Here’s more of what’s going around:

The final numbers are in for the 2018 Asheville real estate market’s performance, and they show a continued cooling of what has been a red-hot real estate market for the past handful of years. Higher interest rates probably contributed to a somewhat slower real estate market in Asheville, where a total of 1,448 homes sold in 2018, a 6.1 percent decrease compared to 2017. Overall housing inventory remains tight.

More real estate stats: The median sale price of a home in Asheville and Buncombe County increased in 2018 compared to ’17 – last year it was $310,000, a 6.8 percent increase over the year before. In Buncombe County, it was $285,000, a 7.1 percent increase. The average number of days that a house for sale stayed on the market increased in 2018 compared to ’17. In Asheville, that number was 63 days, a 10.5 percent increase over the year before. In Buncombe, it was 77 days, a 6.9 percent increase.

This Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Habitat Brewing, AdClub WNC will host creative director, animator and cartoonist Pat Giles, the man behind such iconic characters as the Pillsbury Doughboy, the TRIX Rabbit, the Green Giant and more. Gils will be discussing the history and importance of brand characters, and how they become the heart and soul of a brand. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the cost is $5 for club members and $15 for non-members.

The next concert in Asheville’s Winter Chill Music Series is set for Feb. 11 at The Grey Eagle. Featured performers are Cowboy Judy and April B. and the Cool. The event will be hosted by DJ Cousin TL.

Asheville-based filmmaker Erin Derham’s new film Stuffed will make its world premiere at South by Southwest in March, reports Mountain Xpress. The feature-length documentary looks at the taxidermy industry and features interviews with renowned artists from around the world.

Flora and Forage Cafe in West Asheville will be expanding into the neighboring space in their building (space vacated by an art shop) on Haywood Road and adding a new rare and used bookstore called Bagatatelle.

Submissions are open for the Asheville Improv Comedy Fest, set for Oct. 3-5.

The Asheville poetry slam scene is experiencing a resurgence, as Alli Marshall of the Mountain Xpress reports. The next Asheville Biscuit Head Slam Poetry Series at LaZoom Room is coming up in mid-February.

Two planned Asheville hotels will be back up for early review at the Asheville Technical Review Committee meeting on Feb. 4. The first is the plan to turn the historic Flatiron Building into an 80-room boutique hotel. The second is the planned 7-story Embassy Suites hotel on Haywood Street. That project has been tied up in a legal battle that has been appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court. Back in November, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer announced that the city planned to appeal the N.C. Court of Appeals decision upholding developer Shaunak Patel’s argument that he should be issued a conditional use permit for the construction because Asheville City Council violated its rules in voting down the permit back in 2017.

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