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.
After a solid January, this 2-week snapshot of our Lake Norman real estate activity when compared to the past 6 months and past 6 February’s isn’t as impressive but rather indicates that at the moment we are merely maintaining the status quo. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s February 2016 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. (February 8th – 22nd). As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the February chart using my data since 2010.
February Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 6 Years
While new listings are up from last month’s, Under Contracts and Pending sales were actually down in the past 2 weeks. We currently have 227 single family homes under contract (sellers have accepted an offer but the sale is not complete) in all of Lake Norman compared to last February’s 230 so we are just about on pace with last year at this time.
- New listings: At 87, we had the most new listings in these 2 weeks than in the past 6 months however when compared to all prior February hot sheet numbers this year was the lowest. Darn! By February Lake Norman usually starts getting a lot of new listings but this year we are only inching up our inventory. Today we have only 748 active listings in all of Lake Norman which is up slightly from last month but still well below last February’s 821!
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales in our MLS, at 58, is the 3rd highest since last August and the 2nd best February since 2010. While not stellar, this still bodes well for our March/April closed sales.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 25, puts us slightly below all but one of the past 6 months and below last February’s as well. 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 March.
- 42 Closed Sales is the highest February since I started these reports in 2009. At the same time, it is the second lowest of the past 6 months. Historically February is the first month of the year where we see the beginning of our spring market. Last February we had 86 closed sales and as of today we have 77 closed sales so far this month. I am confident that we will reach or even surpass last February’s sales but our slow pendings do indicate we might struggle a bit to reach last year’s closed sales in March. (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).
Honestly, right now most everything in our Lake Norman real estate market is related to our extremely low number of properties for sale. 87 new listings in the past 2 weeks is an improvement but we need to see this continue and grow as we hit our prime selling months of March-July. 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 so prices are going up! Interest rates have dropped back down under 4% which was quite unexpected. Strike while the iron’s hot as they say. It is impossible to know where mortgage interest rates are headed. 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 2016 remains: Think location and resale and look for good waterfront opportunities before they are gone!
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