Wow, what a year! After a significant drop in closed sales in November, we actually had a pretty strong December when compared not only with November 2008 but with December 2007. And, we in the Lake Norman area were not alone. December seemed to be a better month for communities all over the country. Speculation is that the drop in interest rates bumped the sales up. It is hard to know how long this bump will last but it’s sure nice to have some halfway good news to report!
Active Listings: The good news is that our number of active listings is still dropping. However, at a 24.6 months of supply of active listings if we continued at our current sales rates, we still have a serious surplus of listings. Remember that a balanced real estate market should have between 6-10 months of supply.
Contingent Sales: This number is identical to our November contingent sales.
Conditional Sales: This number is down from 22 in November or a decrease of 23%
Pending Listings Sales: At the end of November we had 74 pending sales. At 55 in December, pending sales have dropped 26%. Since these are the homes most likely to close in January this is a sign that our January closed sales will be down.
Closed Sales: Compared to our dismal 46 sales in November, we actually had a 24% Increase in the number of homes sold!
2008 Lake Norman Home Sales Summary
* Please note that all of my numbers come from the Charlotte Region Multiple Listing Service and will not include sales that took place outside of our MLS.
**While my totals on this chart for 2008 sales is 870, when I search on our MLS for the entire year they give me a slightly higher number of 916 so I will use that as our official number for the sake of this analysis.
The number of homes sales in Lake Norman in 2008 dropped 38.6% compared to 2007. This compares to an overall drop in the entire Charlotte Regional MLS area of 29.5%.
Summary: There is no doubt that 2008 was a very difficult year for Lake Norman home sellers, both builders and resale homes. In my opinion, the key to a true sign that the worst is behind us in the Lake Norman real estate market will come only when our inventory of homes for sale, both new construction and resale, drops to about 10 months of supply. This will happen with some combination of a significant increase in the number of home sales and a consequent decrease in the number of active listings.