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What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Wilmington, North Carolina Real Estate Market

Since the coronavirus pandemic, the real estate market has been turbulent, bringing dramatic changes in demand, interest rates, and home prices. The Wilmington, North Carolina area has been no exception to this trend. Yet, with its pleasant weather, proximity to sprawling beaches, and even a nearby airport, Wilmington’s small, but growing, housing market manages to punch above its weight.

The Wilmington metropolitan area’s population is booming. During the pandemic, lower-density cities like Wilmington saw high levels of inbound moves, making smaller housing markets a smart new choice for investors. Moreover, Wilmington’s connections to the health, technology, and entertainment sectors ensure that the region has a steady supply of incoming professionals, making it a safe choice for property investments.

With Wilmington looking likely to remain a seller’s market and a popular destination for incoming moves, renting out your own home or renting an investment property can have several advantages. However, it’s important to conduct thorough research before beginning, as property management also comes with its own unique challenges.

Trends in Wilmington

Renters make up 57.6 percent of Wilmington’s housing market, compared to the national figure of 36 percent. Rent in Wilmington has been trending upward. The average rent for an apartment is roughly $1,171, up 18 percent from 2021 rent prices. Due to the increasing demand for rentals, investors can charge higher rental rates for their properties. Moreover, Wilmington realtors say they don’t see signs of the market slowing down, with increases continuing through 2022.

Although higher rent prices can be attractive for investors, it’s important to note that interest prices have started to rise, as well as home prices. As such, sellers do not have an incentive to take lower offers or even throw in repairs to encourage sales. As a result, investors who want to cash in on lower prices may need to keep a sharp eye out to catch future fluctuations.

Popular Neighborhoods and Property Types

Housing styles range from budget to luxury, providing a broad market of opportunities. However, detached single-family homes remain Wilmington’s most popular type of rental unit.

Wilmington’s most popular neighborhood is Northside Wilmington, which has seen rapid new business and residential development in recent years, making it a popular location for new residents. New construction, renovations, and programs to make the community safer have greatly increased property values in the neighborhood.

Breezewood and the area surrounding the University of North Carolina Wilmington also remain popular, each with an average rent of about $1,400. Students at the university commonly rent single-family homes and apartments close to campus. With students returning to take classes in person, Forbes predicts that there will be nationwide increased demand for in-person housing, a trend that may interest forward-thinking investors.

Trends in Property Features

It’s also important to take note of regional trends in housing features. The pandemic changed the things that renters expect from their homes. Additional rooms, outdoor space, and common areas continue to trend as families spend more time at home.

Homes with outdated power systems are also reportedly becoming a thing of the past in Wilmington. Utility costs are on the rise, leading property owners to reportedly turn away from nonrenewable energy sources in an attempt to save thousands of dollars.

Prudent property owners may want to further note how extreme weather and flood damage along North Carolina’s coast is changing the game in Wilmington. Due to increasingly frequent severe hurricanes, smart investors may choose to make protection plans now to avoid paying to fix damage to their properties later. Luckily, property owners can receive incentives to upgrade roofs and windows on their properties.

Making Investments in Wilmington

Whether you are a homeowner looking to rent out your home or an investor, Wilmington real estate investment has a record of generating returns. The area’s growing population, stable employment growth, and continuing demand for housing make an investment in Wilmington a smart and potentially profitable choice.

Rising rental rates and continued development in the metropolitan area all but ensure strong returns on investment for the savvy investor.

Full Service Property Management – Sea Scape Properties

If you are looking to invest in a long-term rental property in our area, we are happy to help with any questions you may have! Our team has extensive area and industry knowledge that we would be happy to share and would genuinely welcome the opportunity to discuss investment opportunities over a cup of coffee. Sea Scape Properties is a full-service property management company proudly serving Wilmington, NC as well as surrounding areas. Call us today at 910-332-7284, ext. 106 or email to [email protected].