This week our listings saw an average of 1.1 showings each. Buyers still seem to have a lot of fear over the extreme volatility in the financial markets. However, there are wise individuals saying that there has never been a better opportunity for investing than right now. Warren Buffett has suggested the approach of being “greedy when others are fearful”. He recommends buying now. With regards to the real estate market, I couldn’t agree more. Now is a fantastic time to buy. There is so much fear in the marketplace and opportunities for great deals are abundant. Eventually buyers will get the drift and will get back into the market. But for most it will probably be too late.
This week we’ll be publishing our monthly E-Newsletter with the stats for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg real estate market in September. Here’s a sneak preview of the details when comparing to the same period last year:
Homes sales are down 32.6%
Average home price is down 1.4% to $247,473
Average time on market is up 33.8% to 91 days
Pending home sales are down 36.3%
Housing supply is up 56.3% to 10 months
Mortgage rates are down 5.3%
These numbers appear to be pretty bleak. However, keep in mind that our market really started to go sour in August of 2007 when Bank of America announced that they’d be giving Countrywide a 2 billion dollar capital investment. (Of course, they later ended up striking a deal to buy Countrywide for not much more).
Remember that the decisions that buyers and sellers make in real estate typically take about three months to be reflected in market statistics. That’s because it usually takes 30-45 days from the time a buyer and seller agree on price to the time they close. Prior to writing an offer, you have to consider the time it takes for a buyer to shop around and after closing it takes for data to get fully reported. Hence the three month “tail”.
All that being said, the data for September 2008 includes decisions that buyers and sellers made prior to our market beginning to slide. I suspect that over the next three months we’ll begin to see the data plateau as this year’s data falls more in line with last year. Hopefully, that news will begin to alleviate some of the fear that’s out there. As always, we will soon see!