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.
Last month pretty much blew our sales trends right out of the water. As of today the MLS has a total of 118 closed sales for May which is well above any other month’s sales since August of 2007! It appears from our numbers below that June will also be a very strong month of housing sales for Lake Norman. Will we match last month’s highs? Let’s take a look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s Two-Week Hot Sheet
* 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. (June 7th – 21st). As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
I created this additional chart comparing just the June Hot Sheets for the past 3 years to help put our June 2012 numbers in perspective with the past Junes’, not just the past 6 months:
June Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 4 Years
- New listings: Our number of new listings were the lowest since last December! If you add our new listings to the 21 back-on-market we had a total of 106 Lake Norman properties added to our housing inventory in the past two weeks compared to last June’s 128, 171 in June 2010 and 207 in June 2009. As of this morning the total number of active listings in Lake Norman had increased from our all time low of 752 in January back up to 977 which is still low historically and trending back down after a high of 985 a few weeks ago. The reason these low numbers are such good news is because keeping our inventory low will help stabilize our own Lake Norman housing market no matter what is happening in other areas or states.
- The number of properties that came back-on-the-market, most likely due to cancelled contracts, increased from last month and were about average compared to past months and years. Clearly home buyers are still experiencing challenges with loan approvals and appraisals. Every loan approved warrants a celebration!
- The number of price changes increased significantly after trending lower the first 5 months of 2012. They are even higher than last June’s. My guess is that sellers (and Realtors) know this is a “hot” market and are dropping prices more quickly to take advantage of this activity and before we leave our peak selling season in Lake Norman. There is no doubt that overpriced listings are sitting until they are reduced to the “magic” number that generates offers, even multiple offers.
- Pending home sales reached their highest levels this year but were slightly below previous Junes’ . Pending home sales are contracts that have passed all of their conditions/contingencies/Due Diligence Deadlines and are just waiting to close. It is important to note that last June as well as June 2010 we had closed sales in excess of 100. These were historically exceptional months since the recession began; 201o was due to the home credit rebate program. It looks like we may reach those 100+ sales again this month.
- The number of closed sales reported in the past two weeks were also the highest this year. When all our numbers were in we actually recorded 118 closed sales in Lake Norman last month which, as I said above, makes it the highest month since August 2007. Our hot sheet numbers were equal to or higher than 2 of the past 3 June’s, again being up against the rebates of 2010. So far this entire month 45 closed sales have been reported to our MLS compared to 44 last month, 43 in April, 43 in March, 34 in February, 21 in January. Considering all of these numbers, my best guess is that we will close at least 90-100 single family home sales this month. I am not sure we can beat June 201o’s 108 rebate numbers. But, our numbers certainly are remaining strong for yet another month or two in 2012.
- Our Conditional and Contingent sales really stand out this month. Not only are they the highest in 2012 but they are by far the strongest June hot sheet since 2008. As the very most recent properties to go under contract, this improvement bodes VERY well for the next few months at least. At a time when we would expect a slowing down, new contracts are actually up. They also serve to boost my confidence that our Lake Norman housing market is on a sustainable path to recovery. Each month will help to support or undercut this.
Overall this month our conditional sales have been very strong and our sales pending remain stable. These numbers are very encouraging. If inventory remains low, and our sales are at least steady each month it would indicate that our Lake Norman housing market has hit bottom. Our current number of months of supply of active listings stands at about 7.7 months using our 118 closed sales in May. A recent article by Refin indicated that their 17- urban counties months of inventory had plummeted to 3.3 months! With a balanced real estate market goal of 6-8 months, Lake Norman has dipped into this territory for the first time since the recession hit!. Here in the Charlotte/Lake Norman housing market our downturn hit in spring 2007 which was a bit later than most of the country. It is reasonable to expect that we might not follow national trends as we heal. I continue to encourage my buyers to buy if they find a good home at a good price, especially waterfront homes. While I don’t anticipate prices going up in Lake Norman this year, I also don’t see that many truly exceptional bargains. (Less than 8% of our inventory are distressed properties: foreclosures and shortsales). Prices in general are low as are interest rates. In my opinion, 2012 represents a great opportunity for potential Lake Norman home buyers. Is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel? Only time will tell!
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