Homes sales soar on North Carolina’s Outer Banks

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FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, file photo, a home under construction and for sale is shown in Roswell, Ga. U.S. home prices climbed steadily in July 2017 even as sales have slowed, evidence that a limited supply of available houses is distorting the real estate market. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) — Home sales on North Carolina’s Outer Banks are booming in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and low-interest rates.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that homes and lot sales from Corolla to Ocracoke reached $1.18 billion through October.

That’s the most since the all-time record of $1.5 billion set in 2005, according to Dan Sutherland, director of multiple listing services for the Outer Banks Association of Realtors.

Sutherland said that nearly 1,000 properties valued at $435 million are under contract and expected to close by year’s end. He also said that sales will likely pass $1.6 billion and set a new record.

Officials had closed access to the Outer Banks in March when the virus spread. It reopened in May, and thousands of tourists flocked to the open spaces of the Outer Banks.

More people are also working from home, and they realized they did not need to live in high-tax, high-traffic cities, said Willo Kelly, chief executive officer of the association.

She added that a slow economy during the pandemic has helped to keep interest rates below 3%. That also boosts home sales.

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