Buyers get ready. The 2016 Charlotte real estate market peaked in June at an average sales price of $331,000. Prices are up about 10% over the same time last year. But not to worry, because every year starting about now, our real estate market starts to go on sale. Smart buyers looking to invest wisely should start watching the market and be ready to strike with an offer later this fall. That’s because every year there are seasonal peaks and valleys. The market peaks in the summer and valleys in the winter.
This seasonal effect is well known. But what is not well known is the degree to which prices fluctuate during any given season. Recently I charted the seasonal high and low selling prices for each calendar year and the results are astounding. The numbers show that when comparing the average price per square foot for single family homes sales in Charlotte, there is typically a 10-20% gain from the low in winter to the high later that same year. But what’s even more intriguing is that there is typically an 8-15% decrease in home prices between the high of summer and the next low in winter of the following year. Over the past 10 years that I’ve been tracking the data, this pattern has occurred year after year without fail. That includes normal markets, recession markets, and boom markets.
It is commonly known that over the long term, Charlotte real estate appreciates at a rate of 3-5% per year. 8% to 15% over a six month time period sounds a lot better to me! So what if you commit to making your purchase in the low months and wait to sell during the high months of spring summer? Sounds like a winning plan to me.
With this seasonal effect in mind, we’ll be encouraging our buyers with time flexibility to start thinking about their next purchase right now. Why now? Because it can take a few months to get familiar with the market and understand what’s available and what your money can buy. In order to be prepared to strike on a great property at the right time, buyers that believe in this strategy need to be ready with all preparations complete. So start looking now, get your ducks in a row, and be ready to strike in November or December, since that’s historically the best time to strike a deal at the lowest prices.
Oh yeah, and check out the most recent sales stats for Mecklenburg County single family home sales here: http://wrealtygroup.com/market/stats/
Here’s a quick summary when comparing this month’s sales to last month and the same period last year:
- Home sales are down 19% from last month and 6% from last year
- Average sales price is down 1% from last month, but up 13% from last year
- Median sales price is down 3% from last month, but up 12% from last year
- Average price per square foot is even from last month, but up 5% from last year
- Pending home sales are down 6% from last month but up 8% from last year
- Supply is down 4% from last month and down 12% from last year
- Mortgage rates are down from last month AND last year, and currently sit at 3.44%
- The average payment is down 2% from last month but up 5% from last year