Charlotte Real Estate Market: Crazy? Or just different?

Time to get some things straight.  Yes, the real estate market in Charlotte is experiencing an imbalance between supply and demand right now.  A well-priced home in good condition is likely to be on the market for only a matter of days and in many cases, hours.  The large majority of listed homes are receiving multiple offers and many are selling substantially over asking price.  Buyers are stretching the limits of their abilities to buy when making offers and often finding that their competition is willing to stretch further, resulting in disappointment.  Many buyers are having to make offers on several homes before landing a contract.  “5% over asking price wasn’t enough the first time, next time we’ll try 10% over,” seems to be a common experience right now.  We like to say things like, “this market is crazy.”  It feels that way that for sure, but “crazy” really just means we aren’t used to it. 

The common frustration that buyers and buyer agents alike seem to be expressing about today’s market is that there’s just “no inventory.”  It’s time to reframe this thinking that we’ve leaned on as an excuse for too long.  Inventory, also known as supply, is calculated by determining the pace of sales per month then dividing the number of listings on the market by that number.  The result is the “month’s supply” of housing.  Right now, supply in Mecklenburg county is at 0.45 months (or 2.6 months if you include under contract listings as on market.)  This number would suggest that there is very little or no inventory, but the stats are a bit misleading and require some further context.

In March, there were 1520 closed single family home sales in Mecklenburg County which is up 15% from last year.  Currently there are 2930 pending home sales which is up 41% from last year.  To be fair, 2020 was highly affected by Covid-19 so it makes sense that this year’s numbers are much higher.  But since I’ve been tracking these stats, the highest numbers I’ve ever tracked in a single month were 1837 sales (June 2017) and 3143 pending sales (April 2013).  The current numbers are not far off from the record high numbers.  All this is to say that while the general thinking is that there is no inventory, the stats show that real estate sales are happening.  If there’s no inventory, then how could this be?

In the past, the process for house hunting went something like this:  Buyer and agent made an appointment to look at a handful of homes.  If they got lucky, they found “the one” during that first trip out.  More than likely though, they would have to look at several more homes available on the market over a variety of days or weekends until they settled on the home they decided to buy.  They made an offer, negotiations with the seller ensued, and 80-90% of the time a contract was formed.  This experience was dependent on homes taking longer to sell and a selection of available homes for buyers to view at any given time.

Today’s market is different.  Great homes come on the market every single day and they are plentiful.  However, demand for these homes is fierce and most listed homes are sold, and off market, quickly.  There is little to no inventory available for the old way of property touring.  But in 2021, things move quickly.  There are plenty of homes for a buyer to choose from but the process is different.  Buyers and their agents must keep a close watch on the market and act quickly when a great home is listed.  This generally happens when the buyer least expects it and they need to be prepared to act immediately.  That means getting a strong offer in quickly.  The pace is fast and can be stressful.

Thankfully, our team keeps a very close watch on the trends.  We know what it takes to “pull out all the stops” and position our client’s offers to win and our track record shows it.  We have had great success in today’s market helping many clients accomplish their goal of purchasing a home.  Our mission remains unchanged to help people make smart real estate decisions.  This market isn’t crazy, its just different.  Markets cycle up and down and the current trend is not permanent.  We’ve got your back and know what it takes to help you succeed.

Check out the latest market stats on our website here!

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