It looks like Lake Norman is finally showing signs of our usual seasonal slowdown after a couple of relatively strong months.
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. (Jan. 6 – Jan. 20th). 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 increased compared to last month but this occurs every year. Once the holidays are behind us, historically there is an increase in new listings starting in January. However, it is important to note that in my January 2010 Hot Sheet we had 136 new listings so we are not adding new inventory at the pace of 2010. This is very important. Our overall number of active listings/homes for sale in Lake Norman continues to decline. As of today our total reached a new low of 1043. This is very good news as our months of supply of inventory which is hovering around 12-18 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, increased to the highest level in 6 months. However, they are well below the 37 we logged in last January. End of year jitters? It is hard to know.
- The number of price changes remained very low. Last January’s Hot Sheet included 114 price changes. I would expect this number to jump back up in the months to come but if they don’t, this might be a sign that more of our active listings are priced low enough to generate offers.
- Pending home sales increased only slightly from last month. These are contracts that are through all of their conditions/contingencies/Due Diligence Deadlines and sitting ready to close. Last January in the same two-week period we recorded 34 pending sales or 41% more than this January. After a strong 4th quarter, these numbers indicate that we may not beat last January’s sales number of 53.
- The number of closed sales in the past two weeks were almost half the number last month and only slightly higher than January 2010’s Hot Sheet of 21. So far this month 18 closed sales have been reported to our MLS compared to 60 last month and 22 in the same period for January 2010. My best guess is that we will close about 50-55 single family home sales by the end of the month which would equal January 2010. The bottom line is that we are starting our 2011 with a whimper rather than a roar. (The good news is that in January of 2008 we closed only 28 home sales in Lake Norman so it could be worse).
- Contingent and Conditional sales and our new category of Actives/Due Diligence are up 20% from last month as well as January 2010. These represent the most recently accepted offers. These numbers would indicate a slight improvement in our February/March sales relative to this month.
This glimpse at our current Lake Norman real estate market certainly suggests that, at least at the beginning, 2011 will not be dramatically different than 2010 with one exception: Our number of active listings is continuing to decrease. Boring may be a good thing if we can rid our housing market of the excess inventory of homes for sale. We need to watch closely for signs of any “shadow inventory”. If we start to see a marked increase in inventory then it will be longer before we can say with confidence that we have turned the corner on our Lake Norman real estate market.