2021 Homeowner Economy

December 20, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

No surprise, 2021 was a banner year for homeowners!

We are seeing trends that we haven’t seen before including demand in excess of supply, rising prices, substantial investment in new homes and renovations and many new people choosing Blowing Rock as their “Primary Residence”.

Our homeowner economy continues to be a significant driver of our overall economy.  Homeowner property taxes fund 51% of the Town’s Operating Budget compared to 14% from business owners including both property taxes (9%) and occupancy taxes paid by consumers (5%).  Sales taxes represent the largest secondary source of revenue (14%).

Demographics are shifting to some extent yet to be measured to include more retirees and young families who are choosing Blowing Rock as their “Primary Residence”.  Additionally, there are more families from regional cities who are spending more and more time in Blowing Rock throughout the year. Summer seasonal residents continue to have a strong presence.  Area country clubs experienced record numbers of new applicants in 2021 reflecting the overall trends.

Blowing Rock is a small island of 3 square miles within a fire and school district of 50 square miles. Our small town is hometown to a much larger footprint than our town limits.  Having  a small city nearby like Boone makes life in our small town easier as we have access to healthcare, big box retail and additional cultural  and recreation resources.  Managing the demands on our small town resources will continue to be an ongoing challenge as we balance quality of life for residents and visitor experience for overnight and day tourists.

The facts speak for the trends.

CONSTRUCTION PERMITS

Permits are logged at application date,  not date the date construction or final approval.

Residential construction permits to date total $31M compared to $5M for commercial construction permits. One interesting data point is that permits for 15 new single family homes totaled $17.5M, averaging $1.2M each.

Everyone seems to be renovating their homes as evidenced by 299 permits averaging $45K.Renovation permits dominated the volume of permits with 299 residential permits totaling $13.6M and 67 commercial permits totaling $5.0M.  There were no new construction commercial permits.

Total permits totaled $35M approaching the highest year in 2017 when the Chestnut Condos drove the total to $39.5M. A typical year would be around $20M.

MLS CLOSINGS

The last two years have been big years for local home sales.  Total home sales totaled $202M in 2021 compared to $127M in 2020. There are additional 26 homes under contract.

There were 267 home sales to date in 2021 compared to 246 home sales in 2020, but the average home sales price increase 48% to $758K.

The highest sales price was $4.3M in 2021 and  11 homes with a sales price in excess of $2.0M.

Lot sales jump in number and value – 109 lots averaging $181K in 2021 compared to 60 lots averaging $165K in 2020.

2022 Pivotal Year

As you know, a lot a significant decisions will be made in 2022 driven by the Sustainable Tourism Plan and the upcoming W&S Project for Main Street.  You can hear the Town Council set priorities at the Winter Retreat on January 24th through 26th.  Please make plans to attend in person or watch by video.

Regards,

Tim Gupton

President

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