One of my greatest concerns these days is that potential Lake Norman home buyers and sellers will base their decisions on national real estate news and even Charlotte’s housing market trends. While in very general, broad terms our Lake Norman real estate market does share trends with the nation, when we get into the specifics there are a number of disparities which should be understood before anyone considers buying or selling a home here in Lake Norman.
Here is a look at Lake Norman vs. our National real estate numbers for January 2013:
- Nationally, sales grew at a slower pace in January. Existing home sales edged up .4% when compared to December 2012’s sales but were up 9.1% when compared with January 2012.
- Lake Norman’s home sales in January dropped 22.8% when compared to December 2012’s sales but were up a whopping 47.9% when compared to January 2012. Historically the Lake Norman real estate market sales are significantly lower in January compared to December so our 22.8% decline is “normal” for us but the 47.9% increase when compared to January 2012 is exceptional.
Number of Homes for Sale
- The number of existing homes for sale nationally at the end of January was the lowest since April of 2005. They represented a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace. In other words, if the country got no new listings it would take 4.2 months to sell all of the homes currently listed for sale.
- The number of homes for sale in Lake Norman at the beginning of January hit a record low of 746. At the end of January we had 10.8-month supply at the current sales pace which is more than DOUBLE the national averages. Despite hearing us Realtors complaining about our low inventory of homes for sale, the reality is we are still in a buyers’ market and have substantially more inventory than the national average. Lake Norman’s average months of supply in 2012 was about 8 months.
- Nationally, distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 23% of January sales down from 35% a year ago.
- Lake Norman’s distressed sales accounted for 31% of our January sales but represented only 6.9% of our inventory. Last January distressed sales represented 31% as well but distressed properties represented 9.5% of our inventory.
- The national median sale price for existing homes was up 12.3% compared to last January
- Norman’s average sales price for existing homes was up 4% compared to last January. Clearly our prices are not going up as quickly or as much as much of the country.
Now let’s look at all of 2012
- Nationally, home sales increased 9.2% over 2011 and were the highest since 2007
- Lake Norman home sales in 2012 increased 23.4% over 2011 and were also the highest since 2007
- I have been unable to find an analysis of distressed properties by year for the U.S.
- In 2012 distressed sales represented 19% of Lake Norman’s total home sales while in 2011 they represented 23.1%
- Nationally, home prices increased 7.3% in 2012 according to the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices
- Lake Norman’s average home prices increased a modest 1.3% and our average sales per square foot increased 3.7%.
So, our Lake Norman real estate market is in sync with the country when it comes to general trends of improving sales, shrinking inventory and increased prices. However, our prices have not increased nearly as much as they have in the entire nation and while our inventory is low, we are well above the national average. When you hear national discussions about the possibility that we have transformed into a “sellers market” please keep in mind that Lake Norman is still very much a buyer’s market until and if our sales improve and our inventory decreases to a point where we have less than 6 months of inventory of active listings.