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.
Wow, it is hard to believe we are in our final days of 2015! Overall 2015 has been a very strong year for Lake Norman’s real estate market. We were beaten up a bit in October and November so I have been anxious to do this Hot Sheet analysis to see where we are as of today in December. Historically, December can be surprisingly strong despite the overall seasonal slowdowns that we experience every year. As a matter of fact, since 2005, six of Lake Norman’s December’s total closed home sales exceeded November’s and last year’s December closed sales of 125 made it the 6th highest month of 2014. While we may not reach or exceed last year’s unusually strong December sales I do think we will beat all other Decembers back to 2006.
As of today we have 81 total closed sales since the first of December compared to last month’s 62, October’s 57, September’s 72, August’s 83 and July’s 95. This is a very good indication that we should end 2015 year on a high note. As you can see below, we had the second highest 2-week hot sheet closed sales totals of all previous Decembers’except for last December’s whopping 82. We currently have 185 single family homes under contract (sellers have accepted an offer but the sale is not complete) in all of Lake Norman compared to last month’s 226. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s December 2015 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. (December 7th – 21st). As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
I created this additional chart comparing just the December Lake Norman Hot Sheet numbers for the past 6 years to help put our December 2015 home sales activity in perspective with prior Decembers’.
December Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 6 Years
- New listings: The low number of new listings is not helping our already historically low inventory of homes for sale in Lake Norman. At 56 our number of new listings is actually a bit higher than most Decembers but still the second lowest since early spring of this year. Today we have only 758 active listings in all of Lake Norman which is down from last month’s 828, October’s 885, September’s 918 and well below last December’s 833!
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales in our MLS at 44 is actually slightly higher than last month’ hot sheet number and the best December since I started doing these reports in 2009. This bodes well for our January and even February sales.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, on the other hand, are sadly the lowest in the past 7 months and only the 4th best December since 2009. 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 January. As I said above, last December we had 125 closed sales so it is going to be a nail biter to see if we can match that high number of closings this month.
- 68 Closed Sales is not bad compared to all but last year’s December hot sheet numbers and is even respectable compared to the past 6 months. But can we keep this up for another 10 days? As of today, we have 81 closed sales compared to last December’s 82 on the same day so there is a chance we can end the year on a high note. (Keep in mind that we have had a surge of new construction this year so these MLS numbers are lower than our actual total sales because so many new homes are sold directly to buyers rather than through the MLS).
2015, which started out with a bang and, for the first time, logged consistently high sales each month through September, experienced a slowdown which I feel bottomed out in October. While we may not match or exceed last December’s 125 sales, I am confident 2015 will close about 8% higher than 2014. This would mean overall 2015 will be the best year Lake Norman has seen since 2006! With such low inventory I am counseling my buyers to watch the market daily for new listings and price reductions. The average days on market has dropped significantly, especially for “good” new listings. But properties that aren’t perfect are still sitting. If buyers are willing to do remodeling, then now is a great opportunity to buy an older waterfront home that needs work, has been on the market for a long time but is in a great location or has great water. The waterfront teardowns/fixers are still HOT and disappearing! Interest rates are trending back up now that the Feds raised their rates last week so now is a good time to get off the fence. Also keep in mind that we have very few distressed sales, (Less than 2% of our inventory are distressed properties: foreclosures and short sales), so a bargain may actually be a really well priced home that is in a good location with a good floor plan. My Mantra for 2015 and into 2016 remains: Think location and resale and look for good waterfront opportunities before they are gone!
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