August Charlotte Market Data – Positive News

This past week our listings saw an average of 1.5 showings each.   Traffic has remained slow but steady and the market statistics are beginning to show early signs of improvement.

Next week we’ll send out our monthly E-Newsletter and will report the real estate statistics for Mecklenburg county.   Here is a sneak peak when comparing August 2010 against the previous month and  also against  August of last year:

Home sales are down 22% from last year and down 6% from July.

Average sales price is UP 16% from last year and UP 7% from July.

Average time on market is DOWN 8% from last year and 9% from July.

Pending home sales are down 17% from last year and remain constant from last month.

Supply is DOWN 9% from last year and even with July.

Mortgage rates are down to 4.4% from 5.2 last year.

Home sales and pending home sales are down significantly from last year, but we are still feeling the effects of the tax credit “hangover”, a dip in sales due to demand that was crammed into the first half of 2010.   It is no surprise that the the number of sales are down after the surge in April, May, & June.   If this theory is true, then we should begin to see a seasonally adjusted increase in these numbers over the next few months.

Although the number of sales are down, all of the other indicators I track here on this blog are showing very strong signs of improvement.   First and foremost, the average sales price is UP 16% since last year.**   This is a HUGE increase in prices and should be very encouraging to sellers in our market.   Buyers who are on the fence should consider that if this trend continues, prices are going to keep going up.  

Additionally, the average time on market has dropped considerably and, most importantly, supply  is now showing a declining trend.   I’ve been predicting that once supply starts to drop, the average prices will begin to go up.   This is starting to happen now!   To be clear, it is undoubtedly still a buyer’s market.   But the data is definitely pointing towards improvement in Charlotte real estate.

Interestingly, I don’t think that strong sales are necessarily driving the coming shift in the market.   As a practicing Realtor, I have noticed a pattern over the last few months that many listings are being withdrawn or are expiring and many of those homes are not re-listed.   These represents sellers that are not getting the results they were hoping for and have decided to pull off the market and wait it out.   That leaves more  sellers that NEED to sell and less of those who WANT to sell but don’t have to.

The good news is that homes ARE selling and if you NEED to sell it can be done.   But it takes a seller who recognizes where the market as it is and is willing to sell under those conditions.   Those that WANT to sell but can’t accept the current market, will simply have to stay on the sidelines.   Personally, my listing inventory is as low as its been in months because the motivated sellers have sold and those who can wait have mostly decided to do just that.

**NOTE:   The overall increase in the average sales price does NOT translate into a 16% increase on same house prices.   Rather it tells us that more higher priced homes are starting to sell which brings the overall average up.   During the first half of the year, a large percentage of sales were first time buyer sales which tend to be $200K and under.   Since the tax credit expired, the price range of houses that are selling is becoming more evenly distributed than it was.   This is an important distinction because otherwise it could lead a seller to believe that his/her house has appreciated by 16% in one year.   This is not necessarily the case.   Not yet at least.   🙂

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