If you are new to this blog, 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 sometimes serve as pretty good predictors of our short-term future housing sales.
Last month our Hot Sheet indicated a slow down in very recent sales contract which was an indication that our closed sales in May and June were going to decline after a slight uptick in March and April. The report below substantiates that our Lake Norman real estate market seems to have stabilized a bit but at a rather mediocre level.
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. (May 7 – 21st). As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
- New listings: It is very interesting to see a slight increase in the number of new listings. Are sellers gaining confidence in the market? If you add our new listings to the 11 back-on market we get 118 properties that were added to our inventory in the past two weeks. At the same time only 20 sales closed for a net increase of 97 homes on the market. This is not a good trend! At this point our overall number of active listings/homes for sale in Lake Norman remains lower than last year’s. However, our inventory has been hovering around 14-15 months which is still well above the ideal balanced housing market of 6-8 months. In other words, the number of our Lake Norman homes for sale is still too high for our current rate of sales and is headed in the wrong direction.
- The number of properties that came back-on-the-market, most likely due to cancelled contracts, actually dropped to an historic low. Are buyers more motivated and more qualified? This will be interesting to watch!
- The number of price changes remain high when compared to the past 6 months. I expected to see this number jump back up this spring as sellers become more motivated/realistic/anxious. Last May we logged 174 price changes in this same two-week period.
- Pending home sales increased enough to indicate our closed sales for the next 30 days may match the past months’ 80 units. Pending home sales are contracts that have passed all of their conditions/contingencies/Due Diligence Deadlines and just sitting ready to close. Last May in the same two-week period we recorded a whopping 45 pending sales or 47 % higher than this month. My bet is that we will not see May or June 2010’s closings of 90 and 109 respectively.
- The number of closed sales in the past two weeks was the second lowest in the past 6 months. So far this month 30 closed sales have been reported to our MLS compared to 50 last month, 34 in March, 20 in February, 18 in January, 60 in December. My best guess is that we will be lucky to close 80 real estate contracts in May and we may see an even lower number. It is important to remember that last year at this time the national housing rebate program was still going on which boosted our Lake Norman sales through June 2010.
- Just as last month, I am most concerned that our Contingent, Conditional sales and our new category of Actives/Due Diligence have been sliding backwards since February. These represent the most recently accepted offers and reflect future sales. It appears that March/April may have been a peak for our spring housing market and rather than continue to improve we seem to be stalled.
Despite these fairly unimpressive numbers, out in the trenches I am seeing good Lake Norman homes, especially waterfronts, being scooped up by buyers. For the first time there is almost a sense of urgency for my buyers who have found homes that meet their search criteria. One client I had in town this week narrowed their search to 5 waterfront properties but, when I contacted the listing agents, 3 of the 5 were in the final stages of negotiating contracts. So, potential waterfront home buyers who are reading this, don’t assume you have time to see if the prices will go down further. If you find a well-priced home with good water I would highly recommend that you move on it!
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