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.
So here we are starting a new year and and its as if someone just flipped a switch. We are only 21 days into 2016 and there is already concrete evidence that the Lake Norman real estate market is heating up quickly after a relatively soft 4th quarter. This is why I love these middle-of-the-month hot sheet reports, because they provide a great indication of where our market is trending, putting today’s hot sheet numbers in perspective not just with the past 6 months but all Januarys’ back to 2009.
Lake Norman Real Estate’s January 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. (January 7th – 21st). As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the January chart using my data since 2009.
January Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 6 Years
While new listings are up, what is most impressive is our number of new contracts in the past 2 weeks which exceed all prior months back to last August! Our pending sales are also quite strong compared to the past 5 months. We currently have 212 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 185 at the same time.
- New listings: It is not news that our inventory levels were at historic lows throughout 2015 but given the 78 new listings in the past two weeks there are early signs that sellers are going to get off the fence in 2016. More new listings will result in increased sales. Today we have only 730 active listings in all of Lake Norman which is down from last month’s 758 and well below last January’s 794.
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales in our MLS at 66 is the second highest since July and the best January since I started creating these reports in 2009. This bodes well for our February and even March closed sales.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, are also positive. At 28, this is the best hot sheet number since September and the best January hot sheet since 2010. 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 February. As I said above, last January we had 69 closed sales. While we may just match that number our hot sheet data indicates we will have a potentially stronger February and even March 2015.
- 40 Closed Sales is the highest January since I started these reports in 2009. At the same time, it is the lowest of the past 6 months. Historically January is always our very slowest month for closed sales. As I said above, we only had 69 closed sales last January compared to last December’s 125 or just half the number of closings. So, given our closings month to date I think we will match last January’s closings (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 everything in our Lake Norman real estate market is related to our extremely low number of properties for sale. 78 new listings in the past 2 weeks bodes well for this year 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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