit board member.  If you only have an hour to give that is fine, every little bit helps. 

Airlie Gardens
American Red Cross
Amigos Internacional
Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts
Bread For Life…  A Gleaning Ministry fro Aging in Place Seniors
Brigade Boys & Girls Club
Brunswick Christian Recovery Center
Brunswick County Volunteer Center
Brunswick Family Assistance Agency
Brunswick Housing Opportunities, Inc.
Buy Local ILM
Cameron Art Museum
Cameron Art Museum
Cape Fear Coalition for a Drug-free Tomorrow
Cape Fear EARRS
Cape Fear Garden Club, Inc.  “Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour”
Cape Fear Green Building Alliance
Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity
Cape Fear HealthNet, Inc.
Cape Fear Literacy Council
Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
Cape Fear Resource Conservation and Development  (Cape Fear RC&D)
Cape Fear Saint Bernard Rescue
Cape Fear Volunteer Center
Carolina Canines for Service
Clean Energy Events
Coastal Therapeutic Riding
Comfort Socks
Communities In Schools of Cape Fear
Cornelia Nixon Davis, Inc.   DBA The Davis Community
Curamericas Global
disAbility Resource Center
Domestic Violence Shelter & Services, Inc.
Easter Seals UCP NC & VA, Inc.
Elderhaus PACE
Elderhaus, Inc.
English as a Second Language (ESL) through CFCC
Exchange Club of Lower Cape Fear/Wilmington
First Book – New Hanover County
First Fruit Ministries
Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina
Foundations Summer Camp
Friends of the Library
GO4IT, Inc.
Guardian ad Litem Program
Hearts N Hooves
Home Delivered Meals of New Hanover County
Interfaith Refugee Ministry
Junior Achievement
Kids Making It
Life Line Pregnancy Center
Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter
March of Dimes
Monty’s Home
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
NC Coastal Pines Girl Scouts  New Hanover County
New Hanover County Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence
New Hanover County Community Action, Inc./Head Start
New Hanover County CROP Hunger Walk
New Hanover County Girl Scouts
New Hanover County Retired and Senior Volunteer  Program
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
NHC Cooperative Extension and Arboretum
North Carolina Coastal Federation
North Carolina Fair Tax
Nourish NC
Open-Ended Response
Optimist Club of Winter Park
Optimist of the Port City
Pender County RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program)
Phoenix Employment Ministry
Pilot Club of Wilmington
Port City Ruritans
Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations (QENO)
Rape Crisis Center and  Crisis Line Hotline/Open House Youth Shelter of Coastal Horizons Center, Inc.
Smart Start of New Hanover County
Southeastern Alliance for Community Change (SEACC)
Southeastern Carolina Crossroads, Incorporated
St. Mary Health Center
Stop Titan Action Network
Sunburst Foundation of Wilmington Canine Rescue
The Carousel Center
THE RUFFIAN FOUNDATION (a feral cat sanctuary)
The Ruth House, A Home of New Beginnings
The Warrior Ride
Tidewater Camellia Club
Tileston Health Clinic, Inc.
TOYS FOR TOTS  Cape Fear Detachment 1070  Marine Corps League
Trinity Children Foundation
United States Equine Rescue League
United Way of the Cape Fear Area
United Way of the Cape Fear Area
WARM, Inc.
WHQR 91.3fm Public Radio
Wildcat Army JROTC Booster Club
Wilmington Health Access for Teens
Wilmington Leadership Foundation
Wilmington Multiple Sclerosis Support Group, Eastern NC Chapter, National MS Society
Wilmington Prostate Cancer Support Group
Wilmington Railroad Museum
Wilmington SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business
Women of Hope
Working Films
WRAAP, Wilmington’s Residential Adolescent Achievement Place, Inc.
Wrightsville Beach Museum of History
Yahweh Center Children’s Village
YWCA Lower Cape Fear

If you are a non profit that needs help, call Si and join in on the fair.

For more information contact Si Cantwell – or 343-2364 or cell is 264-8388 or view slideshow

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