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.

Airlie Gardens 8th Annual Art Exhibit: Squirrels

Pleasure Island Fall Surf Fishing Challenge

Drive-Thru Greek Festival

Carolina Am SUP Surf Competition

Art in the Arboretum

Topsail Fall Surf and Pier Fishing Challenge

Cucalorus Film Festival

Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot

Enchanted Airlie | On-sale Oct 29, 2020

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.

Agents Recognized at Cape Fear CREW 2020 Awards

Intracoastal Realty agents Stephanie Lanier, David Stuart, and Kelly Stuart were recognized during the Cape Fear chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) 2020 Awards Banquet at the Wilmington Convention Center on Thursday, February 27th. The awards, which focus on the rapidly growing commercial real estate sector, recognize excellence and leadership in commercial real estate in the Cape Fear Region.

Career Advancement for Women
The Career Advancement for Women Award was presented to Stephanie Lanier, the lead agent for the Lanier Property Group at Intracoastal Realty. The award recognizes a company or individual who consistently exemplifies Cape Fear CREW’s commitment to elevating the status of women by supporting the advancement of the careers of women, and who has shown leadership in encouraging and promoting women within the leadership team.

Stephanie founded and leads The Inspiration Lab, a community of women who want to grow personally and professionally through teaching, tools and socializing events multiple times a month. With over 300 women as members, The Inspiration Lab is the largest women’s professional development group in Wilmington. A nationally celebrated speaker on the topics of real estate, self-care, and marketing, Stephanie hosts an annual women’s conference with more than 325 attendees focused on elevating the status of women as speakers and panelists. Many of the speakers from last year’s conference have gone on to paid speaking engagements after getting their start at The Inspiration Lab.

Member of the Year and Lifetime Achievement
In addition to the Cape Fear CREW Awards, the organization was joined by The Realtors Commercial Alliance of Southeastern North Carolina to present their Member of the Year award to Kelly L. Stuart of Carolinas Commercial Real Estate Team at Intracoastal Realty and their Commercial Lifetime Achievement Award to David H. Stuart (also Kelly’s father and business partner).

About Cape Fear CREW and CREW Network
The Cape Fear chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), with more than 50 members from a wide array of commercial real estate interests, has as its mission to advance the success of women in commercial real estate. CREW Network is the affiliated national association which represents over 11,000 women in commercial real estate in chapters across more than 70 major markets in the United States and Canada. For more information on the Cape Fear chapter, including membership and sponsorship information, visit the Cape Fear CREW website at https://www.capefearcrew.org and follow us on Facebook @CapeFearCrew.

Intracoastal Realty Acquires Bald Head Island Limited, LLC Sales and Rentals

Bald Head Island, NC (February 18, 2020) – Bald Head Island Limited, LLC and Intracoastal Realty Corporation are pleased to announce the sale of Bald Head Island Limited, LLC’s  residential real estate brokerage sales and vacation rental-property management businesses to Intracoastal Realty Corporation, and the opening of Intracoastal Realty offices on Bald Head Island.

In addition to Intracoastal Realty’s purchase of Bald Head Island Limited, LLC’s residential real estate brokerage sales and vacation rental-property management operations, the transaction will comprise the purchase or lease of several properties on the island, including the real estate brokerage sales office at 4 Marina Wynd near the island’s ferry landing; the vacation rental-property management laundry/housekeeping facility located on Edward Teach Wynd Extension; and part of the Island Chandler building at 6 Marina Wynd, which currently houses the vacation rental-property management office. The sale is expected to close on or around February 24, 2020.

Intracoastal Realty’s residential real estate brokerage sales office on the island will be managed by Ken Mowbray, previously broker-in-charge for Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales. Rob Wright and Wendy Irick, broker-in-charge and general manager for Bald Head Island Limited Property Management, respectively, will work for Intracoastal Realty on the island in their same roles. Bald Head Island Limited, LLC will continue to own and conduct developer real estate sales and operations on the island, including the Southern Living Inspired Community at Cape Fear Station.

“Intracoastal Realty’s expanded presence on Bald Head Island creates a sustainable third-party residential real estate brokerage sales and vacation rental-property management platform positioned for growth,” said Chad Paul, CEO for Bald Head Island Limited, LLC. “The strength of the Intracoastal Realty brand, their global reach, and the company’s proven success in the region’s residential real estate brokerage and vacation rental-property management markets is an unbeatable combination for serving the island’s current and future needs,” Paul said.

Led by Founder/CEO Jim Wallace and his son Trey Wallace, president, Intracoastal Realty operates 14 other real estate brokerage offices in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender Counties. The company’s real estate sales volume for 2019 was approximately $1.2 billion.

Trey Wallace (left), Jim Wallace, and Chad Paul

Trey Wallace stated Intracoastal Realty is poised to come out of the gate strong, but deliberate. “In the coming months, we’ll be working with Bald Head Island Limited’s team to seamlessly transition the residential real estate brokerage and vacation rental-property management businesses onto our operations and marketing platforms. The process will be gradual as we look to marry the best aspects of both companies and leverage Bald Head Island Limited, LLC’s tremendous employee talent pool,” said Wallace.

“This sale furthers Bald Head Island Limited’s goal of transitioning legacy assets to a diverse and competent group of third-party owners, operators and stakeholders,” said Paul. “With Bald Head Island in a mature phase of development, continued diversification of business ownership supports the island’s long-term health and viability.”

“This is a relationship business, and it’s not only about relationships with your clients, but also relationships with your agents, employees and the community as a whole,” Wallace said. “Our company is committed to serving the entire Bald Head Island community for the long term. Ultimately, our objective is to become the market leader in residential real estate brokerage sales and vacation rental-property management on the island, one relationship at a time.”

“Bald Head Island property owners couldn’t ask for a better residential real estate brokerage steward than Intracoastal Realty,” said Paul. “They have an outstanding reputation for integrity and real estate sales success and are committed to serving the island’s needs for decades to come.”

About Bald Head Island

Bald Head Island is a ferry-accessed community located two miles off the coast of Southport, NC. Transportation on the island is restricted to golf carts, bicycles and pedestrian traffic. Of the island’s 12,000 acres, 10,000 acres of beaches, salt marsh and maritime forest are protected and will remain undeveloped. To learn more about the island, visit baldheadisland.com.

About Intracoastal Realty

Intracoastal Realty is a full-service real estate brokerage specializing in residential real estate, property management (long-term and vacation), and project development. Founded in 1976, the company now has more than 400 agents and has grown to become coastal North Carolina’s largest independent real estate firm. Market-leading technology, strategic marketing, and a teamwork approach are Intracoastal trademarks. As an independent brokerage, Intracoastal invests its revenue into technology, marketing, agent training, and community organizations throughout southeastern North Carolina. Through its affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Luxury Portfolio International® and Mayfair International Realty, Intracoastal delivers turn-key service to clients locally and globally. For more information, visit IntracoastalRealty.com.

Lanier Property Group Merges with Intracoastal Realty

Lanier Property Group, a top-selling independent real estate firm based in Wilmington, NC announced Tuesday that it has merged with Intracoastal Realty – the largest independent real estate brokerage in Southeastern North Carolina. 

Stephanie Lanier (co-owner of Lanier Property Group) and the firm’s agents will continue to operate in their team model under the Intracoastal Realty brand.  The merger of the two family owned and operated independent brokerages allows Lanier Property Group’s agents access to valuable marketing, technology, and training tools that positions them for great success. 

Stephanie Lanier

“Intracoastal Realty is the top real estate brand in the area.  As a local independent firm, we never considered joining forces with anyone else.  With very similar company cultures, existing friendships among our two firm’s agents, as well as a deep commitment to giving back to our community, the merger is the perfect fit,” said Stephanie Lanier.

Intracoastal’s deep roots and global reach position the Lanier Property Group’s agents and clients with the greatest opportunities in a strong market.  “With the power of Intracoastal behind us, we will bring a new level of service to our luxury buyers and world-class exposure to our sellers. We are truly honored to join the Intracoastal family, to be a part of their incredible legacy in our region, and to be a part of their continued growth as the dominant force in our real estate market,” Lanier said.

Trey Wallace, President of Intracoastal Realty said, “We are so excited to welcome Stephanie and the agents at Lanier Property Group into our family.  I have known Stephanie for many years and she and her team are the types of real estate professionals that raise the bar in our industry through an extraordinary commitment to white glove service for their clients.”  

As a result of the merger, Intracoastal Realty is positioned to be an even stronger advocate for buyers and sellers in midtown, which has become increasingly sought after by homeowners due to the explosive growth of restaurants, services, and activities in the area.  “Stephanie and her team have built a great company and a great brand.  I am eager to marry the best aspects of both firms to better serve our clients and our community,” Wallace said.

About Intracoastal Realty: Intracoastal Realty, founded in Wilmington, NC in 1976, has grown to become coastal North Carolina’s largest independent real estate firm.  Market-leading technology, strategic marketing, and a teamwork approach are Intracoastal trademarks. As an independent brokerage, Intracoastal invests its revenue into technology, marketing, agent training, and community organizations throughout southeastern North Carolina. Through its affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Intracoastal delivers turn-key service to clients locally and globally.

About Lanier Property Group: Lanier Property Group was founded in 2012 as an independent, family owned and operated boutique real estate firm in Wilmington, NC. The firm specifically focuses on the rapidly growing midtown area of Wilmington and is well known for putting midtown on the map in 2015. With a small team of highly productive agents they have built a loyal client base with 250 five-star reviews, an enthusiastic social media following and award-winning marketing strategies.

Brexit Update: Bouncing Back

Nick Churton of London-based Mayfair International Realty (an affiliate of Intracoastal Realty) reports on the awakening of the real estate market in the UK capital.

There is excellent news for U.S.-dollar buyers in London. They will now find the lowest real estate prices in the UK capital for many years. Average prices in central London have fallen by about 20 percent since the last peak in 2014. With currency exchange factored in, dollar buyers today gain by about 38 percent compared to five years ago.

All this comes at a time when there is a bounce in the step of property buyers in London. Since the decisive general election victory in December by Boris Johnson and his Conservative party, the uncertainty that had hung like a large gloomy cloud around the Brexit question has been lifted. The real estate community went from despair to delight in the course of a dramatic election night. Call it a Boris or Brexit bounce, but there was an immediate re-engagement in the real estate sector. That early interest continues unabated. Now pundits are even boldly forecasting a price rise of up to 10 percent during 2020.

Highlighting this newfound excitement is the sale of a Knightsbridge mansion to a Chinese buyer for a reputed $365 million – making it the most expensive property sale in the UK. The purchase of this 60,000 sq. ft. home emphasises the attraction central London has for overseas buyers. This global destination for the wealthy of the wealthiest, attracted by commerce, fashion, culture, law, medicine, education, and finance, is most certainly back in business.

London and the rest of the UK look forward to a spring property market with a big bounce in its step.

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