The recent uptake in home sales, both here in Lake Norman and throughout many parts of the country has led to a flurry of speculation about whether we have hit the bottom of the housing market.
This week the National Association of Realtors came out with some strong “Pending” numbers (homes that are under contract and ready to close) in their Pending Home Sales Index and painted a rather upbeat picture of the national housing market’s future.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Tuesday the “housing market is beginning to stabilize and the recession should end later this year.” He went on to say “that growth will remain slow and unemployment high for a year after the recession ends.”
These reports have caused an explosion of speculation among Realtors on blogs throughout the country. Zillow jumped into the fray in their Zillow Advice discussion. Zillow.com’s Spencer Rascoff wrote a blog post ” Sorry to spoil the party, but we’re not at the bottom!” in which he shares some sobering numbers for home sales and median prices for the first quarter of this year. While he acknowledges that there are bright spots, he also goes on to explain his concerns for a “massive amount of shadow inventory”.
Bernice Ross, a regular columnist for Inman News and other real estate news sources, wrote an article ” Estimating a real estate bottom” in which she underscores the important of the amount of INVENTORY when trying to determine the best time to buy. Just as I have written in my monthly and quarterly sales analysis, she notes that any more than 8 months of inventory of active listings indicates we are still in a buyer’s market. “….prices lag behind inventory changes. For example, many parts of Florida and California are currently seeing big drops in the amount of inventory….nevertheless, the property values are still decreasing. As the excess inventory is absorbed, prices will stabilize.”
Here is our greater Charlotte and Lake Norman area, the big news this week was the speculation about whether our behemoth developer, Crescent Resources, will be filing for bankruptcy protection:
Crescent bankruptcy filing possible
Crescent Resources’ trouble mirrors real estate’s fall…
There is no doubt that we are seeing signs of improvement, even in our local Lake Norman real estate market. Like most of the nation, First-Time Home Buyers are fueling this increased activity. However, we are still sitting on between 20 to 25 months of supply of active listings. I will continue to provide my hot sheets, monthly and quarterly Lake Norman home sales statistics so that together we can watch for signs that we are nearing our bottom here in Lake Norman.
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