After some wonderful, much needed rain in April, I have never seen our Lake Norman gardens so beautiful. The lake levels are high and the skies are bright blue. What more could we ask for? Well how about some signs of a housing market upturn!
I wish I could reassure all of you that the worst is behind us. April was definitely an improvement over our first quarter but sales AND prices are still weak compared to April of 2007 and we still have a significant imbalance of inventory of active listings versus sales.
You might have read the article in the business section of The Charlotte Observer on this past Wednesday, April 30 ˜Areas housing prices still strong, Charlotte again the only one of 20 urban markets in U.S. showing a slight increase. Versions of this same story was all over the Internet real estate news sites as well. Clearly, this is great PR for our Lake Norman Charlotte area. And, it is very true that ˜Charlotte has fared better than many markets because prices didnt surge here during the real estate boom of recent years.
However, lets put this report in context. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexquoted was for the 12-months through February. Since our Lake Norman slowdown didnt appear on the radar screen until last March I can only assume this index will change next month and the months thereafter. In fact, when I compared Lake Norman sales for February of 2007 to February of 2008 I found the average sales price decreased from $504,503 to $441,082 or -12.5%.
So, how did the Lake Norman real estate market fare this April?
- There were 90 home sales vs 120 in April of 2007 which is a 25% drop in the number of sales
- The average sales price this April was $426,357 vs $538,200 in April of 2007 which is a 20.7% drop in the average sales price
- The average dollars per square foot in April dropped by only 14.45% vs April 2007
- Our overall months of supply of active listings has dropped to 18.5 from a high of 23.4
- The number of sales in April increased 26.7% from this past March of 2008
- There are currently 15 Contingent, 32 Conditional and 110 Pending sales for a total of 157. If most of these were to close in May we would have a significant increase!
- If you remember my article on luxury home sales, several listings over $3 million went under contract in the past few weeks.
(As always, my numbers come from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service and would not include sales outside of our MLS. I use areas 13/1,13/2,13/3,13/4,13/5).
In the meantime, mortgage interest rates dipped below 6%. While it may not be a great time to buy for everyone, if you are buying a home you intend to live in and enjoy for a number of years then I would encourage you to consider moving forward, taking advantage of low interest rates and motivated sellers, rather than trying to do the impossible: buy at the absolute low point of the Lake Norman housing market.
If you would like a specific market analysis for your particular price range and location in the Lake Norman area I would be happy to provide one.
Oh, I took the picture above yesterday of my first-of-the-season Knock Out roses!