Wow, what a difference a year makes! While 2009 will go into the books as the worst in years for Lake Norman home sales, our December numbers make a strong statement about what we can expect in our Lake Norman area in 2010; and it is good news!
Take a look at our statistics compared to December 2008:
Lake Norman’s December 2009 Housing Statistics
- Active Listings dropped a whopping 20%. . As I have written many times, getting our number of active listings down is critical to our Lake Norman housing recovery so this is a very good sign! I know that more and more sellers are taking their homes off the market. It will be interesting to see if they bring them back on in the spring. Again, note the average price of our active listings when compared to the average price of our solds this past month are still quite a bit higher. But, they are much closer than last year. Our high-end market in Lake Norman is still suffering however I am seeing a definite increase in activity due, in part, to foreclosures and short sales.
- Contingent Sales are down 27% compared to the 11 in December 2008. These are the homes under contract that are contingent upon the buyer’s home selling. Sellers are less willing to accept contingent offers than they were last year.
- Conditional Sales increased an incredible 200%! These are homes that just went under contract and still have financial and inspection conditions. People were definitely out buying in December. I know that I showed property all month including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
- Pending sales also increase substantially @ 42%. This is another indication that our future sales will be significantly higher than the same month in 2009. It is important to note that January 2009 was the worst month for Lake Norman home sales in over 5 years. It looks like we will start 2010 with some substantial improvements over 2009.
- The number of closed sales increased by 9% compared to December 2008. This means that we have had sales increases compared to 2008 for three consecutive months. While we have an absorption rate (number of months of inventory of homes for sale) of 18.4 months, this isdown from 2008’s 25-month supply. Remember that 6-8 months of inventory reflects a balanced market. The average price of our properties sold in December actually increased 31% compared to last year. This is not because prices are going up but rather that buyers are beginning to buy in the higher price ranges that were practically dormant last year.
- 5-Year Comparison of Lake Norman Home Sales By Month
* Please note that all of my numbers come from the Charlotte Region Multiple Listing Service and will not include sales that took place outside of our MLS.
**I have made an adjustment of the totals reflecting the ACTUAL sales every month in 2009 and the totals in the prior calendar year. The columns may not add up but I do my best with what I have to work with!
What immediately stands out is that for the past three months our Lake Norman sales of existing homes have been higher than the same months in 2008. It is important to remember that these were the months in 2008 when the financial crisis hit our US economy. While we are not going to equal the total number of sales of 2008 this year, if you look at our trends since January there is an obvious trend of improving home sales, especially in our 4th quarter.
However, if you compare our 2009 monthly sales to 2007 we are still coming up significantly short every month until this past December. While I highly doubt we will come close to January 2007’s sales numbers, we might meet or beat January 2008 and we will definitely see a significant improvement to January 2009!
This report Part 1 of a three-part series. Part 2 will be our 4th quarter sales analysis by price range. Part 3 will be a summary of the Lake Norman real estate sales for 2009 compared to 2008 as well as some insight into what I predict for our 2010 Lake Norman real estate market.