My monthly real estate articles usually focus on quantitative measures of the island’s real estate market performance. However, there are other important things taking place on Hatteras Island that are related to real estate in one way or another. This article summarizes some of those events that are front and center as we begin the new year.

For those associated with Outer Beaches Realty, the big news was the December 1st purchase of Outer Beaches by Vacasa, a large international vacation property management company. Since there have already been several communications on this transition, I will only mention it here and note that the Vacasa affiliation offers a wide variety of benefits and opportunities for our homeowners and employees.

Next on the list of important developments is the report that the Avon Beach Nourishment Project moved one step closer to implementation when the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to award the construction bid to the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock company for the Avon and Buxton beach nourishment projects. Construction is scheduled to begin in late spring or early summer to take advantage of the seasonal window of potentially good weather.

At the northern end of the island, the “jug handle” bridge is estimated to be about 95 percent complete. The new bridge is expected to be finished by early 2022 with traffic shifting to the new structure in February or March.

In not so good news, the North Carolina Division of Water Resources placed a sewer moratorium on new connections to the wastewater treatment plant that serves residential properties on the soundside in the Kinnakeet Shores community as well as businesses in the Hatteras Island Plaza shopping center, the Ace store, and the U. S. Post Office in Avon. The sewer moratorium means that since October 13th no new sewer taps, sewer extensions or additional flow have been permitted. The moratorium was reportedly enacted because the operator of the wastewater treatment facility had failed to make repairs and improvements required by the state over an extended period of time. No time frame has been established for the resolution of the issues that prompted the moratorium.

Turning to the real estate market, we get different perspectives on the market’s performance depending on whether we look at a comparison of the cumulative results for 2021 vs. 2020 or whether we look at the patterns for various indicators on a monthly basis during 2021. Comparing 2021 with 2020, we can see the record-setting results that everyone has been talking about. On the other hand, when we evaluate the results on a monthly basis, we find downward trend lines in all indicators with the exception of the median sale price, suggesting the housing boom may be losing some steam.

Finally, congratulations to Claudia Laskow who was the Outer Beaches Realty Agent of the Year for 2021!

Tom Hranicka, Sales Department Manager

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