I was recently reading a national real estate news article that explained that todays’ monthly mortgage payments are 40% cheaper than 2006. This is a fascinating perspective of how to evaluate the true cost of a home today compared to our peak of 2006.
The article went on to say that “Although affordability has increased….housing demand remains depressed with existing home sales back to 1998 levels.”
Of course, I had to see if these is true of our Lake Norman real estate market and here is what I found:
* Note that our 2011 numbers are through today and I expect them to equal 2010.
- If you look at the Sales column, you can see the dramatic rise, fall and recent leveling out of the number of single family homes sold in Lake Norman (MLS area 13) since 1998.
- The second easiest column to explain is the average Days on Market which shows a fairly consistent time until the past few years. Imagine that back in the early 2000’s it took less than 2 months to sell a property!
- What is fascinating but a bit more complicated is the average sales prices and the average dollars per square foot columns. Overall our average sales prices in Lake Norman really haven’t dropped that much yet this is counter intuitive to our experiences of the past 4 years. (Unfortunately I can’t get the median prices from our MLS which is what most national statistics use). The average sales are particularly skewed here in Lake Norman because of our waterfront homes which can sell as high as $6 million. It doesn’t take too many very high end sales to impact the average sales numbers dramatically. As you can see, over all our prices have only dropped about 5% from our highs in 2006/2007.
Through a Statistical Analysis Module I am able to get charts using our MLS data from 2005 to October 2011. I can’t copy them here but I can email you copies if you are interested. Here is what I learned:
- The median sales price in Lake Norman went from a low of $260,000 in January 2005 to a high of $$350,000 in 2007/2008. Our median prices since then have followed a jagged line between $350,000 down to a low of $315,000 in November of 2009. Lake Norman median prices for home sales have actually increased since September of 2010 and stand at $330,000 as of the end of October.
- In contrast, I looked at the same median sales price chart for ALL of the Charlotte Multiple Listing Service and it resembled a pyramid; starting low in January 2005 and increasing steadily up until the first quarter of 2008 after which it dropped consistently until January of 2010 but not quite as low as the beginning of 2005. Since then they have remained at about the same price. Our entire MLS dropped significantly lower than Lake Norman and in a more predictable fashion.
My overall conclusion for these statistics is that Lake Norman truly is a unique market which can’t be discussed with a broad brush approach. In order to truly understand our Lake Norman housing market if you are buying or selling a home you need to narrow your focus to your specific property type, location and price range. Hopefully my monthly and quarterly sales analysis will provide more valuable insight for your purposes. (See the right hand column on the home page of this website where is says “Topics” and click on “Market Reports” to access all of the reports available.
Questions? If you want copies of these charts please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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