Cashiers : 828-743-1999

Highlands : 828-526-2999

Silver Creek logo

Never Miss A Listing!

Get fresh listings via email, save your favorite listings, match with similar properties, and unlock additional property info.

Or sign up with your email below

home page rec search dropdown widget

View all

Back To Blog

On the Market with Jochen Lucke

Laptop with Real Estate Market Data

In anticipation of a new year for real estate on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, NC Living Magazine has asked Silver Creek Real Estate Group President and Owner Jochen Lucke to share his insight on the market for 2023. Over the last 15 years, Jochen has grown Silver Creek to include three offices, an in-house marketing department, and a team of highly skilled real estate professionals who have completed more than $1 billion in local sales across Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Glenville, Lake Toxaway, and other areas of the Plateau. Jochen’s firm grasp of local and national trends has been cultivated by decades of experience in real estate, not only here in Western North Carolina but also as a successful agent, contractor, and developer in Southeast Florida for many years. 

Finding his passion for real estate early on, Jochen’s tenacity and inherent ability to navigate the intricacies of the buying and selling process have contributed to decades of success in securing the perfect properties for his clients.

Here are his thoughts on the future of the Plateau real estate market. 

From 2021 to 2022, the Plateau continued to see an increase in both the average home listing price and the average home sales price. Do you think this trend will continue, or are we due for a significant market decline?

Many of our clients have asked if 2023 will be the year that we see a substantial drop in housing prices on the Plateau, similar to the Great Recession period of 2005-2008. While I believe the yearly home-price growth will continue to slow, I see three significant differences between today’s market conditions and those of the Great Recession. First, prior to the recession, many investors lacked experience in the industry and tried to make a quick dollar by flipping contracts or properties while basing their proformas on unrealistic expectations, such as factoring in “anticipated appreciation.” At that time, an abundance of homes were built with a limited number of buyers in the market. The second major difference was the supply of money in the system by lenders to unqualified borrowers causing the eventual burst in mortgage defaults and high losses for lenders. Over the last several years, we have seen the majority of our transactions closing with cash without any leverage. The final difference is that during the Great Recession, purchases were largely driven by investors with not enough end-users. Buyers came to the Plateau, and still do, because they fell in love with the area and purchased their homes with plans to create memories with their family and friends.

As the real estate market begins to find its balance, how do you think the number of transactions locally and globally will be impacted?

We will see the numbers of pending and closed sales decline nationally as well as on the Plateau in 2023. The record number of transactions in the real estate space was not sustainable as we entered the post-pandemic market. This is also why we will see various news outlets sensationalizing double-digit percentage declines for pending home sales, mortgage applications, etc., for the national real estate market. Real estate has been and will always be local. While national trends and economic conditions influence our market, the advice and market insight of a local real estate broker will again play a more important role moving forward. 

With the market reaching this equilibrium and buyers becoming more hesitant due to economic fluctuations, what will make the difference for the successful listing and selling of properties?

As we enter the second year of our market trending towards more balanced conditions, we will see the importance of marketing as it relates to properties once again being at the forefront of those looking to sell. Over the last several years, properties have sold quickly and, in many cases, with multiple offers coming in at once. These circumstances led to some brokers and firms not investing in the proper marketing of properties due to high expectations of rapid turnover. A comprehensive strategy for marketing properties is once again being demanded by sellers, as it should be to market these significant assets. Silver Creek’s hyper-local focus continues to deliver results for our clients. Our marketing team focuses solely on Plateau offerings which is a distinct advantage as our time and energy are dedicated locally, not spread across other parts of the state or country. Buyers appreciate and utilize our team as their single resource for real estate on the Plateau. 

Over the past few years, we have seen a record number of agents entering the industry. What do you think this means for those who were trying to ride the wave of the market boom?

I believe that we will see more agents exiting our industry in 2023. Nationally, some experts are predicting as many as 250,000 agents will seek other opportunities. Those that entered the market over the last couple of years will be challenged as the number of transactions on the Plateau continue to decrease. Silver Creek continues to innovate and invest in the success of our brokers. Our passion and focus on an exceptional client experience, armed with a world-class marketing platform, will continue to deliver results for Silver Creek’s brokers and their clients no matter the market conditions. 

HCBOR Average List Price 21-22 YTD $702,802 to $847,950

HCBOR Average Sales Price 21-22 YTD $676,661 to $810,128

HCBOR Closed Transactions 21-22 YTD 1,724 to 1,288

According to the HCBOR based on sales from 1/1 through 12/13. All information provided is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. 


Add Comment

Comments are moderated. Please be patient if your comment does not appear immediately. Thank you.


  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

Contact Us

Do not fill in this field: