Outer Banks, NC Real Estate Market Prices, Trends and Forecast 2023

Outer Banks, NC Real Estate Market Prices, Trends and Forecast 2023

Imagine a place with world-class beaches, dunes the height of a three-story building, and some of the most stunning scenery in the southeastern United States. Now imagine this location surrounded by small beachfront communities without the bustle of most oceanside tourist destinations. Add in rich natural and cultural history with tales of buried treasure, lost colonies, aviation pioneers, and some of the last remaining wild horses in the eastern United States. It sounds like the perfect place to relocate or to find that next investment property.

North Carolina’s Outer Banks area features all this and more. On the northern boundary of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Kitty Hawk feature top-notch dining, accommodations, and shopping alongside the Wright Brothers National Memorial and numerous other tourist destinations.

Traveling south, the protected seashore extends more than 70 miles south, winding through sleepy oceanside communities and sparsely populated beaches – some still only accessible via ferry. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Blackbeard Museum at Teach’s Hole are just a few of the attractions that drew more than three million visitors to this pristine stretch of shoreline in 2022.

Showing signs of a quick rebound

Beyond the natural features and rich history that make the area one-of-a-kind, few other areas in the NC real estate market offer the accessibility to top-tier luxury real estate that is found in the Outer Banks. With median residential sale prices in the region barely topping $500,000, homes for sale in the Outer Banks are still exceptionally affordable compared to other oceanfront resort towns. Along with a market that is heating up, now is the perfect time to consider investing in the Outer Banks.

As the historic turnover and appreciation the Outer Banks real estate market experienced in 2021 and 2022 ended, many investors and agents prepared for a sluggish 2023. So far, sales have lagged behind the record pace of the previous two years (down 40% YOY), and prices have plateaued (down 4% YOY), but recent data is signaling this brief downturn may already be coming to an end.

Monthly residential sales have nearly doubled since January. While prices are still flat, these gains mean now is the time for buyers and investors to make a move before the market starts accelerating again.

An area on the rise

The Outer Banks is not the only growing aspect of the region. Dare County, home to most of the area’s population centers, had a population of just over 37,000 people in 2020, and boasts millions of visitors yearly. It has also seen steady year-on-year population growth for decades, which is only projected to accelerate through the rest of the decade and beyond. All this means the Outer Banks is an area on the rise.

Popular communities in the Outer Banks

As a 175-mile-long stretch of barrier islands running along the east coast of North Carolina with dozens of unique neighborhoods and communities, the Outer Banks has the perfect property for every buyer. A few of the area’s top neighborhoods include Kill Devil Hills, Hatteras, Nags Head, Duck, and Southern Shores.

Kill Devil Hills

  • Median home price: $512,450
  • Year-on-Year change: +6%
  • Average number of days on the market: 46
With a little over 7,000 permanent residents inhabiting its quiet tree-lined residential streets, Kill Devil Hills is that rare resort town that is both an exciting place to visit and a serene place to call home. While small, the community is still home to big attractions like the Wright Brothers National Memorial, the Avalon Fishing Pier, and Paradise Fun Park, as well as abundant shopping and dining. While the quieter side, Kill Devil Hills, along with nearby Kitty Hawk, offers nature trails, parks, and easy access to both the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.

The Outer Banks’s largest town is also one of its more affordable for now, with median sale prices below many other oceanfront resort communities.

Hatteras Island

  • Median home price: $503,000
  • Year-on-Year change: -16%
  • Average number of days on the market: 73
This nearly 50-mile-long barrier island is home to quiet beachfront communities, many of the region’s iconic dunes, the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and miles of some of the most pristine and scenic beaches in the southeast.

Despite its iconic beauty and the historically red-hot real estate markets of 2021 and 2022, Hatteras remains one of the more affordable beachfront resort areas in the southeast. With median residential prices dipping in recent months and short-term rental revenue continuing to accelerate year after year, Hatteras Island is likely to be a profitable real estate investment for both investors and those relocating to the island.

Nags Head

  • Median home price: $665,000
  • Year-on-Year change: -13%
  • Average number of days on the market: 53
Located just a few miles south of Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head combines the luxury of some of the area’s more exclusive neighborhoods with a convenient location near the area’s population center. Median home prices in Nags Head have dropped in recent months, but sales are rebounding, and homes are not staying on the market long. This, along with 20 new building permits issued last month, means Nags Head is poised for a strong comeback in 2023.

Duck and Southern Shores

  • Median home price (Duck): $925,000
  • Year-on-Year change (Duck): 3%
  • Average number of days on the market (Duck): 103
  • Median home price (Southern Shores): $730,000
  • Year-on-Year change (Southern Shores): -6%
  • Average number of days on the market (Southern Shores): 46
No neighborhood in the Outer Banks better exemplifies the area’s charm more than Duck and nearby Southern Shores. Two of the area’s more luxurious communities, Duck and Southern Shores have seen sales drop in recent months, but median prices remain steady. In recent years, no Outer Banks community has seen more appreciation since 2020 than Duck, making it the area’s most profitable real estate investment this decade.


Cost of Living in Outer Banks NC

The Outer Banks, known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere, has a cost of living that varies depending on your lifestyle choices.

Here's a quick summary for 2023:

  • Overall: Slightly higher than the national average, but lower than many other coastal resort towns.
  • Housing: Can be expensive, especially near the beach. However, the median home sale price is still lower than other popular coastal areas.
  • Other expenses: Generally comparable to the rest of North Carolina, with groceries and transportation being slightly above the state average.

It's important to remember that these are just general trends. The specific costs you'll face will depend on factors like your housing situation, spending habits, and desired location within the Outer Banks.

A top-tier investment

With its breathtaking natural scenery, unique history, charm, and robust tourism industry, investment in the Outer Banks is a top-tier choice for those interested in relocating or looking for their next investment property. The area’s robust and resilient market is already showing signs of a quick comeback. As tourist visits continue to set records year after year and new building permits increase, now is the time to invest in the Outer Banks while it is still priced below many other oceanfront resort communities.

The experienced agents at Brad Beacham Group are ready to help buyers and investors get the most out of this investment. The team has more than 20 years of experience in the OBX real estate market and has consistently produced big results for clients.

The agency’s partnership with Landmark Sotheby's International Realty adds the recognition of an international brand known for luxury to BBG’s portfolio, which, coupled with local experience and expertise, makes Brad Beacham Group the perfect choice for anyone ready to explore the benefits of relocating to or investing in the Outer Banks.

—Work With The Brad Beacham Group —

The Outer Banks is our home and we love it as much as you do. We create lasting relationships with our clients through unrivaled attention to detail, honesty and open communication. We stay on the cutting edge of technology and marketing while keeping our fingers on the daily pulse of the local real estate market. Contact us today to start your journey and put us to work for you!

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