This week our listings saw an average of 1.5 showings each. Looking back over last year’s blogs, showing traffic for this time of year is about consistent with last year. That’s important because back then, perception of the market was a whole lot better than it is now. This time last year we were getting ready to head into disaster and now we are heading out of it. I prefer knowing that the worst is over.
This week I will publish my monthly E-newsletter showing the market data for the Charlotte area. The data for May 2009 shows very clear signs that the Charlotte market is stabilizing. Here’s a sneak peak:
- Homes sales are down 40% over last year, but are up 14% over the prior month.
- Average sales price is down 14% over last year, but up 12% over the prior month.
- Average time on market is up 24% from last year, but down 6% from last month.
- Pending home sales are down 15% from last year, but up 9% from last month.
- Housing supply is up 44% from last year and up 5% from last month.
When comparing to last year, the numbers still looking bleak. However, they aren’t quite as bad as they have been year over year. For example, when considering the pending home sales numbers from the same month last year, the figure was down 35% in March, 19% in April, and now 14% in May. Clearly the bleeding is slowing.
The numbers actually look quite encouraging when comparing month over month. Prices are up over last month, along with sales, and pending home sales.
From a Realtor’s standpoint, the worst of the market was from October of 2008 until about March of this year. So right now we are comparing last year’s “pre-crash” numbers to this year’s “recovery period” numbers. Assuming the market continues to stabilize and improve, as we start comparing this year’s improved numbers to last year’s bad month’s (i.e. Nov-March), we should really start to see some positive numbers.
However, keep in mind that once the numbers are showing a full recovery and quickly rising numbers that means that you may have already missed the boat. In my humble opinion, the peak opportunity for buyers has already passed. As interest rates continue to rise, sellers are gaining more confidence in their ability to sell. If you are thinking about buying it is still an ideal time, but that window is closing. The question is: How long will it take to close?