This week our listings saw an average of 1.1 showings each. It was one of the slowest weeks we’ve seen with regard to showing traffic in months. It could certainly be that spring break has caused buyers to put other priorities first this week. If that’s the case, we should see traffic pick up again very soon.
I’ll be releasing my monthly E-Newsletter this week and will report the real estate statistics for Mecklenburg County in March. Be forewarned, the numbers are bleak. The average sales price was down 20% in March 2009 when compared to the same period last year. Don’t let the numbers get you down.
The stimulus bill that was turned into law a few months ago included an $8000 tax credit for first time buyers. That credit is driving the market right now and the majority of sales are related to foreclosures and first time buyers. These two market segments are heavily skewing the market data.
Most foreclosures and first time buyer transactions in our area involve homes that are under $200,000. The larger number of these home sales are shifting the average sales price down from last year when there was a more even distribution of homes that sold. Additionally, in March there were only five homes that sold in Mecklenburg County over $1 million and the highest priced sale was $1,650,000. When the higher priced real estate begins moving at a fast pace, we should see the overall average begin to increase again.
There is no doubt that right now is an incredible time to buy. The average home price in March 2009 was $197,000. The last time we saw the average annual home price that low was in 1999. Are home prices really at 10 year lows? I really can’t predict how much longer this recession and slow real estate market will last. But I’m sure that the affordable prices, combined with incredibly low interest rates and the tax credit for first time buyers are an opportunity not to be missed.