Whether you are a potential home buyer considering the greater Lake Norman area or a Lake Norman homeowner trying to determine the best time to sell, it has never been more important to be informed in every possible way about our local Lake Norman real estate market.
Our Lake Norman housing market continues to change rapidly. What was true even a month ago may not be true today. That said, here is the summary of Lake Norman single family home sales and statistics for this past February. (The period ending yesterday):
Active Listings: Unfortunately, our number of active listings has increased by 62 properties since January 1, 2009. Normally we would look forward to new listings coming on for our peak Spring and Summer months but today we face such a seriously overstocked supply of active listings that any increase in our inventory is not good for home sellers….more supply + low demand = lower sales prices.
Contingent Sales: These dropped from 16 to 13 since January which is not terribly significant.
Conditional Sales: The number of homes that went under contract increased for the second month in a row. While the number is still low, this is the right direction!
Pending Sales: The number of homes who have completed inspections, met loan conditions and just waiting to close dropped from 66 in January to 57. Since this is the best barometer of next month’s closed sales a decline at this time is not a good indicator that we will see any improvement in early spring.
Closed Sales: While 45 is not great, it is almost double our record low Lake Norman home sales in the month of January. This is a 10% decrease compared to February 2008. The average sales price declined 6% compared to last February. Finally, the average dollars per square foot dropped from $168.6 in February 2008 to $138.4 in February 2009. This is a decline of 17.9%. Prices are dropping.
5-Year Comparison of Lake Norman Home Sales By Month
* Please note that all of my numbers come from the Charlotte Region Multiple Listing Service and will not include sales that took place outside of our MLS.
**While my totals on this chart for 2008 sales is 870, when I search on our MLS for the entire year they give me a slightly higher number of 916 so I will use that as our official number for the sake of this analysis.
The number of Lake Norman home sales this past month dropped only 10% versus February 2008.
Summary: With sales of 45 and an inventory of 1533 we still have 34 months of active listings in our Lake Norman area. (A balanced market should have 6-8 months of inventory). And, our average sales per square foot dropped almost 18%. While the fact that prices have dropped may not seem like good news, it actually is a necessary part of our Lake Norman real estate market recovery. As prices drop, sales will increase, inventory drops and our local real estate market stabilizes.
One interesting observation: There has been a marked increase in home showings during the past 3 weeks. Buyers are out looking again! My daughter and I went to the NorthLake Mall yesterday and it was packed. I honestly have never seen the parking lot so full and the mall was incredibly busy. Perhaps consumers are gaining a bit of confidence and might start spending again!