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.
I always get excited to do this Hot Sheet analysis each month because it provides me with a mid-month pulse of our Lake Norman real estate market. So where are we today? The numbers below give us a bit of a mixed message for this month but some positive signs for the next few months thereafter. Sound familiar? Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s July 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. (July 7th – 21st. As always, I have included the past 6 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the July chart using my data since 2009.
July Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 8 Years
After last month’s record breaking closed sales, I am a bit nervous that we may fall short this month based upon the numbers above. But, you never know how many closings we will have in the next 10 days! We currently have 316 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 322 and last year’s end of July/early August’s 286.
- New listings: At 97, our number of new listings added to our inventory in the past two weeks is about equal to the same period last year but well below all prior months this year back looking back as far as February. Our inventory shortage was melting away but this new number gives me pause to wonder if our Lake Norman real estate market is heading for a slight correction. As of today we have 1011 active listings in all of Lake Norman down from last month’s 1132.
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales in our MLS, at 93 which is VERY impressive. This is the second highest hot sheet number this year and the best July since I have been doing these reports. This certainly bodes well for our August/September and even October closed sales.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 34 is about in line with last month’s and while better than last July’s certainly not record breaking. 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 August.
- 86 Hot Sheet Closed Sales certainly doesn’t look impressive compared to last month but if you put it in context this is the second highest number in 2016 and the best July for as long as I have been keeping these records. However, I am still a bit concerned because we closed 174 sales in July of 2015 and we are only half way there with just 9 days to go in the month. I am hopeful but not confident given our trends so far this year. Keep in mind, as always, 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.
Clearly, over all, Lake Norman’s real estate market is currently very active. That said, I am still seeing quite a variety of trends depending on location, types of properties and price ranges. Multiple offers are not uncommon in the $200,000’s and our lower price ranges are selling faster than the higher price ranges. In our trade-up price ranges exceptional properties are selling quickly but otherwise this price niche is unpredictable. With inventory seeming to have peaked for the year, I am still 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 tear-downs/fixers are still coming on the market but at higher prices than in the past years since the recession. To get a nice waterfront home you really need to be looking at least in the $700,000’s depending on the location. If you drive around almost every area on Lake Norman you will see an amazing amount of new construction. I sold a waterfront home in Sherrill’s Ford recently and as I drive more and more on the west side of Lake Norman I am amazed at the number of large developments breaking ground in both Sherrill’s Ford and Denver including a new “Publix coming soon” sign at the corner of Campground and Hwy 150. And, interest rates remain amazingly low and are now expected to stay in the 3%’s for the rest of the year. Don’t forget 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, good floorplans and resale and look for good waterfront opportunities before they are gone. And, if you find a property that suits you, don’t wait too long to act!
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