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 and strong July, it looks like this hot trend is continuing in August and beyond. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s August 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. (August 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.
August Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 8 Years
So check out the closed sales of 100! While not as high as our record-breaking June, they are the second highest in the past 6 months AND the highest of all previous August Hot Sheets. The 102 new contracts (Under Contract Show) reflects the continuation of our active pace of home sales . Plus, it is by far the highest August 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) as of today is 369 compared to last month’s 366, June’s 365, May’s 395, April’s 380, March’s 347, and last year’s end of August’s 288. Rather than slowing down, our market is keeping pace with our record breaking prior months. With 100 closed sales as of today I think we may be able to match last August’s robust sales of 200. Clearly, our overall Lake Norman real estate market is still HOT!
- New listings: At only 84, our number of new listings added in the past two weeks dropped significantly from all prior months in 2017 but were still in line with previous August’s. While this is obviously typical for this time of year it could negatively impact our future months as buyers will not have as many options. As of today we have only 937 active listings in all of Lake Norman down from last month’s 1004, June’s 966, up slightly from May’s 933 but 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 102 as I stated above, is the 3rd highest this year and well above all prior August Hot Sheet’s since 2010. Our current market is still incredibly very active!
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 39, is the second best month both when comparing it to past months’ this year and past Augusts’ since 2010. Since pending contracts indicate more imminent closed sales I am optimistic 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 September.
- Our 100 Hot Sheet Closed Sales are second only to June’s and the best August hot sheet since 2010. As of today, we have 117 closed sales this month. Will we be able to reach last August’s 200 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 well in to summer. 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 September/October. Beyond that it is very hard to predict.
I am still seeing quite a variety of trends depending on location, types of properties and price ranges. One highlight of our current market is the well overdue upswing in luxury homes. As of today we have 16 homes priced over $1 million under contract including FIVE over $2 million! And, we already have 6 properties close this month over $1 million. In the lower price ranges, we are seeing multiple offers (with sales prices ending up in some cases over the asking price) within the first days of listing them. While our lower price ranges have been the leader in our hot 2017 market, this does not carry forward in all price ranges. Several interesting trends: I am seeing older properties with great water selling over newer homes with okay water and homes in The Peninsula are selling faster than in The Point. Is I-77 traffic becoming a factor?
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. 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 are still coming on the market but at higher prices than in the early years after the recession. 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!
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