Here is my perspective on the Highlands market......where we are and where we are going....
Right now Highlands has not fully recovered from the 2008 real estate downturn. Atlanta, South Florida, Birmingham, Charlotte, almost the entire SE has recovered very well even exceeding pre-2008 values. Prices here are still somewhat depressed especially land values. Lower end (below $500,000) and high end (above $1,500,000) home sales are doing just ok. The mid market $500,000 to $1,500,000 is still sluggish but seasonal rentals are "On Fire". There has been very little new home activity for several years. Savvy investors came in 2009, 10 & 11 and bought up the really great home bargains....half price or less but those deals are gone.
Here's the GOOD news:
Highlands is one of the top wedding destinations in the US, bringing tens of thousands of first time visitors to the mountains each year and they fall in love with the area.
There is a new hotel going up downtown and room additions in others. There are often accommodation shortages. Highlands is loaded with visitors year round.
It still gets hot and very humid all over the SE. Highlands has low humidity, cool summer temperatures and beautiful mountains, forests, streams and waterfalls.
. People are feeling much better about their financial future as they see their investment portfolios and home values going up and taxes likely going down. There is a great deal more optimism since the election regarding our economic future.
There is a pent up desire for Highlands property that has been tempered by uncertainty and pessimism. BUT-- just as the market here went down fast and hard, I believe it will come up the same way...quickly.
People are beginning to realize that the Highlands/Cashiers summer resort area is a bargain, though it is still a buyers market. Now is the time for smart investors.... prices will come up..... our day will come.
The present trend is in down sizing, living in town or close in ...that's Falling Waters. Peace, privacy, forest, waterfalls, secluded but not remote, just 2.4 miles from Main Street, the best of both worlds.
Highlands is a refuge for those who desire a safe, peaceful, and very low crime area in an increasingly crazy world.
My understanding from speaking with dozens of "Just looking" folks is they are tired of renting. They don't want to have to compete, make plans and reservations a year ahead of time, they want a very nice place, which they don't always get...now they are seriously thinking about building. There is going to be a strong market for smaller new homes in the $500,000 to 1.5 million range close to town.
Lot 7 (1 acre).....CLOSED January 27th 2017. Beautiful new post and beam home going up now...estimated finish date..... Christmas!!!
Falling Waters is the perfect neighborhood and NOW is the perfect time.