Along with the arrival of some beautiful weather came a marked increase in activity of all kinds in our Lake Norman housing market. While I am projecting relatively disappointing actual closings this month, the numbers below show a definite jump in activity in the past two weeks.
Lake Norman Real Estate’s Two-Week Hot Sheet
3/5/2010 – 3/19/2010
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. (March 5 -19). As always, I have included the past 5 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
Below is the 2009 chart for the same exact same period for your reference.
March 20, 2009 Hot Sheet
- New listings: This is the one increase that is truly very bad news for our Lake Norman housing market. At a time when we are tremendously overstocked with active homes on the market, more new listings came on in the last two weeks than any two-week period on my Hot Sheets since May of 2008! The single biggest threat to our Lake Norman housing recovery is a continued high absorption rate. (The number of months of inventory of active listings based upon the number of sales per month). In order to achieve this we will have to more than triple our current number of sales per month.
- The number of properties that came back-on-the-market, most likely due to cancelled contracts dropped from last month and were about equal to March of 2009. This may be partially due to our lower actual closed sales.
- The number of price changes remain stable compared to last month but were significantly below March 2009. Because of the number of over-priced listings, it would be good to see this number increase.
- Pending home sales jumped back up to September numbers. (We had 78 closings in that month). Since these are an indicator of future closed sales I predict our April 2010 closed sales should increase accordingly. Depending on how long it takes for these to close, we may even see higher closed sales in March than I have predicted.
- The number of closed sales in the past two weeks remained flat versus last month and the same period in 2009. These are sales that would have gone under contract at least 30 to 45 days ago and then closed in the past two weeks. Our 2010 Lake Norman housing market got off to a very rocky start but there are signs of improvement.
- Contingent and Conditional sales increased compared to both last month AND February 2009. We have to go back to May 2009 to find as high a number of homes that just went under contract. This may be a much needed sign that Lake Norman area home buyers are gaining some confidence. A positive sign but we will need to see nearly double this number if we hope to even get back to our 2008 sales numbers.
While I wrote this same observation for the past two months, the same applies for this month and it is worth repeating:
Make no mistake, the serous buyers are out looking. (And jumping off of the fence). Now, however, I am finding that most of the great bargains on GOOD houses and GOOD lots in many price ranges have sold. Many of our current foreclosures and short sales have issues that make them less attractive to buyers, no matter what the price. My buyers want bargains but they also want good houses on good lots. It is not just about the price, but it also matters whether the homes have good floorplans, are located in neighborhoods that are not saturated with active listings and distressed sales and homes that are not too dated. I don’t run across very many buyers who want to make significant repairs/upgrades to a property unless it is an incredible bargain.
I would add that many of my buyers are waiting for some fresh new listings to become available. They have seen everything that is out there and have not found what they want so are waiting for a higher-priced listing that suits their needs to drop into their price range or a property that is truly newly listed for the first time at a good price.