Charlotte, NC – Real Estate Market Update

As a market shift has taken place over the past couple of months, I’ve been extremely curious to find out the root cause and decide what can be done at a local level.  I’ve spent a significant amount of time this week evaluating market data in order to continue providing you the most accurate advice possible.  Next week our monthly E-Newsletter will be distributed and will include the Mecklenburg County real estate market stats for August 2007 compared to August 2006.  Here’s a sneak peek:  

The number of home sales is down 19%

The average sales price is up 7% to $269,000

The average time on market is up 6% to 67 days

Pending home sales are down 24%

The housing supply is up 13% to 6.21 months supply

Mortgage rates are up 2% to 6.6%  

There is a mixed message in the data above.  In layman’s terms, the trend is that sellers are getting good money for their homes but it’s taking longer and not everyone is fortunate enough to actually find a buyer.  The number of home sales are down and the supply is increasing, but prices are still appreciating at a higher than normal rate.  It’s not surprising to see that the number of home sales and pending home sales have dropped so dramatically in the wake of the the subprime media reports.  The Charlotte market can certainly weather a few months of slowed sales, but at some point the down turn will impact our prices.  

Home sales are down 19%, but the facts say that last month there were still 1450 homes that sold in Mecklenburg County.  So, how are those sellers finding buyers?  The answer is simply that those finding contracts are asking a fair price for their homes, while those that aren’t may just be overpriced.  Consider that in August the average list price for homes that sold was $276,509 while the current average list price for active/available listings is $306,783.  This means that the average seller currently seeking a buyer is asking 11% more than the sellers that are actually finding buyers.   It is important to remember that when pricing a home, the best strategy is to sell at the the top of the range for sold listings and at the bottom of the range for active listings.  Apparently, the general public in our area is not following that advice.  

Charlotte is one of the best markets in the country right now.  While many other markets are experiencing negative price appreciation, we are still fortunate to be experiencing healthy appreciation.  However, we cannot let that go to our heads in the midst of a national market that is heading dragon city gem generator the other way or we’ll end up in the same place.  The solution for sellers:  Stay current with the market data and be “In The Know” on selling prices in your neighborhood, then make sure your asking price is in line.