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 a mid-month pulse of our Lake Norman real estate market. So where are we today? After a stunning March, strong April and May, record-breaking June, strong July and August, it looks like this hot trend might continue through the rest of 2017. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s September 2017 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 8th – 22nd). As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the August chart using my data since 2010.
September Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 9 Years
So check out the closed sales of 103 in just the past 2 weeks! They are the second highest in the past 6 months AND the highest of all previous September Hot Sheets. The 91 new contracts (Under Contract Show) reflects a bit of a slowdown which is expected at this time of year yet still in line with April’s May’s and June’s. That said, they are by far the highest September since I began doing these reports. I truly am amazed to see the strength of these numbers as I expected more of a slowdown given the time of year. Lake Norman’s overall number of single family homes under contract (UCS and UCNS) so far this month is 331 compared to last month’s 369, July’s 366, June’s 365, May’s 395, April’s 380, March’s 347, and last year’s end of September’s 274. While slowing compared to our peak months of 2017, compared to all previous Septembers since 2009 we are logging record-breaking new contracts. With 117 closed sales so far this month I think we may be able to match last September’s robust sales of 177. Clearly, our overall Lake Norman real estate market is still very active heading into fall.
- New listings: At only 88, our number of new listings added in the past two weeks is well below most prior months in 2017 but is still in line with previous September’s. While it is typical during this time of year for our inventory of active listings to drop, this could negatively impact our future months as buyers will not have as many options. As of today we have only 919 active listings in all of Lake Norman down from last month’s 937, July’s 1004, June’s 966, and May’s 933 and well below last June’s high of 1132.
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales, at 91 as I stated above, reflects a slight decline when compared to our peak months this year but at the same time is well above all prior September Hot Sheet’s since 2009. Our current market is still very active!
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 20, is the one disappointment this month. This is the weakest month in all of 2017 AND the lowest September since 2009. Since pending contracts indicate more imminent closed sales I am a bit concerned about our final closed sales for this month. 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.
- Our 103 Hot Sheet Closed Sales are second only to June’s and the best September hot sheet since 2009. As of today, we have 117 closed sales this month. Given our low pending contracts, will we be able to reach last September’s 177 closed sales in just 8 days? (Keep in mind, as always, that we have had a surge of new construction in the past 3 years so these MLS numbers are actually lower than our total sales because so many new homes are sold directly to buyers rather than through the MLS).
Clearly Lake Norman’s real estate market has sustained an incredibly active pace even as we enter our seasonally slower months. As I underscored for the past several months, the dip in February was definitely short lived. Given our current momentum, I feel that we should maintain very strong sales numbers at least through October/November. Beyond that it is very hard to predict.
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 sitting, especially in the higher price ranges. If buyers are willing to do remodeling, then now is a great opportunity to buy an older waterfront home that needs work but is in a great location or has great water. The waterfront tear-downs/fixers continue to be available for willing buyers. To get a nice waterfront home you really need to be looking at least in the $700,000’s depending on the location but more likely the $800,000’s+.
For sellers, the key is to stage every listing to perfection! That usually means freshly painted interiors (think Agreeable Grey at Sherwyn Williams), painting tired kitchen cabinets white when appropriate, refinishing hardwood floors or installing hardwoods or good laminates in dark tones, new counter tops if needed and professional staging. This makes a HUGE difference and has proven to add to the bottom lines in every listing I have had. Sellers, today it is more important than ever to stage your homes in order to maximize your profits!
After the rapid rise of mortgage interest rates after the election they dropped back down even after the most recent Fed rate hike. As of today you can get a 30-year fixed conforming loan for about 4%. There are still so many unknowns in 2017 and the Feds are expected to raise rates again one more time this year so it is truly impossible to predict where we will be at the end of 2017 but it doesn’t appear that interest rates will climb rapidly.
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 2017 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! Sellers: UPDATE and STAGE to perfection for maximum profits!
Learn More About Life in Lake Norman: