What Goes Up – Goes Up Further

Nick Churton of Intracoastal Realty’s London office – via Mayfair International Realty – looks to a genius to make some sense of the current international real estate market and offer some pointers for the future.

What Isaac Newton, who formulated the laws of gravity in the middle of the 17th century, would have made of the current gravity-defying real estate market is anyone’s guess. But, no doubt, like most people he would have been flummoxed.

Even a genius like Newton, who worked from home during the plague of 1665/66, would have had difficulty making any sense of this market. Despite a global killer pandemic, tens of millions of people out of work, nations in lockdown, travel halted and national treasuries handing out trillions in support of businesses, jobs and mortgages, the real estate market booms. It should, by any calculation, have plummeted like an apple from a tree. Instead, the market didn’t fall; it held itself in suspended animation for a while before surging upwards.

By any estimation the market should at least have mirrored the slowdown experienced after the great recession of 2008. But from the Antipodes to the Americas, and from Europe to the Far East, residential property prices in many countries are soaring. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it’s the fastest year-over-year growth in the past two decades.

But perhaps we can learn something from Newton, whose third law stated that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Covid made homeowners and homebuyers react by moving from cities and buying larger homes in less crowded areas where they could work from home. At the same time interest rate cuts kept mortgage repayments manageable and vaccines have generated confidence.

It wasn’t long ago that real estate professionals were preparing for the worst. Now the market, which is experiencing low inventory levels, is seeing increasing values with selling prices often well exceeding their asking prices.

Whilst most pandemic market activity has been in domestic markets, the international market has also been defying gravity. Despite travel restrictions, international buyers have been buying property sight unseen. Many homebuyers have been re-evaluating their lives or bringing forward plans to buy an overseas bolthole or permanent home. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; once travel opens up the signs are that there will be a super-surge of demand and activity from international buyers.

Growing numbers of sight-unseen global sales, ultra-competitive bidding on most listings and incidence of gazumping are all sure signs of a property market in boom mode. But let’s give Newton the last word in trying to make sense of what is going on. He said, “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people”.

Nick Churton and Annette Reeve, Mayfair International Realty representatives, run Intracoastal Realty’s London Office and are frequent visitors to the Greater Wilmington area.


Absorption Reports – Q1 2021

Absorption rate, also referred to as “inventory levels” or “months of supply”, gives you an idea of the number of months it will take for the current inventory to be sold out based on the last 12 months of sales.

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in appreciating home prices (Seller’s Market), while 7 months or more of supply will result in depreciating home prices (Buyer’s Market).

Following the 1st Quarter of 2021, we are seeing an unprecedent low amount of inventory and double-digit appreciation.  New Hanover County is showing a total of 0.7 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 1.2 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 0.8 months (peaked at 22.1 months in 2009).

As you can see from the three county charts below, inventory levels vary by price segment.  Take a look at the absorption reports for a better idea of where your house stands in the market, and contact an Intracoastal Realty agent to learn about the supply and demand for your specific neighborhood. It is a sellers market with an incredible amount of demand from buyers.

Bottom Line: It is a great time to sell!

New Hanover County

Brunswick County

Pender County


Intracoastal Realty Website Recognized for Excellence

Intracoastal Realty has been awarded the Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global community of 550 high quality independent real estate firms in 70 countries. The certification was presented in recognition of excellence in website design, content and functionality.

Intracoastal Realty’s website, IntracoastalRealty.com, received high marks in a variety of critical areas relating to website performance, including usability, design, content, interactivity, customer service and mobile responsiveness. The evaluation was conducted by Virtual Results, LLC, a real estate internet and social marketing firm selected by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® to review the websites of participating members.

The specific measurements for the WQC are updated each year to reflect the most current online marketing strategies, as well as evolving consumer preferences. Companies must be re-certified every two years to maintain the certification.

“We are pleased to recognize the companies that earned the WQC this year. The restrictions of this past year have heightened the importance of having a strong web presence and giving home buyers and sellers easy ways to explore homes and communities online. Our WQC companies provide consumers with valuable resources through well-designed websites that offer relevant local content and up-to-the-minute housing information,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Paul Boomsma.

Intracoastal Realty is the Southeastern North Carolina representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 550 firms and 135,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, Intracoastal Realty provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.


#ShineOnLocal | The Donut Inn

We love our local community and are proud to serve Southeastern NC. Intracoastal Realty is excited to announce our new initiative called #ShineOnLocal. Every month we’ll highlight a local business in the area followed by a special event at the location.

Step into The Donut Inn and you’re welcomed with the sweet smell of freshly baked hand cut donuts, scratch made bagels, and locally roasted coffees and espressos. That’s not the only thing they’re serving up, don’t miss out on their made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches too. Sounds amazing right? Stop by on Friday, March 19 from 10 am – 12 pm at the Military Cutoff location and you’ll receive one free donut compliments of Intracoastal Realty.  

Owners Allen Renquist (left) and Matt Anlyan (right) – photo courtesy of The Donut Inn

Owner’s Allen Renquist and Matt Anlyan have an incredible background prior to owning The Donut Inn. Combined they spent 18 years working in international hunger relief for an organization called Stop Hunger Now (now called Rise Against Hunger) that is headquartered in Raleigh, NC. Their mission was to deliver fully nutritious, dehydrated meals primarily to education and development programs all over the world.

Continuing their humanitarian efforts with their business, The Donut Inn donates their end of day baked goods to local non-profits.

The Donut Inn Military Cutoff location – photo courtesy of The Donut Inn

What inspired you and Allen to open Donut Inn?

Matt Anlyan: We were both interested in becoming entrepreneurs. We used to have lunch once a week where we would work on business ideas. Most of our ideas were pretty grandiose, so we ultimately decided that the best way to get our foot in the entrepreneurial door was to buy an existing business. One day at lunch, while searching for businesses for sale, we came across The Donut Inn. We knew it was a special place and we knew that we could continue to grow it.

Fresh handmade donuts – photo courtesy of The Donut Inn

What’s your favorite item on the menu?

Matt Anlyan: I’ll give you my top three in no particular order.

  • Baja beach burrito (for when I’m really hungry)
  • Asiago bagel with vegetable cream cheese and bacon
  • Glazed croissant or two when my sweet tooth kicks in

Which donut do you recommend for first timers?

Matt Anlyan: I try to tailor it to different new customers. Some folks prefer cake donuts to yeast raised and for others it’s the opposite. Two of our most popular are our glazed sour cream cake and maple frosted yeast raised with bacon.

Photo courtesy of The Donut Inn

What’s your favorite part about living in the Wilmington area?

Matt Anylan: Other than being close to family, I would have to say being close to the beach and having great outdoor recreation options.

Those new to the Wilmington area, what tips would you give them or an activity they must try?

  • Explore all of the amazing locally owned restaurants and shops
  • Take in a concert at Greenfield Lake
  • Camp at Carolina Beach State Park

Shine on Local Event Details:

Pop into The Donut Inn located on 1427 Military Cutoff Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 from 10 am – 12 pm on Friday, March 19 for a free donut courtesy of Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @thedonutinn on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you drop by. We’ll see you there!

*Limited to one donut per person.


2021 Outlook: A Perspective from our London Office

Nick Churton of Intracoastal Realty’s London office reviews a topsy turvy year in UK real estate and looks forward with confidence to the demand for international property returning with renewed strength.

In the UK, 2020 started with a bang. Brexit had passed an enormous hurdle and the property market responded quickly – but by the end of March, nothing. We were shielding, or in lockdown as we call it. The market ground to a socially distanced trickle. But by July we had no time to worry about all that because we had the surprise of our working lives. Just as they did in many other countries, thousands upon thousands of people were fleeing the major metropolitan areas. They sought a quieter, healthier life in peaceful places with room to breathe, where the countryside or coast was beautiful and smaller towns and cities were welcoming.

Suddenly real estate agents had never been busier, and there didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. It has been an astonishing summer and autumn market.

Despite the ongoing challenges, our outstanding medical scientists and British National Health Service personnel have put us well on the road to Covid recovery, and we can look forward to a bright and optimistic New Year. Even the Brexit trade talks should have come to one resolution or another. We believe that the UK real estate market, and especially the Central London luxury market will remain active through next year with values continuing to rise.

But what does this mean for the international buyer itching to spread their wings but left only eyeing up properties on the internet? As in our experience with the domestic market, I believe that a huge pent-up demand has been growing. When the Covid thunderclouds have passed and buyers are able to travel again with impunity, then international buyers will once again be shopping for overseas homes.

We are looking ahead to an exciting and very active 2021 in real estate.

Nick Churton and Annette Reeve, Mayfair International Realty representatives, run Intracoastal Realty’s London Office and are frequent visitors to the Greater Wilmington area.


Fall and Holiday Events

Due to COVID-19 the social calendar is lacking; however, there are some socially-distanced events to consider. It’s advisable to check the website and/or call ahead to confirm details. These events are fluid and subject to change.

Now Through NOVEMBER 30 | AIRLIEGARDENS.ORG
Airlie Gardens 8th Annual Art Exhibit: Squirrels

OCTOBER 16 – 18, ALL DAY | FISHERMANSPOST.COM
Pleasure Island Fall Surf Fishing Challenge

OCTOBER 23 – 25, 11:00AM – 8:00PM | STNICHOLASWILMINGTON.ORG
Drive-Thru Greek Festival

OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 1 | PADDLEGURU.COM/RACES
Carolina Am SUP Surf Competition

VIRTUAL | NOVEMBER 6 – DECEMBER 17 | NHCARBORETUM.ORG
Art in the Arboretum

NOVEMBER 6 – 8, ALL DAY | FISHERMANSPOST.COM
Topsail Fall Surf and Pier Fishing Challenge

NOVEMBER 11 – 15 | CUCALORUS.ORG
Cucalorus Film Festival

NOVEMBER 26, 8:30 AM RACE START | ITS-GO-TIME.COM
Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot

NOVEMBER 27 – DECEMBER 22 | AIRLIEGARDENS.ORG
Enchanted Airlie | On-sale Oct 29, 2020

DECEMBER 5, 2:00 PM | SOUTHPORT-OAKISLAND.COM
Christmas by the Sea Parade, Oak Island


I Wish

Nick Churton of London-based Mayfair International Realty (an affiliate of Intracoastal Realty) has some thoughts for home buyers and sellers who wish they could see into the future.

Don’t you wish that just once you could have a sure-fire tip about the perfect time to buy and/or sell an investment? If only you or your parents had known to invest in a small Californian computer start-up company called Apple in 1976. A $1000 investment then would be worth north of $30 billion today.

Finding these tips and then acting on them is the stuff of legends. But it is still possible to do the right thing at the right time by listening to the right people.

For example, a good real estate agent with great local knowledge knows exactly what is happening in the property market. So, if you are thinking of buying or selling your home, a good first move would be to receive the best local advice.

On both sides of the Atlantic the real estate market is an exhilarating place to be right now. Many of us haven’t seen as buoyant or active a market as this since before the great recession in 2007/8. Properly priced homes are flying off the shelves. But we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t point out that the real estate market is cyclical, and that sometime after this current scramble to buy and sell is over, the market will eventually settle – it always does. It cannot remain on afterburners forever.

In many markets this is as near perfect a time to buy and/or sell a home as you are likely to find, and that key moments like this only come round every decade or so.

You’ll be pleased to know that we don’t charge for insightful property advice, and while we might not be able to turn £1000 into $30 billion for you, we can help you make the most of what is probably your most financially valuable asset.

So, go on, make a legendary move today.

Nick Churton and Annette Reeve, Mayfair International Realty representatives, run Intracoastal Realty’s London Office and are frequent visitors to the Greater Wilmington area.


Sands of Time: The Project that Helped Spawn Intracoastal Realty

Jim Wallace founded Intracoastal Realty in 1976. This blog series will provide stories and anecdotes from significant events in Intracoastal Realty’s past.

Here is the story, in Jim’s own words, about his role as an on-site sales agent that caused Jim to fall in love with the area and create the firm known as Intracoastal Realty.

“I had just moved here from Atlanta in May of 1976 to be on the on-site sales agent for Station One – the oceanfront condominiums on Wrightsville Beach.

There were 88 Units; only 6 had been sold to date.  The huge parking lot was empty and stark, so we asked local merchants and others to park there (you might say we staged the parking lot). It made it look like something was going on.

It went well to say the least… the entire development was sold out by November 15th of that year.  I remember writing 3 contracts in one day. It was crazy.

I had intended to move back to Atlanta after I completed the sell-out, but I had been walking on the beach everyday after work, swimming and having a great time, and thought if I could get a boat someday this would be great spot to live.

Well it was and is, and I have never left. It was at this point in the Fall of 1976 that I decided to create my own real estate firm called Intracoastal Realty.”

Jim Wallace, Founder and CEO of Intracoastal Realty

Below is an ad that ran in the Star News on Sunday, July 4, 1976. Check out the prices! It is mind blowing to see what the prices were then compared to now. By the way, the ad won an award for the Atlanta firm that conceived it. You can also click here to download a PDF of the ad.


Absorption Reports – 1st Quarter 2020

Absorption rate, also referred to as “inventory levels” or “months of supply”, gives you an idea of the number of months it will take for the current inventory to be sold out based on the last 12 months of sales.

Housing prices stabilize when supply and demand come closer together. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of supply is “normal”. Less than 5 months of supply will result in appreciating home prices (Seller’s Market), while 7 months or more of supply will result in depreciating home prices (Buyer’s Market).

Following the 1st Quarter of 2020, New Hanover County is showing a total of 2.3 months of inventory for existing home sales (for comparative purposes, it peaked at 22.6 months in 2009); Brunswick County is at 4.3 months (peaked at 20.0 months in 2009); and Pender County is at 4.2 months (peaked at 22.1 months in 2009).

As you can see from the three county charts below, inventory levels vary by price segment.  Take a look at the absorption reports for a better idea of where your house stands in the market, and contact an Intracoastal Realty agent to learn about the supply and demand for your specific neighborhood.

New Hanover County

Brunswick County

Pender County


Wrightsville Beach Oyster Roast Postponed Until Fall

From the Wrightsville Beach Museum:

Wrightsville Beach Museum is more than a landmark–we’re a community. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, we are reminded of the legendary strength and preservation of the town we call home. Prioritizing the health and happiness of our patrons, volunteers, and supporters, the Museum is carefully monitoring the safety measures recommended by health experts across the nation.

With the release of the most recent information and analysis on COVID-19, we have elected to postpone this year’s Oyster Roast.

We thank all of you for the support and excitement already invested in this popular event. WBM, Intracoastal Realty, and TowneBank Mortgage look forward to hosting the oyster roast this fall. We invite our supporters to join us on November 6, 2020, to enjoy the same delicious food, ocean views, and warm company in a new season.

We will hold reservations for ticket-holders for the new date. However, we understand if participants are unable to join us in November, and for those folks we offer alternative options.

If ticket-holders would like to consider their ticket cost a donation to the Museum, we will issue a donation receipt. WBM also offers full refunds as needed.

We ask that ticket-holders complete the form at this link so that the Museum staff can act accordingly based on your preferences.

As of right now, the Museum is open normal business hours with exciting developments on the horizon, such as the opening of the Bordeaux Cottage this May and the beginning of Camp Christ Stone! We will provide further updates as they come.

We will continue taking additional precautionary measures by more frequently cleaning our space, especially high-touch areas. Hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes are provided for visitor use, and our staff have been instructed to stay home if they feel ill. We respectfully ask that visitors do the same. 

If you have any questions, please direct them to Madeline Flagler by calling (910) 256-2569 or by emailing wbmuseum@bizec.rr.com. We send our deepest gratitude for your continued support of our mission to preserve the history of Wrightsville Beach and of those who have made it the beautiful, thriving place it is today. We wish everyone healthy weeks ahead.