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.
Just as I wrote last month, our Lake Norman real estate market continues to somewhat defy the volatile US and global economy. After a relatively strong June, July, August, and September our housing numbers are continuing at about the same pace despite it all. The report below would seem to be an indication that our October Lake Norman real estate sales will definitely exceed our October 2010 home 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. (October 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 now that our Spring/Summer busy season is technically behind us. If you add our new listings to the 23 back-on-market we only had a total of 86 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) : 978! 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 slightly. Challenges continue related to securing financing due to tight restrictions on home loans by lenders.
- The number of price changes dropped significantly again this month. 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 are the second highest this year. This indicates our closed sales for the next 30 days should remain fairly robust. 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 jumped back up to 45 indicating our October home sales in Lake Norman will be relatively strong. So far this month 47 closed sales have been reported to our MLS compared to 29 last month, 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. Since our overall Lake Norman pending sales remain fairly high, my best guess is that we should easily exceed October 2010’s 63 sales and may even record the highest October sales since 2007!
- Thanks to another change by the Charlotte Multiple Listing Service this week, which eliminated the fairly new category of Actives/Due Diligence, our numbers for conditional sales are not accurate. The Hot Sheet no longer includes properties that are Active Due Diligence but they still exist in the system. The best I can tell you is that we have a total of 80 properties newly under contract in all of Lake Norman which is down from 90 at the end of September. 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.
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 if we can continue our current numbers for the last few months of the year. Considering our abysmal sales in January, February and May, this is certainly a remarkable turn around.
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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