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 & May, record-breaking June, strong July & August and record-breaking September, it looks like this hot trend is cooling off a bit along with our weather. Let’s take a closer look:
Lake Norman Real Estate’s October 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. (October 8th – 22nd). As always, I have included the past 7 months so that you can put these numbers in perspective. Below is the August chart using my data since 2010.
October Hot Sheet Numbers for the Past 8 Years
It certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that our Lake Norman real estate market has slowed significantly in the past month, particularly the past two weeks. Our hot sheet 2-week closed sales dropped about 25% from last month’s and are back down to our April numbers. However, they are equal to our highest previous Octobers since 2010. Clearly our housing market slows down rather significantly at this time of year. The 79 new contracts (Under Contract Show) and 20 pending sales reflects even more of a slowdown in the past two weeks. Lake Norman’s overall number of single family homes under contract (UCS and UCNS) today is 310 compared to last month’s August’s 369, July’s 366, June’s 365, May’s 395, April’s 380, March’s 347, and last year’s end of October’s 275. While slowing compared to our peak months of 2017, compared to all previous October’s since 2010 we currently have a respectable number of properties under contract. With 75 closed sales so far this month I think we may be able to match last October’s sales of 137. Clearly, the pace of activity of our overall Lake Norman real estate market has slowed considerably as we head into our final two months of 2017.
- New listings: At only 80, 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 October’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 853 active listings in all of Lake Norman down from last month’s 919, August’s 937, July’s 1004, June’s 966, and May’s 933 and well below June 12016’s high of 1132.
- Our number of brand NEW “Under Contract but Continue to Show” homes, formally called Conditional and Contingent sales, at 78 as I stated above, reflects a marked decline when compared to our peak months this year but at the same time equals the highest prior October Hot Sheet’s since 2010. Our current market is still relatively busy.
- Our number of Under Contract No Show/Pending sales, at 20, is the biggest disappointment this month. This ties the weakest month in all of 2017 AND is the lowest September since 2010. Yikes! Since pending contracts indicate more imminent closed sales I am a bit concerned 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 November.
- Our 75 Hot Sheet Closed Sales are the lowest since April but match the best October hot sheet since 2010. As of today, we have 97 closed sales this month. Given our low pending contracts, will we be able to reach last October’s 137 closed sales in just 8 days? (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 relatively good pace even as we enter our seasonally slower months. Our low pending sales may result in a dip in sales this month or next but I do feel that we should end 2017 on a high note.
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 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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