As the Outer Banks economic reports for 2012 become more complete, there seems to be more and more reason for optimism in the coming year.
The number of properties sold is significantly up–early indications are about 12.5%– the average sale price is creeping up, although there are fluctuations in pricing from area to area, and inventory is coming down. There are other signs as well the the Outer Banks real estate market is strengthening. Construction–especially new home construction–is clearly on the rebound and perhaps most importantly, lot sales are soaring. The only area that is not keeping pace with the rest of the market are commercial properties which continue to struggle.
The fact that construction and real estate are truly coming back is great news for the local economy, but beyond that, there are important pieces of this economic pie that will  effect investors and our rental property owners.
Property prices remain very reasonable on the Outer Banks. However, as demand grows and the inventory continues to shrink, prices will rise. 
If you have been thinking about investing in an Outer Banks home, whether for income or as a vacation getaway, things won’t get much better. The surge in new home construction coupled with the inventory of existing homes, has created as wide a selection of homes as we have seen. Add to that, reasonable pricing and record low mortgage rates, and it all says, now is the time to come in and talk to a Brindley Beach real estate agent.
For rental home owners, though, there’s a cautionary note–as more homes are available for our visitors, an already competitive market will become even more competitive. We are confident that occupancy will continue its sustained growth . . . in fact, we believe there are extraordinary opportunities in the shoulder seasons that did not even exist two or three years ago. 
Nonetheless, a very competitive market is becoming even more competitive.
For our rental property owners, take a hard, objective look at your house. Pretend you have never seen it before and think about the first thing your guests will see when they pull into your driveway tired and somewhat irritable after an eight hour ride from Philadelphia.
That first impression is going to color everything they feel about your property. Does the house need painting; is the landscaping attractive? Do you offer the amenities that make your property competitive or can they be added? 
It’s great that construction is coming back so strongly (it is, after all, our friends and neighbors who are going back to work), but it can create a problem if you need some work done. There are a number of very skilled, very competent contractors and workers on the Outer Banks, but they have of projects lined up right now, and if you need something done, be aware that there may be a delay in starting the work.
Now is the time to get your property ready for our peak summer season. If you have questions about your property, ask us. Both of us–you as the rental property owner and we as your property management company–have the same goal in mind: we want as many happy vacationers in your property as possible and we want to maximize the money you make from your property.