It looks like Lake Norman is finally showingsigns of our usual seasonal slowdown after a couple of relatively strong months. As expected, our closed sales so far this month are better than late summer and even last month but as you can see below, our most recent activity reflects an easing of all categories:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s 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 (area 13). These numbers represent a real time snapshot of the past two week’s activity. (Dec. 7 – Dec. 21st). As always, I have included the past 5 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
- New listings: The number of new listings hit another new low this month. Not only have they dropped from prior months but also from December 2009’s Hot Sheet where we had 71. Our overall number of homes for sale in Lake Norman continue to decline and as of today total 1109. This is very good news as our months of supply of inventory which is hovering around 16 needs to achieve a balance of 6-8 months. Not such great news for buyers hoping to see new options.
- The number of properties that came back-on-the-market, most likely due to cancelled contracts, remain steady. However, they are half of the 50 we logged in last December. It appears that homes going under contract are more likely to close today than they were in 2009. Now that lenders have been working with the new RESPA laws and other changes for a while I have noticed that the loan process is much more rigorous up front but once my buyers have been pre-approved there are fewer last minute surprises. Another note, about half of my buyers are payingwith all cash thereby avoidingthe lending market all together. This may be true in general as well.
- The number of price changes plummetted compared to prior months and years. Last December’s Hot Sheet included 97 price changes.
- Pending home sales have finally dropped after several stronger months. These are contracts that are through all of their conditions/contingencies and sitting ready to close. Last December in the same two-week period we recorded 36 pending sales or double the 18 recorded in the past two weeks. This would indicate that our January 2011 sales will decline. The only question is: how much?
- The number of closed sales in the past two weeks were slightly higher than last month and December 2009 which we anticipated based upon our high pending sales last month. So far this month 50 closed sales have been reported to our MLS compared to 40 last month and 41 in the same period of December 2009. My best guess is that we will close about 70 single family home sales by the end of the month which would equal December 2009. The really good news is that in December of 2008 we closed only 58 home sales in Lake Norman and 64 in December of 2007 so we are clearly going to beat these figures handily!
- Contingent and Conditional sales are down 33% from last month and identical to December 2009 These represent the most recently accepted offers. It looks like our Lake Norman real estate market will see a fall in closed sales in January which is typical.
As I wrote last month, my buyers, mostly out-of-state, are paying close attention to our current market trying to time their purchase. I still believe that this winter will be an excellent opportunity to jump off of the fence. While no one expects 2011 to be a banner year, most expect to see some sort of signs of stabilization of our national housing market. Most real estate pundits agree that the national housing market continues to show mixed signals and that:
”Each market will recover at its own rate. Pay less attention to all of the national market metrics but close attention to your local conditions. In the end, that is all that will truly matter…”