Lake Norman home sales have slowed significantly in the past few weeks after a bit of a rally. Several weeks ago I had spoken to a handful of the most active waterfront agents and we were pretty excited about the sudden burst of contracts of waterfront homes in the $900,000 – $1.4million price range. Several homes even had multiple offers after sitting on the market for well over a year.
Unfortunately, what we had hoped to be a serious trend turned out what now appears to be an isolated blip on our screen. As you will see from the charts below, our overall Lake Norman home sales have slowed down in the past two weeks.
Lake Norman Real Estate’s 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 (area 13). These numbers represent a real time snapshot of the past two week’s activity. (Oct. 7 – Oct. 21st). As always, I have included the past 5 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective.
Below is the 2009 chart for the same period for your reference.
Oct 23, 2009 Hot Sheet
- New listings: The number of new listings dropped to their lowest level since I have been doing these two-week mid-month hot sheets. This is actually very good news because our overall number of active listings in Lake Norman continue to drop. This is necessary for our months of supply of inventory to achieve a balance of 6-8 months of inventory. Not such great news for buyers hoping to see new options.
- The number of properties that came back-on-the-market, most likely due to cancelled contracts, were lower than in 2009 but about equal to the last few months. It appears that homes going under contract are more likely to close today than they were in 2009. Now that lenders have been working with the new RESPA laws and other changes for a while I have noticed that while the loan process is much more rigorous for my clients, they are definitely closing. Another note, about half of my buyers are paying with all cash thereby avoiding the lending market all together. This may be true in general as well.
- The number of price changes dropped slightly compared to last month but were up slightly from last year.
- Pending home sales are identical to last month. These are contracts that are through all of their conditions/contingencies and sitting ready to close. Our pending sales were down 32% compared to the same two-week period in 2009 but almost identical to Oct. 2008 which was the first month our home sales reflected the effects of the new recession. Our Lake Norman single family home sales in October of 2008 totaled only 64 compared to 81 last October. Are this year’s October sales going to drop back to 2008 levels?
- The number of closed sales in the past two weeks were down 40% compared to last month, -46% compared to October 2009 and down 25% from October 2008. So far this month 21 closed sales have been reported to our MLS compared to 32 sales last month, 38 sales in August and 63 sales at the same time in June. (Note, the closed sales above include any sales input by agents in the past two weeks and may include some sales from September). My best guess is that we will be lucky to close 65 single family home sales by the end of the month which would match our lowest October of 2008’s 64 sales. I really hope I am wrong about this!
- Contingent and Conditional sales are down about 18% from last month but are just about equal to October 2009. These represent the most recently accepted offers. It looks like our Lake Norman real estate market may take a dip this month but stabilize in November.
As I wrote last month, my buyers, mostly out-of-state, are paying close attention to our current market trying to time their purchase. I still believe that this winter will be an excellent opportunity to jump off of the fence. While no one expects 2011 to be a banner year, most expect to see a slight improvement in the national housing market and I see no reason why Lake Norman would not follow this national trend.
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