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 we are at this very moment…an almost live insight into the heartbeat of the Lake Norman housing market.
I always get excited to do this Hot Sheet analysis each month because it provides me with the mid-month pulse of our Lake Norman real estate market. So where are we today? The numbers below seem to indicate that while the pace is slowing just a bit which is expected at this time of year, it looks like we are well on our way to logging another strong month of sales. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s November 2016 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. (November 7th – 21st. As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the November chart using my data since 2009.
November Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 8 Years
When I wrote my October market report for Lake Norman the numbers indicated that the strong momentum we have seen since summer time would continue this month and the numbers above certainly support that. We currently have 266 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 272, September’s 294, and last year’s end of November’s 202. While we are down slightly from the last few months that is expected at this time of year. But we are clearly out performing last November’s home sales so far and with 77 closed sales we are on our way to posting another good month compared to 2015.
- New listings: At 68, our number of new listings added in the past two weeks dropped compared to last month’s but is actually higher than the past two Octobers. Our inventory of homes for sale in our Lake Norman area has continued to drop in the past few months to levels now slightly below last year’s very low numbers. As of today we have only 819 active listings in all of Lake Norman down from last month’s 885 and June’s high of 1132.
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales, in our MLS, at 64, is the lowest compared to the past 6 months yet at the same time it is by far the highest November since 2009! It looks like Lake Norman should post some decent sales numbers through the end of the year and into 2017.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at only 16 is the weak link of this month’s hot sheet. It is by far the lowest number this year AND the lowest November since 2010! This indicates that while we are opening a strong number of new contracts there has been a slight pause in new contracts that are due to become pending and ready to close. 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 December.
- Our 77 Hot Sheet Closed Sales, on the other hand, is higher than last month’s 73 which is pretty remarkable given our usual seasonal slowdown. 77 is also the HIGHEST closed sales in any November by far since 2010. To put this in context, last November we sold a total of 95 single family homes and in 2014 we had 99 closed sales . With already 77 closed this month, I would expect us to end November with some very strong sales numbers. Keep in mind, as always, that we have had a surge of new construction this year so these MLS numbers are lower than our actual total sales because so many new homes are sold directly to buyers rather than through the MLS.
Clearly, over all, Lake Norman’s real estate market remains very active even when accounting for our traditional seasonal slowdown. That said, I am still seeing quite a variety of trends depending on location, types of properties and price ranges. Multiple offers are not uncommon in the $200,000’s and our lower price ranges are selling faster than the higher price ranges. In our trade-up price ranges exceptional properties are selling quickly but otherwise this price niche is unpredictable. Inventory have dropped significantly so competition is going to be strong for good new listings. I am still counseling my buyers to watch the market daily for new listings and price reductions. The average days on market has dropped, especially for “good” new listings. But properties that aren’t perfect or are overpriced are still sitting. If buyers are willing to do remodeling, then now is a great opportunity to buy an older waterfront home that needs work, has been on the market for a long time but is in a great location or has great water. The waterfront tear-downs/fixers are still coming on the market but at higher prices than in the past years since the recession. To get a nice waterfront home you really need to be looking at least in the $700,000’s depending on the location.
One significant change since last month is the rapid rise of mortgage interest rates which are now at or above 4% and still rising. Add this trend to the expected rate increase by the Feds in December and we will be entering new territory in 2017. Lenders are saying refi’s a pretty much done so are going to be relying on new mortgages. But higher interest rates, even though historically very low, will impact the affordability of housing going forward.
Don’t forget that we have very few distressed sales, (Less than 2% of our inventory are distressed properties: foreclosures and short sales), so a bargain today is actually a well priced home that is in a very good location with a good floor plan. My Mantra for 2016 remains: Think location, good floorplans and resale and look for good waterfront opportunities before they are gone. And, if you find a property that suits you, don’t wait too long to act!
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