Over the past two weeks, our listings have averaged 2.5 showings each per week. Its January, but yet the market isn’t acting like any typical January that I’ve known for the past 5 years. Traffic is strong, demand is up, and buyers are making offers.
I still hear a whole lot of hedging about the market and the economy in the media. After four brutal years of recession, many people are afraid to be wrong about an improving economy. But as I talk to buyers, sellers, fellow realtors, I always challenge everyone to help me see what bad news is still left out there. But I haven’t been able to find any! The financial markets are improving, the economy is improving, consumer condfidence is up, rates are still low, and real estate is selling!
Last week I did a listing presentation in a great section of Dilworth. It was the first one in a very long time where the neighborhood sales pace vs current inventory indicated that area is officially experiencing a SELLERS market. Dilworth has always been a hot neighborhood and ahead of the curve. To me its an indication that we will see similar results begin to occur all around Charlotte in the coming year.
For five years now, real estate professionals continue to say that there “is no better time to buy”. I’d argue that the best opportunity to buy may have already passed. We’ve made it through the bottom and we are well on the way back to a prosperous economy. To be sure, prices are still amazingly affordable and we probably won’t see huge price appreciation for awhile. But the screaming deals seem to be fading into history and the market volatility is shrinking.
Today I released the Mecklenburg County Real Estate stats for December in my monthly E-Newsletter. Here’s a quick summary when comparing December 2011 to the previous month and then to the same period last year:
– Home sales were up 17% from last month and 3% from last year.
– Average sales price was flat from last month and down 1.6% from last year.
– Medial sales price was up 7% from last month and up 7% from last year.
– Average time on market is down 3% from last month and up 11% from last year.
– Pending home sales are down 3% from last month, but up 18% from last year.
– Supply is down 7% from last month and down 24% from last year.
– Mortgage rates were at 3.96% which is just slightly below last month, but well below last year.
The most compelling stats from last month are the increase in pending home sales over last year in combination with the inventory which is down 24% from last year. Increased pending home sales indicate an upswing in demand and the lower supply means fewer homes coming on the market in relation to what’s selling. If this trend continues, we may see a quick shift across Charlotte from buyers market to sellers market. Sellers: you’ve been waiting a very long time for this day to come and it might just arrive this year.