My bi-monthy Lake Norman Friday Hot Sheets are back!
Lake Norman Residential Real Estate Hot Sheet
December 19, 2008
Above is a chart with today’s “Hot Sheet” numbers from the Charlotte Multiple Listing Services for single family homes in Lake Norman (Area 13). These numbers represent the past TWO weeks of activity. As always, I provided the prior 5 months for comparison with the exception of November when my blogsite was down. Here are the highlights:
- Once again our number of pending sales and closed sales dropped to new lows.
- The number of new listings are down slightly but not enough! Considering the fact that we only sold 46 homes last month and we have over 1500 active listings we do not want to see our inventory of homes increase!
- The number of homes “back on the market”, while down from October, are still very high. Twice as many homes fell out of contract and went back on the market than actually closed. Again, this is a reflection of the difficulty with mortgage loans. Lenders are tougher than ever!
- Price changes are down but unfortunately show that sellers are still chasing the market down. When I look at the individual listings and see a listing price change from $208,500 to $207,500 or $759,900 to $745,400 it concerns me that sellers are not grasping the full picture of our current Lake Norman and even US housing market. Most listings that have been on the market for over a month or two may need serious price reductions! If you are not getting at least one showing a week then consider a serious reduction in price now rather than a series of smaller reductions that will ultimately result in a lower sales price.
- The number of sales pending (and basically ready to close with no more contingencies and loan is clear to close) are down slightly. Pending sales are usually used as a barometer of the future sales.
- The number of closed sales is also down. It looks like the month of December as a whole may mimic Novembers low sales of 46.
- A glimmer of hope is reflected by a slight increase in the number of homes that are contingent and conditional. While these sales are still awaiting loan approval and sales of other homes, it is always good to see an increase in these numbers.
What our Lake Norman real estate market needs right now is a shot of consumer confidence to get buyers motivated to buy. What is selling right now are bargains and homes that are in near perfect condition and well priced. A significant reduction in the number of active listings will be needed to return us to a balanced market. Right now supply far outweighs demand.
Interest rates dropped into the 4% range this week which may motivate buyers to get off of the fence.
Short term, there is no doubt the Lake Norman Real Estate market is going to continue to struggle along with the rest of the country. But, there is also no doubt that Lake Norman is one of the best places in the country to live. Once the US economy stabilizes and consumer confidence returns our real estate market will be strong again. There is only one Lake Norman North Carolina and I sure am grateful to be living here!