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.
Lake Norman’s 2013 real estate sales have been breaking records since January 1st with last month’s sales being the tenth highest sales month in Lake Norman’s history. But, can we sustain these very high sales numbers into summer? From the numbers below, it looks like we will. We currently have 301 single family homes under contract in all of Lake Norman which is a drop from last month’s high of 330 but is still the second highest number since I have been keeping these records. Let’s take a look at a snapshot of the past two weeks’ activity:
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 4 years to help put our June 2013 numbers in perspective with past June’s, not just the past 6 months.
June Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 4 Years
- New listings: Our inventory of active listings in Lake Norman continues to inch up as we move into the early summer months. That said, our inventory is still historically low thanks to our strong sales which is a good thing. If you add our new listings to the 13 back-on-market we had a total of 130 single family properties added to our Lake Norman housing inventory in the past two weeks which is 13.3% lower than last month’s but 22% more than June 2012. At the same time 167 properties went under contract or sold for a net drop of 37 active listings in the past two weeks. As of today, the total number of active listings in Lake Norman stands at 979 up from our low of 690 on January 2, 2013 and slightly higher than last year at this time. While buyers are anxious for new homes to come on the market, low inventory is an important part of Lake Norman’s housing recovery. Clearly, as sellers and Realtors gain optimism about our market they will be more likely to list new properties for sale. Higher inventory levels could jeopardize our recovery.
- The number of properties that came back-on-the-market dropped significantly compared to the past few months, down to last December’s and the lowest June since 2009 when I started keeping these records. These are cancelled purchase contracts. This drop may indicate that sellers and buyers are more committed to their contracts and perhaps even that the loan process is improving. Is the looming threat of higher interest rates a factor?
- The number of price changes also increased slightly this month when compared to the last 6 months’ Hot Sheets but were the lowest June for the past 5 Junes. With sellers seeing that their homes didn’t sell in the past two HOT months, perhaps once overly optimistic sellers and listing agents are reducing prices to ensure that they don’t miss out on this dynamic housing market. Sales prices in Lake Norman seem to have stabilized due to low inventory and higher sales. They have even inched up slightly in some areas and communities. In general, properties are selling more quickly as well. Please note that it is extremely difficult to determine our REAL average and median price trends here in Lake Norman because of our combination of waterfront, waterview, golf course homes and off-water homes all mixed together in our MLS numbers. One or two $2 million dollar or higher sales will throw our average prices way out of whack.
- Our “Under Contract but Continue to Show” properties, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales in our MLS, put a serious exclamation point on Lake Norman’s currently strong housing market. At 61, not only are they the highest June since I started keeping these records, but they are the highest of the past 6 months as well. Clearly the Lake Norman real estate market remains extremely active. In light of our record May, this bodes well for our summer as well.
- Pending home sales (Now called “Under Contract No Showings or UCNS” by our MLS) were actually the weakest category on this chart. Our pending sales are down slightly from last month and from both June 2009 and 2010. (Pending or “Under Contract No More Showings” are contracts that have passed all of their conditions/contingencies/Due Diligence Deadlines and are just waiting to close. These properties will most likely close by the end of this month or in July. Because of the change in categories, it is best to add this number with the Conditional (Under Contract Show UCS) in order to compare apples to apples).
- The number of closed sales reported in the past two weeks were impressive, to say the least. They were significantly higher than all prior months in 2013 and all prior June’s Lake Norman Hot Sheets. As of today we have 76 closed sales in June compared to 62 closed sales at this time last month when we had such record breaking sales. However, given that our pending home sales are down slightly, it could be that we won’t have as impressive last 9 days of June as we did last month. While I feel confident that we will at least match last June’s 118 closed sales I honestly don’t think we will reach last month’s 164 sales. After 17 straight months of very strong sales increases we are now up against our strongest 2012 months.
As I said above, our total number of Lake Norman homes currently under contract is an impressive 301. While our overall numbers seem to indicate that May will be the highest month for sales in 2013, I am encouraged to see the high number of active listings going under contract this month.
So, what am I experiencing right now? The market feels “hot”…maybe even hotter than it actually is overall because not all price ranges and areas in Lake Norman are setting records. The lower price ranges continue to lead the recovery while some higher price ranges are not doing nearly as well. The dynamics of our current Lake Norman housing market are complex and challenging despite strong sales.
I continue to encourage my buyers to buy if they find a good home at a good price, especially waterfront homes and lots. While I don’t anticipate prices going up significantly in Lake Norman in 2013, I also don’t see nor expect to see that many truly exceptional bargains. For example, a great waterfront lot on Lakeview Shores Loop in Mooresville was listed as a foreclosure for $325,000 and it actually closed just over $400,000. Multiple offers are common with distressed properties like this one thus driving the “bargain” priced properties up. (Less than 4% of our inventory are distressed properties: foreclosures and shortsales). Prices in general are still historically low but interest rates are inching up. If the Feds do lower their levels of purchasing as anticipated, interest rates are expected to increase even more. In my opinion, 2013 represents a great opportunity for potential Lake Norman home buyers. It is impossible to predict specifics for all of 2013 but all signs point to continued improvement in the national and local Lake Norman housing markets.
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