Charlotte Real Estate = Healthy, Healthy, Healthy

We’ve been up, we’ve been down, and back up again.  The last ten years have been a tsunami for real estate in Charlotte.  Drop a large stone in a peaceful pond and the initial result is a huge splash followed by ripples that slowly get less intense in frequency until finally the pond settles back to a state of calm.  Well it appears that the waters have settled for the time being and Charlotte is back to a vibrant place of healthy calm.  We had a boom in 2006-2008 where prices just kept rising at an unstainable rate, followed by the worst recession in my life time and a crash in prices from late 2008-2011.  The real estate market started to recover in 2012 and it 2013, as buyers were taking advantage of insanely low prices, the market was in a frenzy.  Here now in 2014, the numbers are showing healthy improvement over last year but not so dramatic as to cause concerns of another boom.  Arguably, the market is still on an upward growth path but it appears to be doing so at a healthy paces, particularly as prices are concerned.

Today we’ll send out our monthly E-Newsletter and will publish the market stats for Mecklenburg County for October.  We will compare to the prior year and to the prior month.  Here’s a sneak peak:

– Home sales are down 13% from last month, but up 11% from last year.

– Average sales price is down 5% from last month, but up 3% from last year.

– Median sales price is down 1% from last month, but up 3% from last year.

– Average time on market is up 5% from last month, but down 19% from last year.

– Pending home sales are down 6% from last month, but down 11% from last year.

– Housing supply is down 6% from last month and down 4% from last year.

– Rates are around 4.1% and up slightly from last month, but still down substantially from last year.

– Average house payment is down 4% from last month and down 1% from last year.

Most of the stats show modest improvement from last year and a decline from the prior month.  However, looking at the trend of changes from August to September over the years, the changes from this August to September are typical and show less of a decline from the same period last year.  This is due to the effects of seasonality which happens every year.

The key stat to note is home prices which appear to be returning to what’s considered normal appreciation of around 3%.  Home sales are still well up from last year and interest rates are holding steady.  Incidentally, in the past week the interest rates have dipped below 4.0% and this will help affordability even more.

So what does all this mean?  My take is this:  The market is currently in a unique spot that you don’t see very often.  It is in a place where it is both a good time to sell AND a good time to buy at the same time!  How can this be?  Well for buyers, the rates are incredibly low and as the economic recovery continues it is widely expected that they will go up.  So affordability is still low even though home prices have risen steadily in the past few years.  Additionally, it is unlikely that we will see declines in home prices at least in the foreseeable future  so waiting won’t have any positive advantage for a buyer.  For sellers, prices are back to pre-recession levels and there there is great demand because rates are so much lower than they were before the recession and inventory is low.  Therefore, well priced homes are selling quickly.

When will we ever see a time like this again?  A time when both buyer and sellers feel like they are winning?  Its a great time to be involved with Charlotte real estate.  Although it is widely accepted that fall is not the best time to sell a home, if you are thinking of buying or selling a home, you might not want to delay until spring this year.  Conditions are ripe RIGHT NOW…..give us a call and lets get started while demand is hot.

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