Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s June 2015 Market Report; Record Breaking Sales!

Despite being up against a huge June 2014, we not only beat that number by 4% but we logged in the highest number of single family sales in one given month in Lake Norman since May 2006 and the 6th highest monthly sales in the past ten years! The momentum since January continues for our Lake Norman real estate market and our new “under contract” numbers indicate that we should have another good showing for the next several months at least. Our year-to-date 2015 closed single family home sales are 15.9% higher than 2014’s.  Lake Norman’s housing market got crazy busy (my technical term for it) right after the holidays and unlike previous years has been consistently strong every month so far in 2015. Plus, our new contracts indicate that this trend will continue for at least another month or two. Let’s take a closer look:

Lake Norman Real Estate's June 2015 Market Report Chart

* All data is from the Carolina Multiple Listing Service.

Some significant additional statistics for you:

  • “Distressed sales” (Foreclosures (REO’S), defaults, Short Sales) represented 2.7 % of Lake Norman’s total June home sales. We had just 5 distressed sales with an average price of $417,400. (The highest closed sale price was $1,385,000). Distressed active listings currently comprise only 2.1% of our total inventory of Lake Norman homes for sale. Clearly distressed sales continue to play an insignificant role in our Lake Norman real estate market and this is very good news!
  • Waterfront homes were 25.5% of our June home sales while they currently comprise 41.6% of our active listings. The average sales price of a waterfront home in June was $832,200 and the average price per square foot was $244.03.   It took on average 96 days for a waterfront home to sell and they sold for 95% of the listing price. While, overall, waterfront homes sales still aren’t selling at the rates they were pre-recession, they are improving and the average price -per -square-foot hit a new post recession high. We currently have 73 waterfront homes under contract. At 8.7 months of supply of active listings our waterfront homes remain in a buyer’s market overall but there are price ranges and locations where they are in a seller’s market.
  • 29 new construction homes closed in June through our MLS but this does not reflect an accurate picture of new home sales since so many are custom or are purchased directly from the builders and therefore never enter the MLS. (In fact, this segment of the market may be skewing our Lake Norman home sales numbers quite a bit). The average listing price vs sales price of new construction single family homes was 99%. Clearly there isn’t a lot of wiggle room on prices of new homes! We currently have 70 new construction homes under contract in the MLS. The average sales price in June logged in at $446,523.  The bulk of our new construction market in the MLS is still in our lower to price ranges.
  • 48.9% of Lake Norman’s June single family home sales were under $400,000 which was a bit lower than last month’s.
  • 64.1% of Lake Norman home sales in June were under $500,000 which is also lower than last month’s.
  • Our “Under Contract Show” AND “Under Contract No show”/Pending sales combined total of 287 is down slightly from last month’s but is higher that the past two July 6th’s. Our new contracts indicate our Lake Norman housing market still has some serious momentum which is going to carry forward for at least two more months.

A closer look at the chart:

  • The number of Active Listings today in Lake Norman is 8% lower than last year’s. Our absorption rate/months of supply of active listings is down to 5.3 which puts us slightly in a seller’s housing market. Within specific price ranges, however, there are swings from a buyer’s market to balanced to a seller’s market.
  • Under Contract Show (conditional sales), are up 4% versus this time last year.These are homes that just went under contract (have an accepted offer) and still have financial and inspection conditions. They represent future closed sales most likely in late July/August. This number would indicate that our closed sales should exceed last July’s. After a bit of a drop off in January, our Lake Norman’s housing market has performed at it’s most consistently strong pace since the recession despite the lack of a good number of fresh new listings. If you read my post: Really Cool Real Life Examples of Home Values Trends in Lake Norman you will know that a lot of our new listings are selling VERY quickly and at higher prices.  I feel that we have two different markets right now in Lake Norman.  There are new listings that are priced right that are selling in just a matter of days and then there are the older listings and high-end luxury estates that are still struggling.
  • Pending/Under Contract No Show sales are up 13% and these listings went under contract  on average only 80 days.  These are the contracts that are past their inspection/due diligence periods and are just waiting to close. They are usually the best indication of closed sales in the next few weeks. We are up against a 150 closed sales last July but our pending and under contract numbers seem to indicate we will match those numbers.  We’ll see!
  • Lake Norman’s closed home sales in as of today and as stated above, were 4% higher than last year’s. (Don’t forget that this number will go up a bit as slower agents log in their sales.) As I said at the opening, June 2015 is the best June since 2006.  The average sales price was actually 3% lower than last June’s and the average days on market was up 2%.

The total number of Lake Norman homes under contract (UCS + UCNS) in the first week of each month are as follows:

  • July 6, 2015 287
  • June 6, 2015: 304
  • May 6, 2015: 313
  • April 6, 2015:  272
  • March 6, 2015: 228
  • February 6, 2015: 204
  • January 6, 2015: 154
  • December 6, 2014: 204
  • November 6, 2014: 221
  • October 4, 2014: 275
  • September 6, 2014: 272
  • August 6, 2014: 261
  • July 7, 2014: 268
  • June 5, 2014: 262
  • May 6, 2014: 274
  • April 6, 2014: 243
  • March 6, 2014: 187
  • February 6, 2014: 185
  • January 6, 2014: 155
  • December 6, 2013: 197
  • November 6, 2013: 207
  • October 6, 2013: 207
  • September 6, 2013: 218
  • August 6, 2013: 264
  • July 6, 2013: 271
  • June 6, 2013: 293
  • May 6, 2013: 316

Here is a breakdown by price-range of our May 2014 closed sales in Lake Norman

  • $23,000 – $99,999: 2-
  • $100,000 – $199,999: 18
  • $200,000 – $299,999: 39+
  • $300,000 – $399,999 31

(These price ranges represented  48.9% of our June home sales which is down slightly from last month’s.)

  • $400,000 – $499,999: 28+
  • $500,000 – $599,999: 14

(These price ranges represented 22.8% which is about equal to last month’s )

  • $600,000 – $699,999: 18++
  • $700,000 – $799,999: 7
  • $800,000 – $899,999: 9++
  • 900,000 – $999,999: 5

(These price ranges represented 21.1% which is up from last month’s )

  • $1,000,000 – $1,499,999: 10+
  • $1,500,000 – $1,999,999: 1
  • $2 million+ : 2

(#Solds $1 million+ = 7.0% compared to last month’s 6.8%)

The stand out price ranges in June in all of Lake Norman were the $200,000’s, $400,000’s, the $600,000’s, the $800,000’s and the $1,000,000 – $1,499,999.

Higher-end home sales in Lake Norman

Unfortunately, our $1 million+ home sales in the Lake Norman area have been lackluster for quite a while although June was a vast improvement for $1 million – $1.5 million. There are currently 23 properties listed over $1 million under contract of which only 8 are above $1.5 million. We have 36 properties between $700,000 -$995,000 under contract compared to last month’s 419.  It looks like our trade-up price ranges have heated up significantly but our $1 million+ still aren’t selling as they should.

Lake Norman’s Waterfront Housing Market

Our waterfront housing market is still overall in a buyer’s market. As of today we have 73 waterfront properties under contract down from 79 last month. I have been showing waterfronts in all price ranges and I am noticing quite a bit of activity especially on new listings.  While the inventory looks high by the numbers, the selection of good waterfront homes in affordable price ranges are low. We currently have 408 waterfront homes actively listed for sale on Lake Norman. With 47 closed sales of waterfront homes in June this means Lake Norman currently has 8.7 months of inventory of waterfront homes for sale so this niche remains overall in a buyer’s market but within certain price ranges and with new listings it is getting quite heated.

In the meantime, new construction on the water is everywhere. Folks are gobbling up waterfront tear-downs and now even considering older homes that need renovations.  If you drive or cycle like I do around the waterfront neighborhoods you will see a lot of new construction on the water.  If you are reading this and you are a potential waterfront buyer I would encourage you to take advantage of what is available as prices are going up.

11-Year Comparison of Lake Norman Home Sales By Month

Lake Norman home sales by month by year since 2005

* Please note that all of my numbers are for single family homes. They come from the Carolina Multiple Listing Service and will not include sales that took place outside of our MLS.** I adjust past months when I do the monthly update as a few more sales are usually input late by agents. ***With our new MLS Matix program there are some variances in numbers but I am not going to go back to prior years and adjust.

I love this chart of our sales by month since 2005 as it really gives us a good sense of where we are today and where we were over the past 11 years.  Halfway through the year our sales have exceeded all post recession years and are only 7% off of the 2007 numbers We are out performing 2014 handily so it will be very interesting to watch as 2015 continues after such a strong first half.  Will we be able to reach last year’s strong 4th quarter numbers?

Summary and My Insight

Good signs/news:

  • Lake Norman’s inventory of active listings remains low with only 5.3 months of supply.
  • Our “trade-up” market is gaining steam.
  • The number of distressed homes for sale remain so low that they are truly irrelevant and did not play any perceptible role in our Lake Norman housing market.
  • New construction is definitely back. Custom and smaller groups of spec homes are popping up all over Lake Norman. Builders are telling me that they could built twice as many as they are if it weren’t for the shortage of qualified labor.
  • Waterfront tear-downs and lots are selling.  More buyers are willing to build or do major renovations if they can get “good” waterfront lots.
  • New listings that are in good condition and in desirable locations are selling within days of hitting the MLS.
  • Economists say that continued housing improvement depends on fundamentals like job growth, rising incomes and low vacancy rates all of which the greater Lake Norman and Charlotte area are experiencing.
  • The Lake Norman, Mooresville, Charlotte area is consistently announcing new businesses relocating or starting up in our area.
  • Jumbo loan interest rates are still LOWER than conforming loan’s.
  • I have personally experienced a marked increase in the number of calls from buyers from out-of-state planning to move to Lake Norman since the early January.Because sales and prices are up in many states that feed relocating buyers to our Lake Norman area, more homeowners are able to sell and move now than in the past 5 years.

Challenges/Weaknesses:

  • Interest rates are beginning to creep up.
  • Waterfront home sales continue to be weaker than historical numbers in Lake Norman, particularly in the higher price ranges.
  • Lake Norman’s luxury home sales are still struggling.
  • Lake Norman home prices are increasing in a rather inconsistent pattern and in different locations and price ranges. At the same time, according to economists, home prices in the entire US are expected to rise about 4.5%.
  •  Existing home sales are being challenged by new construction!  In head to head competitions new construction usually wins which hurts resale homes in the same or similar communities.
  • While easing a bit, strict loan standards are still making it more difficult of buyers to qualify despite some easing and modifications.
  • Finding the perfect home has become more difficult because much of the older inventory has been picked over. Buyers who want perfection can’t wait too long to make decisions about new listings because the good homes and lots are selling very quickly. Watching the “hot sheet” is once again a part of the buying process.  Don’t procrastinate when considering a new listing because they are selling quickly!
  • On the flip side, higher-end properties are simply taking much longer to sell.
  • No matter how hard I try to provide you with the most accurate and insightful data, it is critical to know your own niche because there are so many variables in the Lake Norman housing market. Don’t assume all price ranges and locations are equal. You might be facing multiple offers and/or picked over inventory or you might not.

Final thoughts: With bargains gone and sales up now is the time to act VERY quickly when you find a home that suits you. I have out-of-state buyers who have their “favorites” list planned for their visits only to see a good number of them going under contract before they have a chance to see them. If you are looking in a “HOT” neighborhood and price range be prepared to make an offer quickly.  Have your pre-approval letter in hand before even looking at homes.. These are new times so make sure you know what is happening right now in your market niche! While your perfect home might come along, don’t wait too long and don’t dismiss a property if it isn’t perfect. Prioritize: Location, quality and depth of water (if waterfront buyer), lot and floor plan. Then, to determine a realistic price, use VERY RECENT comparable sales in your specific market niche. The selection may not be great but with interest rates near all time lows and prices low but rising it is still a great time to buy. With less than 3% of Lake Norman’s current listings being distressed (foreclosures, short sales etc.) don’t expect a “bargain” to come along at an unrealistic price.

Don’t focus as much on the price as on the future marketability of the property. A bargain that has incurable issues that will make it difficult to resale, really isn’t a bargain at all. Be smart!

OTHER ARTICLES of INTEREST

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know

To receive all of my updates about Lake Norman Real Estate,
subscribe here
Standard

Your comments...