Even though Asheville is not a particularly large city or one with many high-income earners, housing prices are not cheap. Asheville real estate is sometimes hard to come by, although once you do, it can be worth it.
There are a number of factors that go into the high housing prices and property values in and around the city. For starters, the terrain is certainly working against the market. Asheville sits on a relative plateau, but it’s surrounded by mountain ranges that don’t allow for a lot of organic development and expansion into surrounding areas. Even for developers capable of building into hilly terrain, much of the surrounding acreage is protected by trusts or is even state or federal parkland that simply is not to be touched.
Another contributing factor is that two of the largest areas of prime Asheville real estate are taken up by either the massive Biltmore Estate or the city’s airport, which needs one of the few areas that is long and flat enough for a runway that can handle jet traffic.
Demand for the available housing is also high. Tourism is the number one industry in this part of the state, and so seasonal swells in the population are high in the late spring and all summer long, with another spike during the October leaf season. People want to be here for that, as do seasonal workers. There are also many retirees that come up here from Florida to avoid the summer heat, leaving before the first snow of the year.
There are also many owners that rent out their residences or maintain second vacation homes here, further straining the market and demand for real estate in and around Asheville. It’s possible to find a place, but once you do, cherish it.