Even the Skeptics Say the Worst is Over!

Over the past few years and in the middle of the worst recession many have ever seen, many said that the real estate market will never be like it was in 2006 and 2007. Its funny how when things are great, those same people think it will stay that way forever and when things get bad, those same people say it will never get better. Well, you don’t have to listen to the predictions and wonder anymore, at least in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just look at the numbers.

Charlotte home sales are strong. Pending sales, which are an indicator of closings in the next 30-60 days, are even stronger. It is only natural that the price apreciation will follow. In my daily business, I talk with lots and lots of other practitioners and I haven’t encountered anyone recently that hasn’t gotten very busy, very fast. Homes are selling and there have been more an more cases of multiple offers. If we weren’t spurned by the last four years with expectations of higher prices, some might say we are experiencing a real estate boom. I’m not afraid to admit that I personally believe that a boom is here and that pent up demand which has been building for years is finally starting to be released to the market. I will even go as far as predicting that we will see people starting to get into the market very soon out of fear of missing the next boom.

Today, I’m sending out my monthly E-Newsletter with the market stats for March. The data will compare March 2012 to the prior month and again to the same month last year. Here’s a quick summary of the results:

– Home sales are up 32% from last month and up 12% from last year
– Average sales price is up 20% from last month, but down 5% from last year
– Median sales price is up 17% from last month and up 6% from last year
– Days on market is down 5% from last month and down 8% from last year
– Pending home sales are up 11% from last month and up 27% from last year
– Supply is up 5% from last month, but down 23% from last year
– Mortgage rates are about even from last month, but down about a point from last year

There is nothing but positive news in the data above. All indicators point to improvement in the market in Charlotte, North Carolina. The most exciting news is that pending home sales are up 27% from this time last year. The last time we saw pending sales at that level was in July 2007, which was just about the peak of the market in our area. It’s hard to be skeptical of the Charlotte market at this point.

Our prices are still at a low on average, but the deals are becoming harder and harder to find as demand increases. Interest rates are certainly at record lows. Both of these factors have pushed home affordability to all-time highs. But as the economy grows, rates and prices will both rise and I believe that the latter is already happening right under our noses.

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