Our Lake Norman real estate market set a record in November but unfortunately not a positive one! For the first time since December 2011 Lake Norman home sales did not exceed the same month a year prior. As of today, our November closed sales are 10% below November 2012′s. That said, they are still the second highest November since 2007. While disappointing, this is not a surprise based upon the softening trends I have noted consistently for the past several months. Within the overall Lake Norman housing market there are some interesting trends that will be examined below so let’s take a closer look at the numbers to glean some insight into the short term future and exactly where the Lake Norman housing market stands right now.
Here are the November 2013 numbers from our Charlotte Multiple Listing Service for our Lake Norman Area 13 real estate market:
* Note that the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service created two new categories, Under Contract Showings (UCS) to continue and Under Contract no showings (UCNS). These replaced the Contingent, Conditional and Pending categories.
Some significant additional statistics for you:
- “Distressed sales” (Foreclosures (REOS), defaults, Short Sales) comprised 14.8% of Lake Norman’s total home sales which is up from 11.3% last month. Prior months were: 15% in September, 9.4% in August, 11.3% in July, 6.9% in June, 10.6% in May , the 14% in April, 20.4% in March, 16.9% in February and January’s 29%. We only had 13 distressed home sales in November. The average price for distressed single family home sales was $241,588 compared to an earlier low of $252,526. Distressed active listings comprise only 2.7% of our total inventory of Lake Norman homes sale!
- 26.1 % of our closed sales were waterfront homes which is about equal to last month but well below September’s 34.6%. The average sales price of Lake Norman waterfront homes in November was $696,900 compared to $662,850 last month and September’s $738,972, August’s $709,753, July’s $874,988 June’s $990,693 and May’s $778,045. What is really interesting to note is that the average price per square foot actually increased for the second month in a row to $216.15 compared to $211.11 last month and $215.43 in September after peaking at $229. Our waterfront home sales above $700,000 remain sluggish but the homes that are selling are getting relatively strong offers based upon their size.
- 11 new construction homes sold in November. The average listing price vs sales price of new construction single family homes remains 101%! Clearly there isn’t a lot if ANY wiggle room on prices of new homes. We currently have 49 new construction homes under contract. The average sales price in November was up, logging in at $448,564 compared to $359,018 last month and$406,596 in September. It is important to note that many of the new construction homes you will see driving around the lake are custom homes so will not be included in our Multiple Listing Service numbers.
- 56.8% of Lake Norman’s October home sales were under $400,000.
- A whopping 73.86 % of the entire Lake Norman home sales in October were under $500,000 which is down slightly from last month’s 75.25% but up from 66.3% in September and more in line with February’s 81.7%, 81% in January, 74 % in December and 75% last November. After seeing an upswing in both the trade-up price ranges and our Lake Norman luxury homes over the late spring and summer, we have now had several pretty weak months in a row of sales in our trade-up and luxury housing markets.
- Our “Under Contract Show” AND “Under Contract No show”/Pending sales combined total of 197 was the seventh month in a row of decline after April’s record high of 319 . At 197, we dropped down from last month’s 207 but are now equal to last year’s 197. It appears that the bleeding has stopped and our Lake Norman housing market may have stabilized but it doesn’t look like we will see double digit sales increases again any time soon.
A closer look at the chart:
- The number of Active Listings in Lake Norman is still 7% higher than last November’s but they did decline significantly this month which is good news. Our absorption rate/months of supply of active listings today is equal to last month’s 9.6 but well above May’s post recession low of 5.9. For the third month in a row our Lake Norman market is above the nationally defined goal of a balanced 6-8 months of supply. In contrast, in the entire Charlotte MLS there is currently only a 5.6 month supply. Low inventory has played a significant role in Lake Norman’s housing recovery as it has nationally and is what has been driving the price increases nationally so we need to get our months of supply back down for the sake of the health of our Lake Norman real estate market. One bit of good news is that the average number of days an active listing has been on the market dropped again, this time by 16%.
- Under Contract Show (conditional sales), increased for the 21st month in a row when compared to the same month of the prior year. These are homes that just went under contract and still have financial and inspection conditions. They represent future closed sales most likely in late December/January. Based upon these numbers I expect us to maintain slightly higher sales or at least match last years sales for the next few months but I highly doubt we will see the double-digit increases we experienced in late spring and early summer until spring 2014 if then.
- Pending/Under Contract No Show sales were LOWER than last November’s making this the third month in a row of decline. These are the contracts that are past their inspection/due diligent periods and are just waiting to close. They are usually the best indication of closed sales in the next few weeks. Based upon this I predict that we will not exceed 2012 closed sales numbers again this month.
- The number of closed home sales in Lake Norman in November as of today and as stated above, was -10% compare to last year’s. On a positive note, however, the average sales price increased slightly and the average days the homes were on the market dropped an impressive 20% which is good news. So, yes, like October, November’s numbers do have some positive’s but they are honestly a mixed bag which definitely reflect some weaknesses and areas of concern!