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? After a stunning March, strong April, great May and record-breaking June, it looks like this hot trend is continuing in July and beyond. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s July 2017 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 May chart using my data since 2009.
July Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 8 Years
So check out the closed sales of 93! While not as high as last month’s they are the second highest in the past 6 months AND the highest of all previous July Hot Sheets. The new contracts (Under Contract Show) even exceed last month’s which is astounding. Plus, it is by far the highest July since I began doing these reports. I truly am amazed to see the strength of these numbers as I expected more of a slowdown given the time of year. Lake Norman’s overall number of single family homes under contract (UCS and UCNS) as of today are 366 compared to last month’s 365, May’s 395, April’s 380, March’s 347, February’s 275, January’s 199, and last year’s end of July’s 325. Rather than slowing down, our market is keeping pace with our record breaking prior months. With 92 closed sales as of today I have no doubt that we will exceed July 2016’s closed sales of 156. Clearly, our overall Lake Norman real estate market is still HOT!
- New listings: At 145, our number of new listings added in the past two weeks was significantly higher than all prior months in 2017 and all prior July’s. Are seller’s hearing about our hot market and deciding to get off of the fence and list? As of today we have 1004 active listings in all of Lake Norman up from last month’s 966 and May’s 933 but still well below last June’s high of 1132.
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales, at 113 as I stated above, are the most this year and all prior July Hot Sheet’s since I started keeping these numbers. Our current market is very active!
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 30, is the only disappointment this month. They are the 3rd lowest month this year and lower than last July’s as well as July 2014’s and 2012’s. Since pending contracts indicate more imminent closed sales I may need to lower my expectations for our July closed sales just a bit. 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.
- Our 93 Hot Sheet Closed Sales are second only to last month’s and the best July hot sheet since 2009. It will be really interesting to see how many sales we close this month. It sure looks good but we have to close 63 more in just one week! (Keep in mind, as always, that we have had a surge of new construction in the past 3 years so these MLS numbers are actually lower than our total sales because so many new homes are sold directly to buyers rather than through the MLS).
Clearly Lake Norman’s real estate market is still very active. As I underscored for the past several months, the dip in February was definitely short lived. Given our current momentum, I feel that we should maintain very strong sales numbers at least through August/September. Beyond that it is very hard to predict. I am still seeing quite a variety of trends depending on location, types of properties and price ranges. Over the past few months I had three listings priced in the $200,000’s to low $300,000’s sell over the asking price with multiple offers in the first days of listing them. I also represented a buyer in multiple offer negotiations as well. (We won!). While our lower price ranges are exceptionally hot, this is not true across the board of our waterfront and higher price ranges. I am seeing older properties with great water selling over newer homes with okay water. Homes in The Peninsula are selling faster than in The Point. Overall there has been improvement in our trade-up and luxury waterfront home sales but they still overall in a buyer’s market. Inventory is growing but competition is still strong for good new listings.
I am still counseling my buyers to watch the market daily for new listings and price reductions. The average days on market has dropped, especially for “good” new listings. But properties that aren’t perfect or are overpriced are 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 early years after 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 but more likely the $800,000’s+.
For sellers, the key is to stage every listing to perfection! That usually means freshly painted interiors (think Agreeable Grey at Sherwyn Williams), painting tired kitchen cabinets white when appropriate, refinishing hardwood floors or installing hardwoods or good laminates in dark tones, new counter tops if needed and professional staging. This makes a HUGE difference and has proven to add to the bottom lines in every listing I have had. Sellers, today it is more important than ever to stage your homes in order to maximize your profits!
After the rapid rise of mortgage interest rates after the election they dropped back down even after the most recent Fed rate hike. As of today you can get a 30-year fixed conforming loan for as low as 3.8%. There are still so many unknowns in 2017 and the Feds are expected to raise rates again one more time this year so it is truly impossible to predict where we will be at the end of 2017.
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 today is actually a well priced home that is in a very good location with a good floor plan. My Mantra for 2017 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! Sellers: UPDATE and STAGE to perfection for maximum profits!
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