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.
The past five months our Lake Norman housing sales have been relatively strong with a particularly stellar August and October. (Our October sales are now at 88 after 6 more were reported since my October sales analysis making it the best October by far since the recession hit and almost as high as our 2007 sales!)
Unfortunately, it looks like we will not sustain this trend through the final months of 2011. Based upon our numbers so far in November I don’t think we will even match November 2010’s 81 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 (area 13). These numbers represent a real time snapshot of the past two week’s activity. (November 7th – 21st). As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
- New listings: The number of new listings coming on the market continues to decline. Last November we had 74 new listings on the hot sheet . If you add our new listings to the 10 back-on-market we only had a total of 73 Lake Norman properties added to our housing inventory. As of this morning we have the lowest number of active listings in Lake Norman since I have been keeping records (2007) : 907! At this point our overall number of active listings/homes for sale in Lake Norman is consistently dropping but we are still in double-digit months of inventory.
- The number of properties that came back-on-the-market, most likely due to cancelled contracts, declined substantially. While challenges continue related to securing financing due to tight restrictions on home loans by lenders they are improving. This may also be a sign that buyers are more committed to their purchases and the fact we have fewer short sales/distressed sales.
- The number of price changes remain steady compared to last month but were substantially below last November’s 114 and the rest of the months in 2011 This may be due to our declining inventory or seasonal trends but it will be important to watch as a continued decline may reflect a strengthening of our prices.
- Pending home sales plummeted after a great mid-year rally. This indicates our closed sales for the next 30 days will be significantly lower. Pending home sales are contracts that have passed all of their conditions/contingencies/Due Diligence Deadlines and are just sitting ready to close.
- The number of closed sales reported in the past two weeks dropped when compared to last month, another indication that our closed sales in November will be lower than last month’s. So far this month 37 closed sales have been reported to our MLS compared to 47 last month, 29 in August, 55 in June, 45 in July, 44 in June, 30 in May, 50 in April, 34 in March, 20 in February, 18 in January and 60 in December. Considering all of these numbers, my best guess is that we will close about 65-70 home sales this month.
- Our Conditional and Contingent sales are also lower this month. these numbers still may be impacted by our MLS changes but no matter what we are not putting homes under contract at t the rate we were for the past 4 months. Our sales are slowing down which is partially a seasonal trend here in Lake Norman but we will have to watch these numbers closely to determine how we will close out 2011. November and December in 2010 were particularly strong and looks like this year we will not match those numbers.
Given the erratic nature of our 2011 Lake Norman real estate market, I find it prudent to literally take it one month at a time rather than try to guesstimate our long-term market. Rather than a double-dip, it looks like 2011 may eek out sales equal to 2010 depending on just how much lower our sales are this month and next. Considering our abysmal sales in January, February and May, this is certainly an accomplishment but makes it hard to say there is any real trend to hang our hats on other than the significant and consistent drop in the number of Lake Norman homes for sale.
With our range of the months of supply of active listings at 10 – 13 months compared to the national average of 9.4 months and a balanced real estate market of 6-8 months, we clearly have a ways to go. Economic uncertainty and consumer confidence are significant hurdles for our housing recovery. However, I am encouraging my buyers to buy if they find a good home at a good price, especially waterfront homes. While I don’t see prices going up in Lake Norman this year or even next, I also don’t see that many truly exceptional bargains. Prices in general are low as are interest rates. In my opinion, now through the end of 2011 may represent a great opportunity for Lake Norman home buyers. 2012 is looking very murky due to the global economy but our Lake Norman housing market seems to march to be beat of its’ own drummer. If we see a turn around in consumer confidence and a continuing drop in inventory then we are playing a new ball game.
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