Last year foreclosure filings dropped nearly 25 percent, and in December, some experts following real estate trends attributed last year’s double-digit drops in foreclosures to backlogged cases – and not because of the health of the real estate market. Though the High Country – Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties – has experienced nearly 250 foreclosure filings this year, the percentage of local foreclosure filings has actually dropped 17 percent during the same period last year – from January through June. This rate – 17 percent – is nearly double the state average, whereas foreclosure filings in all of North Carolina have dropped 9 percent, according to N.C.

Administrative Office of the Courts. So far this year, 130 properties have been filed for foreclosure in Watauga County for a four percent drop over last year; 62 filings in Avery County for a 23 percent drop; and 52 in Ashe County for 34 percent drop. Watauga County recovered from the foreclosure-filing high of 2010 sooner than Ashe and Avery counties. Whereas Watauga County noticed a significant 25 percent drop in 2010, Ashe and Avery counties are seeing that comparable drop this year. But in recent monthly press releases, the High Country Association of Realtors has been touting the market’s recover and great part of this year’s “boom” in particular “to buyers’ market conditions.” A release in July stated, “[The number of realtor-assisted] listings sold are up 31 percent compared to this time last year, and more than 42 percent compared to the first six months of 2010.”

Real Estate Recovery

The first half of the year of 2012 is starting to recover according to the High Country Association of Realtors. From last year this time the listings sold are up 31 percent and more than 42 percent more than the first six months of 2010. The Cause of the rise in NC Mountain real estate sales is mostly due to the buyers’ market value conditions. The prices are staying low and buyers are exploring the Western NC real estate market, which means prices should be on the rise. In the first six months there have been 543 listing sales in the High Country worth $135.3 million. All of last year sold 414 listings worth $107.3 million. Between the high in 2006 and the low in 2010 the market seems to being back on track with and average market listing of 248 days. Hopefully the market will continue to rise and sales will continue throughout the year.

False Real Estate Tax Rumor



The National Association of Realtors has some tax advice for users of the internet: Don’t believe everything you read. There has been a recent flare-up of chain emails purporting that, come Jan. 1, all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% federal sales tax. The problem: That’s not true. The basis for the rumors is the new 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, which will take effect next year (Sec. 1411). That provision provides the rumors with a kernel of truth: A very small number of taxpayers will pay a surtax on gain from the sale of a principal residence. The new tax will only apply to single taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in excess of $200,000 and married taxpayers with a MAGI in excess of $250,000 if filing a joint return, or $125,000 if filing a separate return. Those taxpayers will pay the tax on gain from sale of a principal residence, but only on the amount of gain that exceeds the thresholds in Sec. 121 ($250,000 for single taxpayers; $500,000 for joint returns).


If you have any other questions regarding real estate here in the NC and VA High Country feel free to contact Josh Johnson at any time.  He is your source of information within the High Country Association of Realtors in the beautiful North Carolina Mountains.  You can email him at or reach him on his cell at 828-406-4495.

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