December 2008 Charlotte Market Data

This week our listings saw an average of 3.3 showings each, which is a pattern that has continued through the first three weeks of January.   This is a good sign as the road to increased home sales  must begin  with increased showing activity.

On Monday we published our monthly E-Newsletter which included home sales statistics for Mecklenburg County.   With a quick glance and comparing December 2008 with the same period last year, the numbers still look bleak.   However, there is a very positive   pattern over November 2008 that is worth some consideration.

Although the changes were very subtle, almost all of the indicators we track showed positive improvements from November 2008 to December 2008.   When comparing these two periods:

Home sales were up 2%

Home prices remained almost unchanged

Days on market decreased 6%

Pending home sales were down 8%

Housing supply decreased 4%

Mortgage rates dropped 13%

Clearly the most significant change was to interest rates which has effected the number of buyer’s willing to get off the fence.   The drop in interest rates translates to an immediate  increase in housing affordability.   It remains a great time to buy.

These positive signs, minor as they are,  are encouraging.   Given that the financial market tumble was only three months in our past, I don’t expect to see an immediate recovery to a thriving real estate market.   But its nice to know that perhaps we are close to the bottom.   You can trust that I’ll be watching these numbers closely as we enter the spring season.   Tune in again soon!

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