Escape to Figure Eight – Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Posted: March 25, 2021 at 3:09 am

It shares a ZIP code with apartment complexes, storage centers, a skate park, a Walmart Supercenter and thousands of Wilmingtonians who hang up their board shorts and bikinis in and around Ogden and Porters Neck.Yet hardly a directional sign shows drivers the way to Figure Eight Island.Thats by design.I used to run an ad that said, Discover Figure Eight Island, the bestkept secret in the South, said longtime Figure Eight Island resident and real estate agent Buzzy Northen. I had to take it away because nobody wanted me to tell anybody that.The private island, located just north of Wrightsville Beach across Masons Inlet, is home to the most expensive real estate in North Carolina. Nearly all of the islands 498 properties are valued at more than $2 million, and some exceed the $5 million barrier. And the law of supply and demand shows that values on the island will continue to rise.

Our problem right now is we have a lot of demand, and we have very low inventory, said Jo El Skipper of Figure Eight Realty. But it was a roller coaster ride of a year, and I guess a lot of people who had been thinking about Figure Eight decided to jump in and finally pull the trigger and buy a beach house.In October 2020, the sale of 142 Beach Road South on Figure Eight was the highest ever recorded by the N.C. Regional Multiple Listing Services (MLS). The 5,800-square-foot, sevenbed, seven-bath home that features ocean views from nearly every room carried a price tag of $5.5 million.2020 was the biggest year ever on Figure Eight, said Northen, who was the listing agent for the 142 Beach Road South sale. The pandemic led the way. People were looking for a safe waterfront community that they knew was a good investment.

On Figure Eight Island, shared community expenses among the islands 498 homes also involve maintenance items such as beach nourishment and 24-hour island security.Everybody maintains, everybody chips in to maintain the waterfronts, the oceanfront, said Northen. God does most of it.Wilmington-area beach towns have in the past received help from federal, state and county funds to help cover the cost of beach nourishment projects. The 2018 nourishments of Wrightsville Beach and Ocean Isle Beach carried a price tag of $13.2 million.Were currently finishing a two-year beach-nourishment project, Northen said. It will probably be finished by the first of April. Were putting sand on the south end of the island.We have never accepted any federal money. We pay for everything.

People that own property on the island, they say when they drive over that bridge, they say its a whole sense of peace, Skipper said. Its the feeling that youre a world away, but with the accessibility to all of the things that you want if you decide you dont want to be a world away, so its the best of both worlds.Fourth of July, when the island is at its capacity and everyone is there with family and friends, and you go out to the beach, you can literally go out to the beach and find your own space to sit and the next person might be 25, 30, 50 or 100 yards from you. That is really hard to find these days. The fact that it is so limited is whats made it the special place that it is.Its a very unique 5-mile stretch, Northen said. We are one of very few designated areas that has a pristine water designation. And we think we have the finest walking beach anywhere. Its very tidal. We have an average 4-foot tide. Shells everywhere.

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Escape to Figure Eight - Greater Wilmington Business Journal

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