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 truly record breaking first 10 months, it looks like our volume of sales has slowed with the season however they are still “hot” compared to prior Novembers. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s November 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. (November 8th – 22nd). As always, I have included the past 7 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the November chart using my data since 2010.
November Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 8 Years
If you focus on just the top chart, it is clear that our sales have slowed compared to our peak months. That said, they are a bit higher than last month’s hot sheet. And, looking at the second chart, you can see that we posted the best November hot sheet numbers by a long shot compared to all prior November’s. Lake Norman’s overall number of single family homes under contract (UCS and UCNS) today is 278 compared to last month’s 310 and last year’s end of November’s 237. While slowing compared to our peak months of 2017, looking all previous November’s since 2010 we currently have the highest number of properties under contract. With 94 closed sales so far this month I think we should definitely be able to match last November’s sales of 130. Clearly, the pace of activity of our overall Lake Norman real estate market is still quite brisk relative to past years’ 4th quarters.
- New listings: At only 70, our number of new listings added in the past two weeks is well below most prior months in 2017 but is still in line with previous November’s. While it is typical during this time of year for our inventory of active listings to drop, this could negatively impact our future months as buyers will not have as many options. As of today we have only 808 active listings in all of Lake Norman down from last month’s 853, September’s 919, August’s 937, July’s 1004, June’s 966, and May’s 933 and well below June 1, 2016’s high of 1132.
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales, at 70, is a clear decline when compared to our peak months this year but at the same time is the highest November Hot Sheet’s since 2010. Our current market is still relatively busy.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 34, is actually quite remarkable for this time of year. It exceeds the past two month and is by far the highest November since 2010. Since pending contracts indicate more imminent closed sales I feel good about our final closed sales for this month. 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 December.
- Our 79 Hot Sheet Closed Sales are a tick higher than last month’s and again is the best November since I started keeping these records. As of today, we have 94 closed sales so far this month. Given our pending contracts I do feel we will reach last November’s 130 closed sales. (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 has sustained a strong pace even as we enter our seasonally slower months. There is no doubt in my mind that we will end 2017 on a high note setting a new record of annual sales for Lake Norman.
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, especially in the higher price ranges. If buyers are willing to do remodeling, then now is a great opportunity to buy an older waterfront home that needs work but is in a great location or has great water. The waterfront tear-downs/fixers continue to be available for willing buyers. 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!
Don’t forget that we have very few distressed sales, (Less than 1% 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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