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 which is expected at this time of year, we are still looking very strong compared to all prior Septembers. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s September 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. (September 7th – 21st. As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the September chart using my data since 2009.
September Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 8 Years
After June’s and August’s record breaking closed sales but July’s dip, I wasn’t sure what to expect in September. So far, things look pretty good! But, you never know how many closings we will have in the next 10 days. We currently have 294 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 307 and last year’s end of September’s 209. This bodes well for the short term. Yes, we are having our usual seasonal slowdown but we are still posting stronger numbers than 2015.
- New listings: At 90, our number of new listings added to our inventory in the past two weeks actually picked up a bit since last month and is in line with most prior Septembers as well. Our inventory of homes for sale in our Lake Norman area dropped a bit in the past few months but seems to have leveled off at a higher number than last year at this time. As of today we have 944 active listings in all of Lake Norman down from last month’s 975 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 74, like our active listings, is lower compared to most of 2016 yet at the same time it is the highest September since 2009! It looks like Lake Norman may post some decent number for September and once again exceed 2015’s.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 34 is the 3rd best number this year. It is also the third best September since 2009. 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 October.
- 84 Hot Sheet Closed Sales is not shabby either, again coming in close to or better than all but two months this year. And, as with our first three categories, 84 is the highest closed sales number since 2009. I really have to believe we will have a good number at the end of September. So far this month we have closed 93 sales so I am hopeful that we will log in more than September 2015’s 151 sales. 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. Last month I listed and sold a home in The Point in the $700’000’s in one day last week which is really remarkable. 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 has definitely peaked for the year 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 significantly, especially for “good” new listings. But properties that aren’t perfect 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.
As I wrote last month, if you drive around almost every area of Lake Norman you will see an amazing amount of new construction. I sold a waterfront home in Sherrill’s Ford recently and as I drive more and more on the west side of Lake Norman I am amazed at the number of large developments breaking ground in both Sherrill’s Ford and Denver including a new “Publix coming soon” sign at the corner of Campground and Hwy 150. And, interest rates remain amazingly low and are now expected to stay in the 3%’s for the rest of the year. 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 may actually be a really well priced home that is in a 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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