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.
Our Lake Norman housing market is now smack dab in the middle of it’s traditionally strongest selling season of the year. Last month we saw a dramatic uptick in activity and thankfully that trend is continuing! We currently have 285 single family homes under contract (sellers have accepted an offer but the sale is not complete) in all of Lake Norman compared to last month’s 264. After exceeding last year’s closed sales in April, are we on track to May 2013 record sales?
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. These numbers represent a real time snapshot of the past two week’s activity. (May 7th – 21st). As always, I have included the past 5 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
I created this additional chart comparing just the May Lake Norman Hot Sheets for the past 5 years to help put our May 2014 home sales numbers in perspective with past Mays’, not just the past 6 months.
May Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 6 Years
- New listings: Our number of new homes listed for sale in Lake Norman in the past two weeks were about in line with the past 6 months. As of today, the total number of active listings in Lake Norman stands at 1038 (last month it was 1029) well above our all time low of 690 on January 2, 2013. Despite our buyers’ desires for new listings to choose from, I continue to have some concern that our number of homes for sale in Lake Norman is higher than it should be given our current rate of sales. Low inventory plays an important role in our Lake Norman’s housing recovery. Higher inventory levels could jeopardize home price increases in Lake Norman. An unbalanced supply and demand leaning in favor of buyers will keep Lake Norman home prices flat.
- Our number of “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales in our MLS, were idential to last month and tied with May 2013’s which was an extremely hot month. Clearly Lake Norman’s improved housing market is continuing into early summer. This strong number of newly signed home sales contracts indicates that Lake Norman will have strong closed home sales for the next few months.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales really seems out of wack when compared to the past 5 months of 2014 as well as prior May’s. Because of the MLS program changes I am not as confident that this low number truly reflects lower home sales so let’s wait to see next months! (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 home sales contracts will most likely close by the end of this month or in early May.)
- 51 Closed Sales were recorded in the past two weeks which is slightly better than last month’s. This number is slightly less than May 2013’s but significantly higher than all previous May’s. So far this month we have had 65 closed/recorded single family home sales in our Lake Norman communities compared to last month’s 55. Clearly, our closed sales in May will be stronger than last month’s but will most likely not meet May 2013’s record breaking 165. May 2013 was the single best month in Lake Norman home sales since 2007. It is important to understand that in our Lake Norman housing market there is no one month that regularly logs the strongest sales so while May was the highest month in 2013 August was actually the highest in 2012. If we see a consistently strong showing as we are this month through the summer we might even match or beat 2013 sales by the end of the year.
So, what am I experiencing right now and what to I hear from my fellow Realtors? Pretty much the same as last month: It is actually fascinating because with small hot and cold niches one Realtor might tell me it is “hot” based upon their own business while others will tell me it is slow. But, I can unequivically say that our Lake Norman real estate market has heated up significantly after a rather disappointing late fall and winter. As a listing and a buyer’s agent I can tell you one thing for sure and that is that buyers are very picky and are likely to start the offer process with fairly low numbers unless they are aware of competiton. Now that we have new construction to compete with, resale homes need to be in move-in condition and have few weaknesses. I am seeing some improvement in the waterfront and higher-end sales after a very slow winter. The dynamics of our current Lake Norman housing market are complex and challenging. There are no concrete trends but rather fluid micro trends.
I continue to encourage my buyers to buy if they find a good home at a good price, especially waterfront homes and lots or homes in the most popular neighborhoods. (Location, location, location). With interest rates rising and few distressed sales, (Less than 3% of our inventory are distressed properties: foreclosures and short sales), Lake Norman home buyers need to strike while the iron is hot when they find a home with potential. Prices in general are still historically low. Economists expect home loan rates to continue to rise in 2014. It is impossible to predict specifics for the future but right now it appears we will struggle in 2014 to match the post recession record high numbers logged in 2013 both in our Lake Norman housing market and nationally. However, our Lake Norman housing market is now in our historically strongest months. After an unusually brutal winter it will be great to see what the sunshine and warm temperatures bring in the upcoming months!
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