Showing traffic continued to be slow this past week. On average, our listings saw 1.9 showings each which is about the same as the previous few weeks. I am convinced that our market is being seriously impacted by the media coverage of the subprime industry meltdown. I’ve had many conversations with Realtors, finanical advisors, and homeowners alike that all seem to agree with my sentiments.
Earlier this week the September edition of ‘Realtor Insights’, a national market update publication by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), was released. Inside, the chief economist of NAR, Lawrence Yun, wrote an excellent article which also supports my opinion. In the article he points out that only 9% of home buyers are affected by the subprime credit crunch, most of whom are first time home buyers. That leaves 91% of buyers who are virtually unaffected. However, we continue to see a slowdown in buyers who are viewing and writing offers on properties here in Charlotte. Given that the economic indicators in the Charlotte area remain strong, I can only logically infer that our local slowdown is due to worries based on a national perspective. Mr. Yun predicts that a recovery in the national market will occur toward the end of the year. Considering that all of our market fundamentals in Charlotte are still strong, I’m hopeful that news of a recovering national real estate market will remove the fears that our buyers seem to be having locally.
In the meantime, sellers really have two options at this point in the market. One is to stick it out until a recovery takes place. Two is to offer a selling price that is attractive enough to incent buyers to pull the trigger, despite their worries of a further downturn in the market.
Another consideration altogether is that our current market conditions indicate that it’s a great time for buyers. For some reason in a down market buyers tend to forget the tried and true, age old strategy to ‘buy low and sell high’! If you have the stomach for it and can trust the fundamentals, a wise investment made now can pay great dividends when the market does recover.