Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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More of what’s going around, including an update on the Asheville housing market. Here we go:

-The Asheville housing market, running red hot for several years, is showing signs of cooling, although prices are still going up. The median sale price of a home in Asheville increased from $275,000 to $302,250 from first quarter 2017 to first quarter ’18. Meantime, the average number of days that a home for sale sits on the market has gone up, and there were fewer homes sold in first quarter of this year compared to first quarter ’17.

-A longtime downtown business has closed. Mountain Lights, a home decor store that opened on Walnut Street in 1996 and them moved around the corner to 30 North Lexington Ave. in 2006, is now dimmed. (Remember those big, star-shaped lights in its window?) Owner Susan Durrence is retiring.

-The second Homegrown restaurant location on Amboy Road should be open in a couple of weeks.

-A new Lebanese food restaurant called The Scarlet Bee is opening at 853 Merrimon Ave., the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

-Two new hotels are under construction in the Biltmore Village area. A new 112-room Courtyard by Marriott is going up on Meadow Road near the intersection with Biltmore Avenue, while a new 120-room Home2 Suites by Hilton is going up at Biltmore Station, on the old Rita’s Cantina site.

-The Grey Eagle has a new outdoor stage. The new, bigger stage is placed on the end of the venue’s outdoor patio closest to the front of the building and faces back toward the narrow patio. Better feng shui and all.

-The N.C. Highway Patrol is deploying stealthy new vehicles, dubbed “ghost cars,” across the state to combat DWI. The Dodge Chargers – one in each of the patrol’s eight troop units – are mostly black with logos that are less visible in daylight but glow in the dark at night; they’re all-wheel drive and have V-8 engines. Be careful out there, y’all!

-I’m fascinated with the British royals. So is anyone holding any royal wedding watch parties or holding other festivities? Meghan and Harry get hitched on May 19.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Beverly-Hanks May 8, 2018

    It’s true that sales pace is slowing some due to lack of inventory, but price appreciation is creating big opportunities for homeowners. With mounting equity, you might be easily able to move into your dream home in time for summer. We’re here to help if you’re interested in learning more.

    1. AggravatedNative May 8, 2018

      I guarantee you that price appreciation is creating bigger problems for prospective home buyers though. With mounting prices no one except for the wealthiest, bringing their money in from outside because God knows there’s nowhere to make it here, will not be able to easily move into even the worst hovel in time for summer or any other time due to the ludicrous inflation of housing costs in Asheville. A house that would cost $150K in a normal city commands a price of $375K here. Basically, if you actually have to work and live here, instead of just visit and play here, you can’t afford Asheville. I’d be interested in learning more about how you and the rest of the realtor/developer cartel that made this situation are going to help with that.

    2. Christian May 11, 2018

      As a homeowner, I certainly don’t want my property value to decline. I also don’t want it to be inflated. However, I am sympathetic to affordable housing advocates. Here is a disturbing article from CNN Money regarding the current state of mortgage lending in the US:

      Those who believe we don’t have a housing crisis in this town are willfully ignorant. According to a Citizen Times article published today (5/11/18), Q1 median selling price in Asheville jumped from $275K in 2017 to over $300K in 2018. Again, great for sellers/homeowners but not for buyers especially of modest means. I am a very concerned local resident who believes this trend is unsustainable, especially for the people doing the most work to drive our tourist economy but who benefit the least from it. I’ll stay in my current house, thank you very much. I’d rather invest in my current property than sell it and take on an even larger mortgage just so I can have my “dream house.”

  2. Kevin May 5, 2018

    Why are you telling people to “be careful out there”, because highway patrol are in stealth unmarked cars designed to curb drunk drivers? How about “ do the right thing and don’t drive drunk”.

    1. Big Al May 9, 2018

      In case you have not noticed (I refer to recent letters to the editor at Mountain Xpress) there are some who think Asheville’s designation as “Beer City” naturally implies that law enforcement should lay off on locals who choose to drink and drive and that continued, or increased, enforcement of drunk driving laws are hypocritical conflicts of interest. Beware the self-delusion that is symptomatic of addictive personality disorder.


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