Three months ago I wrote Lake Norman Home Sales: Are We Swimming in the Number of Homes for Sale? It was prompted by a very negative headline in the Charlotte Observer’s Business Section about our housing slump. So, what have we learned in the past three months?
According to three news articles today: “Odds rise for economic recession” “…there is a 45% chance that the U.S. Economy will spiral toward a recession in 2008 as real estate foreclosures and gasoline costs continue to escalate, according to economist Ken Rosen.”;or “Home prices rise in 33 states since September 2006″ which takes the glass half-full perspective and finally, economists are analyzing the notes from the Federal Reserve’s Oct. 30th meeting and predicting that they will not slash short-term interest rates again. It is clear that the experts simply don’t agree and clearly use the economic data in different ways.
Once, again, I would like to look at our actual Lake Norman MLS data to give you a better idea of our local real estate picture. We currently have 1358 active listings as compared to 1328 on 8/28/07 and 1300 on 6/30/07. 93 properties closed in the past 30 days ( compared to 153 in my August report which is a 39% decline in sales volume. In the same period of 2006 there were 117 sales which is a 20.5% decline.) If we were to assume that this pace of slower sales would continue, and you divide 1358 by 93 = 14.6 months of supply of homes for sale, almost double what we had three months ago and well over the 6-8 months which represents a balanced market.
Let’s once again look at the Lake Norman Sales by area:
- 13/1 (North of Hwy 150 in Iredell County): 201 Active listings and 11 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 18.2 months of inventory of active listings.The average price per square foot decreased by 17% and the sales volume decreased by 42% compared to the same period last year.
- 13/2 (South of Hwy 150 to Langtree Rd): 445 Active listings and 24 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 18.5 months of inventory of active listings. The average price per square foot increased by 19.4% and the sales volume decreased by 33.3% compared to the same period last year.
- 13/3 (Mecklenburg County): 210 Active listings and 18 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 11.7 months of inventory of active listings on hand. The average price per square foot decreased by 12% and the sale volume deceases by 10% compared to the same period last year.
- 13/4 (Lincoln County): 303 Active listings and 25 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 12.1 months of inventory of listings on hand. The average price per square foot decreased by 6.4% and the sales volume was identical to the same period last year.
- 13/5 (Catawba County): 199 Active listings and 15 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 13.2 months of inventory of listings on hand. The average price per square foot increased by 6.2% and the sales volume decreased by 12% compared to the same period last year.
So what does this all mean? Iredell County is suffering the greatest slump in sales, average sales price and number or volume of sales. Mecklenburg County has experienced a modest decline in sales and average prices and does have a supply of inventory over the balanced figure of 6-8 months so they are also experiencing a buyer’s market. While also heavy in inventory, both Lincoln and Catawba Counties are the strongest of the Lake Norman area. Lincoln County had a slight decrease in the average sales prices but their volume is equal to last year. Catawba County actually had an increase in their average sales price while a decline in the number of homes sold.
If you look at my third quarter sales analysis you can also see the sales broken down by price range.
Again, I will reiterate what I said 3 months ago. While the overall Lake Norman real estate market is down and very heavy on inventory of active listings, there are some bright spots as well. If you have any questions regarding this analysis or the Lake Norman real estate market, please don’t hesitate to call or email me!
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