Lake Norman Real Estate’s April 2014 Hot Sheet Home Sales are up!

Logo for Lake Norman Real Estate's monthly home sales hot sheet

Want the very latest insight into our Lake Norman real estate market? So do I which is why, every month, I do a snapshot analysis of the middle two weeks of the month to get a sense of where our Lake Norman real estate market is at this very moment…an almost live insight into the heartbeat of the Lake Norman housing market. These Hot Sheet reports serve as pretty good predictors of our short-term Lake Norman real estate market.

After an unually cold winter, it seems life and home sales are definitely springing to life in Lake Norman. We currently have 264 single family homes under contract (sellers have accepted an offer but the sale is not complete) in all of Lake Norman compared to last month’s 211. While we are still behind last year’s closed sales numbers, we are now almost matching them with our new contracts!

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Two-Week Hot Sheet

4/21/2014

Lake Norman Home Sales snapshop for April 2014

* The above chart is a summary of today’s “Hot Sheet” from the Charlotte Multiple Listing Service for single family homes in all of Lake Norman (area 13). These numbers represent a real time snapshot of the past two week’s activity. (April 7th – 21st). As always, I have included the past 5 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.

I created this additional chart comparing just the April Lake Norman Hot Sheets for the past 5 years to help put our April 2014 home sales numbers in perspective with past Aprils’, not just the past 6 months.

April Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 6 Years

Lake Norman home sales for past 5 Aprils

Highlights:

  • New listings: Our number of new homes listed for sale in Lake Norman in the past two weeks were the highest in the past 5+ months and the highest April since 2009. If you add our new listings to the 20 back-on-market we had a total of 160 single family properties added to our Lake Norman housing inventory in the past two weeks. At the same time 132 properties went under contract or sold for a net increase of 28 active listings in the past two weeks. As of today, the total number of active listings in Lake Norman stands at 1029 (last month it was 913) well above our all time low of 690 on January 2, 2013. Despite our buyers’ desires for new listings to choose from, I am a bit concerned that our number of homes for sale in Lake Norman is higher than it should be given our current rate of sales. Low inventory plays an important role in our Lake Norman’s housing recovery. We are now entering Lake Norman’s traditionally strong spring and summer months and my hope is that we can maintain a balanced market with higher sales matching increasing inventory. The is very important because higher inventory levels could jeopardize home price increases in Lake Norman. An unbalanced supply and demand leaning in favor of buyers will keep Lake Norman home prices flat.

 

  • The number of homes that came back-on-the-market  increased slightly from last month and are about in line with the last two years. These are primarily cancelled purchase contracts. With the increasing interest rates which are expected to continue throughout 2014 buyers should be more motivated this spring.  Are the new, stricter loan policies going to impact this trend?

 

  • The number of price changes was up significantly compared to the past 5 months. I believe that sellers of homes that have not sold over the late fall and winter are reducing their prices in order to get noticed and attract more buyers and showings during Lake Norman’s strongest home selling seasons.

 

  • Our number of “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales in our MLS, picked up nicely for the second month in a row after a disappointing winter. Newly signed home sales contracts in the past two weeks were the highest of our past 6 months. They are also higher than all Aprils’ since 2009.  This is huge as it indicates Lake Norman home sales have picked up substantially this month which will be reflected in higher closed sales in future months.

 

  • Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales are finally improving and were actually the best in the past 6 months’. That said, they are barely at last year’s levels. (Pending or “Under Contract No More Showings” are contracts that have passed all of their conditions/contingencies/Due Diligence Deadlines and are just waiting to close. These home sales contracts will most likely close by the end of this month or in early May.)

 

  • 50 Closed Sales were recorded in the past two weeks which is a huge improvement over the past several months’ Hot Sheet numbers. And, this number is equal to or higher than all prior Aprils’. So far this month we have had 55 closed/recorded single family home sales in our Lake Norman communities compared to last month’s 35 and December’s 72. Clearly, our closed sales in April will be stronger than last month’s but will most likely not meet April’s 2013′s record 113 closed sales.

 

So, what am I experiencing right now and what to I hear from my fellow Realtors? It is actually fascinating because with small hot and cold niches one Realtor might tell me it is “hot” based upon their own business while others will tell me it is slow. But, I can unequivically say that our Lake Norman real estate market has heated up significantly after a rather disappointing late fall and winter. As a listing and a buyer’s agent I can tell you one thing for sure and that is that buyers are very picky and are likely to start the offer process with fairly low numbers unless they are aware of competiton. Now that we have new construction to compete with, resale homes need to be in move-in condition and have few weaknesses. I am seeing some improvement in the waterfront and higher-end sales after a very slow winter. The dynamics of our current Lake Norman housing market are complex and challenging. There are no concrete trends but rather fluid micro trends.

I continue to encourage my buyers to buy if they find a good home at a good price, especially waterfront homes and lots or homes in the most popular neighborhoods. (Location, location, location). With interest rates rising and few distressed sales, (Less than 3% of our inventory are distressed properties: foreclosures and short sales), Lake Norman home buyers need to strike while the iron is hot when they find a home with potential. Prices in general are still historically low. Economists expect home loan rates to continue to rise in 2014. It is impossible to predict specifics for the future but right now it appears we will struggle in 2014 to match the post recession record high numbers logged in 2013 both in our Lake Norman housing market and nationally. However, our Lake Norman housing market is now in our historically strongest months. After an unusually brutal winter it will be great to see what the sunshine and warm temperatures bring in the upcoming months!

 

Learn More About Life in Lake Norman:

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

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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: diane@dianeaurit.com. 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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  • Contact Diane @…

    LKN Realty LLC
    (704) 995-0565
    186 Ruby Rd
    Mooresville, NC 28117
    Diane@dianeaurit.com


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