What a great year 2020 ended up being on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in spite of a challenging start to the year with Dare County shutting down tourists, traffic and owners.


So far, 2021 is looking strong, and we’re excited to serve you well here on the Outer Banks with your real estate needs. Based on OBAR’s Monthly Market Analysis, the numbers are an indicator of what happened in our market in 2020 compared to 2019, and they can help us observe the trend of the market going into 2021. 


The residential market (lot with a house on it) and vacant lot purchases were up 44% over 2019. In December 2019, we had 219 home sales, a 14% increase over 2018. Yet in 2020, we had 393, a 79% increase. Customarily, our market begins to slow from Thanksgiving through the Super Bowl; however, that has not been the case this year. At present, we have been writing offers and showing properties right through the holidays, never hitting that market “lull” experienced in previous years. 


To go a bit broader and look at a year-over-year experience, in 2019 there were 2,606 units sold (including residential, vacant land and commercial properties). In December 2020, by year’s end, there were 3,742 units sold, a 44% increase over the previous year. 


December Under Contracts dropped considerably, possibly due to the influx of real estate closings that occurred. 


Looking into areas of the Outer Banks, Duck, Corolla, Nags Head and others, reports indicate they were up, some even considerably. Corolla was up 129% over 2019, which is a huge jump. If you’re looking to move into the lower beaches of Hatteras Island, they were up 64% year over year, a meaningful improvement. 


Looking back in history at 2005, we saw the same peak, and the 2005 sold data was exceeded in 2020. You may be asking: Could this mean we are headed for a slowdown? As far as we can tell, no indicators show anything on the horizon to curtail the energy in this real estate market at present. Unless something happens economically, this market is in a great place.


So whether you’re considering selling or looking for an opportunity out there for buying, let us help you navigate this process and protect your interests. If you “buy it right,” you always “sell it right.” There are areas with great value if you’re considering buying. Reach out, and we will connect you with the Colony Realty team member who will best suit your needs and search location, whether on Hatteras Island or the Outer Banks and/or northern beaches.



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John Head | Colony Realty 

Cell: 252-592-4OBX (4629) 





52327 NC Hwy 12 

PO Box 336 

Frisco, NC 27936 



Kill Devil Hills: 

3118 N Croatan Hwy Ste 103 

Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948