Lake Norman’s March 2010 Single Family Housing Statistics
Our March Lake Norman real estate numbers for single family homes are a definite improvement over last month’s rather dismal numbers and those of the same time a year ago (March 2009) as well. However, before we jump up and down declaring the worst is over, we need to analyzed these numbers more closely and see what they are telling us.
- Active Listings dropped 15% from a year ago. While any drop in inventory is good news in this market, our inventory seems to have stabilized when compared to the last two months. Right now, based upon our March sales, we have 20.5 months of inventory. While an improvement from our 27 months in February, this is not good enough. Remember that 6-8 months of supply is considered a balanced housing market. To achieve this given our current inventory levels we will need to sell about 160 homes per month! On a positive note, the average price of our active listings dropped 8%.
- Contingent Sales remain very low. These are the homes under contract that are contingent upon the buyer’s home selling. Clearly, Lake Norman sellers are much less willing to accept contingent offers than they were last year.
- Conditional Sales increased 129%! These are homes that just went under contract and still have financial and inspection conditions. Home buyers were definitely out looking and writing offers in March. This would seem to bode well for our April/May sales.
- Our 103 pending sales were an impressive 41% increase over a year ago. These are the contracts that are past inspections and are just waiting to close. Pending sales are the best indication of future sales and substantiate that our April sales should significantly exceed April 2009 sales and MAY even reach April 2008’s 90 sales. Remember, in the fourth quarter of 2009 our Lake Norman home sales consistently exceeded our 2008 sales numbers. After a relatively weak first quarter 2010, it looks like our second quarter has potential to show marked improvement.
- The number of closed sales were 16% higher than March 2009. As I wrote above, while certainly an improvement, we are still sitting on over 20 months of inventory. Note that our average sales price increased by 4% and the average days on market dropped by 13%. We also saw increases in the average price of conditional and pending home prices. This does not mean our prices are increasing. Rather, it means that our higher priced listing sales are improving. Because of the nature of our Lake Norman housing market, we really can’t use the average sales price to determine if our prices are increasing or decreasing because our inventory ranges from under $100,000 to $5 million. Our average prices vary with the price range that is selling. One or two $million plus sales can skew our average prices substantially.
6-Year Comparison of Lake Norman Home Sales By Month
* Please note that all of my numbers come from the Charlotte Region Multiple Listing Service and will not include sales that took place outside of our MLS.
**I have made an adjustment of the totals reflecting the ACTUAL sales every month in 2009 and 2010 and the totals in the prior calendar year. The columns may not add up but I do my best with what I have to work with!
Our March sales give us some hope that our Lake Norman housing market truly is improving . I have noticed more buyers are jumping off of the fence when they find a home that suits them at a competitive price. As I said last month, the next few months are going to be critical. We are entering our best season for home sales in our Lake Norman communities. If we don’t see a substantial jump in the number of home sales, then it may be 2011 before we can expect to see signs of a true stabilization of our housing market. The key, in my opinion, is a combination of buyer confidence and sellers continuing to reduce their prices to match the recent sales prices. We still have a significant disparity in many of our active listings’ asking prices and the recent sales prices.
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