This week our listings saw an average of 1.4 showings each. As we head into the Thanksgiving week and the beginning of a six week window of holidays, it is expected that traffic will slow and priorities will temporarily shift. Do not fear and be encouraged. Last week we sent our monthly E-Newsletter and published the Charlotte Market Stats for October 2009. I’m very pleased to share that the data is very positive.
Before discussion of the good news, I’ll get the bad news out of the way. Home prices were down in October 2009 by 13% over the same period in 2008. This does not concern me in the slightest. October 2008 was a historical time for the economy in general because that is when the markets crashed and no one new how bad it was going to get. However, the closings that occurred that month represented contracts that were written in the months prior to that. Therefore, prices in that month were not reflective of the conditions at that time. After many months of a declining market, it should be obvious that prices would be down this October.
The good news is that in October of 2009, homes sales were up 20% and pending home sales are up 30%. This surge in home sales was the largest jump in sales that we’ve seen since the market slide. And the fact that pending home sales are up 30% means that we will continue to see strong home sales in November and December. In a real estate market recovery, home prices will not rise before the number of home sales does. We are starting to see step one take place right now.
There is an old saying that market bears jump out the window, while the bulls climb the stairs. I think that’s exactly what has happened and will continue to happen. The bear has landed and our bull is starting its ascent. I’m not suggesting that we’ll see a bull real estate market like we did in the early 2000s, but I do think we are on a solid path forward. For that, I’m thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!