Lake Norman Real Estate’s 1st Quarter 2014 Home Sales by Price Range is a must have tool for buyers and sellers!

If you are a home buyer or seller in the Lake Norman it really only matters what is happening in YOUR price-range. Yes, it is important to know about the global economy, the national economy and the Charlotte area economy and real estate market but real estate is hyper-local so it is most meaningful to learn about the Lake Norman real estate market and within that, your specific niche. For instance, if you are looking to buy or sell in the $400,000 price range, you are going to have an entirely different experience than someone in the $500,000′s. This is the reason why I create a price-range analysis every quarter for my readers:

Lake Norman home sales by price range for the first quarter of 2014

Lake Norman home sales by price range

*Compiled from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service’s data, this chart enables you to focus on your specific price range(s) rather than use the broad-brush approach thus allowing you to size up your competition and better position yourself.

** Compare this to the 4th quarter 2013 price range analysis and the 1st quarter 2013 price range home sales.

How to read this report:

  • First choose a price range.
  • The next column provides the actual number of listings sold in this price range in the 1st quarter of 2014
  • This is followed by the percentage this price range represents of the total number of listings sold in all of Lake Norman area 13
  • Next is the number of active listings in this price range at this time
  • This is followed by the percentage this price range represents of the total number of active listings
  • Finally, the last column represent the absorption rate or the number of months of supply for each price range based upon the number of listings divided by the number of sales. (A balanced housing market is 6 – 8 months so you can use this to gauge your price range).


Some Findings:

  • These quarterly numbers certainly substantiate what I have noted in my recent Lake Norman monthly home sales analysis. It is also interesting to compare these to last year’s 1st quarter and see which price ranges are out performing and which are weaker. Over all, our sales for the 1st quarter of 2014 were 8.6% lower than the 1st quarter of 2013. At the same time our inventory of active listing is actually 10.7% higher than 2013′s. The net result is that our overall months of supply (or absorption rate) has increased from 11.38 in 2013 to 13.3  today. While sales have definitely picked up in the past few weeks, our entire first quarter was relatively slow and our inventory of active listings is still growning.
  • The lowest price ranges remain the strongest. These would include home prices up to$299,999 all of which fall under 8 months of supply of active listings and are therefore in a balanced market favoring neither the buyer nor the seller.  This is down from $599,999 last quarter.
  • The $1,500,000 – $1,749,999 price range also landed decent numbers if we look at the first four columns.  This price range represented 1.51% of our 1st quarter sales and 1.59% of our inventory of active listings for sale.  However, with 14 months of supply of active listings they are still clearly a buyers market.
  • Our luxury homes above $1 million represented 6.42% of our 1st quarter sales but make up 14.4% of our current active listings. Clearly, while we very recently have seen more luxury homes going under contract and even selling outside of our MLS, they are still very much in a buyers’ market.  Too many for sale for the number of sales…too much supply with too little demand.
  • The $0 – $399,999 price ranges represented 52.46% of Lake Norman home sales and only 34.56% of the active listings.
  • Lake Norman’s overall Months of Supply of active listings has increased to 13.3 compared to our 4th quarter’s 7.7  so now clearly falls well above the balanced market of 6-8 months.  However, we are now passed our slowest time of year so this number will improve.
  • To put this in historical perspective, in the 1st quarter of 2009 we had only 111 sales but 1546 active listings and a whopping 46.4 months of supply for all of Lake Norman!


As a buyer, the chart above will show you where you might face the stiffest competition and at what price ranges you might see opportunities. If you fall in the $400,000 – $599,000 price range you might want to look for opportunities in the 500,000′s where there are fewer sales and a substantial number of active listings. .(12.4 months of supply). You will face more competition in the $400,000′s.

As a seller, you can look at the Lake Norman real estate market’s activity by price range and if you are right on the cusp of, for example, a $400,000 listing price, it would clearly be prudent to price your home in the high $300,000’s where there were 27.5% more properties sold (and more buyers).

Questions about this report or the overall Lake Norman real estate market? Send me a quick email: Please note that in all of the price range charts I am actually using data from the 15th of the month so these numbers won’t match perfectly with the monthly or annual sales numbers I provide.



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Lake Norman Real Estate’s March 2014 Home Sales Analysis; The Weather Factor?

After a tough fall and winter, Lake Norman’s real estate market seems to be coming to life simultaneously with the arrival of spring temperatures.   Perhaps we actually can blame our weak housing market on the weather and the tightened mortgage requirements like the national pundits are doing.  That said, we can’t blame it on a lack of inventory like parts of the US.  All I know is that it is such a relief to see a marked increase in real estate activity here in Lake Norman after such a bad spell!  March seems to be the “bottom” of our mini housing dip with 17% fewer closed sales than last March.  However new contracts are nearly up to last year’s for the first time in months.

Let’s take a look at the March 2014 numbers from our Charlotte Multiple Listing Service for our Lake Norman Area 13 real estate market:

Lake Norman home sales analysis for March 2014

* All data is from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service

Some significant additional statistics for you:

  • “Distressed sales” (Foreclosures (REOS), defaults, Short Sales) represented 11.25% of Lake Norman’s total home sales which is up from last months 5.6 but lower than February’s 13.6% and significanly lower than last January’s 29%. We only had 9 distressed home sales in March. The average price for distressed single family home sales was $309,396. Distressed active listings comprise only 2.7% of our total inventory of Lake Norman homes sale.  Clearly distressed sales no longer play a significant role in our Lake Norman real estate market and this is very good news!
  • Only 25% of our March closed sales were waterfront homes but this is up from 20% last month.  The average sales price of Lake Norman waterfront homes in March was $1,008,891; significantly higher than last month’s $805,203 and even topped last summer’s high of $990,693 in June due in part to a $4.85 million sale. In March our closed luxury housing sales remained weak but they have improved significantly in the past weeks. Our average price per square foot, at $221.14, is still below our peak of $229 last summer but is rising.  Lake Norman’s waterfront home sales above $700,000 are  also improving.
  • 13 new construction homes closed in March representing 16.25% of our total sales. I believe this does not reflect an acccurate picture of new home sales since so many are custom or are purchased directly from the builders and therefore never enter the MLS.  (In fact, this segment of the market may be skewing our Lake Norman home sales numbers quite a bit). The average listing price vs sales price of new construction single family homes,99%! Clearly there isn’t a lot if ANY wiggle room on prices of new homes. We currently have 51 new construction homes under contract in the MLS. The average sales price in March logged in at $451,415. With 132 new construction active listings Lake Norman actually has a 10.2 months supply of new homes listed in the MLS.


  • 53.75% of Lake Norman’s February home sales were under $400,000.


  • 67.5 % of the entire Lake Norman home sales in March were under $500,000.  Clearly our lower price ranges are still dominating our housing market.


  • Our “Under Contract Show” AND “Under Contract No show”/Pending sales combined total of 243 shot up from last month’s 187.  At 243 Lake Norman has 16.2% FEWER homes under contract compared to last year’s 290 at this exact date.  This is the highest number since last August. Considering this and the improvement from last month’s -26.6% it looks like we have stopped the bleeding and are on the mend.


A closer look at the chart:

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10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

Lake Norman waterfront home views

The ultimate dream of many people around the country and even beyond is to own a waterfront home on Lake Norman.  Whether a luxury estate or a small vacation cabin, waterfront homeowners all share our gorgeous lake and the special lifestyles that blend together to make Lake Norman so popular for such a wide variety of people.

Buying a waterfront home on Lake Norman isn’t a complicated process but it is extremely important that you start the process with a good understanding of the following and, if possible, at least read Duke Energy’s Shoreline Management Guidelines, the 130-page document I have linked at the bottom of this article.

Here are my thoughts:

1.  Private docks: is there one?

Private docks are highly regulated and must be permited by Duke Energy.  Over the years the process has become much more restrictive so you will find that most homes that can have docks will have them in place and even most waterfront lots will already have permited docks.  Without a private, permitted dock, the value of a waterfront property is significantly lower than the same property with a dock. That said, it you want to enjoy living on Lake Norman but your budget doesn’t allow for a waterfront home with a dock, look for the lower priced homes on the water without docks.  Most likely you can launch a kayak or canoe from your shoreline and still enjoy being on the lake!  To get a permit today, a waterfront lot must have a minimum 100′ of shoreline and meet other stipulations to gain approval from Duke Energy.  If you must get a permit, do so BEFORE closing!

2.  Look for Permit Plate:

If you are looking at waterfront homes with a dock, you should check to make sure there is a permit affixed to the end of the dock like this one:

Photo of an older dock permit fixed on a Lake Norman dock

3.  Measure depth of water and understand possible variations of lake levels

I always bring my tape measure when showing waterfront properties so that we can measure the depth of the water where your boat would be to make sure it has deep enough water for your type of boat etc. I check that morning to find out the current water level of Lake Norman so we can calculate the lowest and highest water depths of your pier/dock/boatslip.  The water levels of Lake Norman are controlled by Duke Energy and vary from full pond, 100′ (760′ above sea level) down to about 94′.  They use the dam at the south end of the lake to help regulate the water levels.

4.  50′ Setback

The most recent regulations established in 2006 establish a 50′ setback from the 760 line.  Within this 50′ setback from the lake to your home there are strict regulations outlined in detail in the Shoreline Management Guidelines.  They are meant to protect the 50′ closest to the lake by prohibiting removal of trees and native vegetation, planting of lawns, and size of footpaths.  Older properties may violate these rules but they are “grandfathered in”.

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  • Contact Diane @…

    LKN Realty LLC
    (704) 995-0565
    186 Ruby Rd
    Mooresville, NC 28117

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