It would be easy to look at the market stats both locally and nationally and predict that real estate is taking a turn again by slowing down. The data clearly shows that is the case. But when taken with a dose of perspective, what’s really happening is that the market is slowly returning to what was once considered to be normal and healthy.
This week we will send out our monthly E-Newletter and publish the market stats for Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. Here is a sneak peak when comparing the data from last month to the prior month (January) and again to February of last year:
– Home sales are down 15% from last month and 8% from last year.
– Average sales price is down 6% from last month, but up 6% from last year.
– Median sales price is unchanged from last month, but up 11% from last year.
– Average price per square foot is down 2% from last month, but up 8% from last year.
– Average time on market is unchanged from last month and down 1% from last year.
– Pending home sales are up 17% from last month, but down 3% from last year.
– Supply is up 13% from last month, but down 10% from last year.
– Mortgage rates are down to 4.3% which is slightly below last month, but up from 3.5% last year.
– The average house payment is down 8% from last month, but up 16% from last year.
When comparing the numbers from last month to the month before, there is a good deal of seasonality that must be considered. Home sales have slowed, but pending home sales are up. This is all very normal for this time of the year. In the almost 10 years since I’ve been tracking the market stats, both home sales and average sales price always bottom out in January or February of any given year. This year appears to be no exception. The average sales price of $229,129 for February 014 is a very healthy starting point for the rest of the year. Expect to see rising prices through June-July of this year.
Looking at the stats from last year to this year, it appears the market is slowing based on percentages. We have to keep in mind that 2013 was a year of correction back from market bottoms. As we return to a healthy market, the numbers are naturally going to show slowed growth. Prices are still rising so that is a great sign and a slower healthy market is best for the long term.