This week our listings saw an average of 1.2 showings each. Traffic is down slightly and could continue to remain slow as we enter into the fourth quarter of 2009. Seasonally, a slowdown is typical at the end of the year. However, it will be interesting to see if the November 30th expiration of the first time buyer credit will keep the sales numbers up for the remainder of October and November.
Nationally, two of the key indicators of the real estate market have shown steady, positive results. According to the National Association of Realtors pending home sales have increased for seven straight months. This means that the number of contracts being written has steadily increased month over month through August. Additionally, actual home sales saw a four month gain over the summer. The home sales number has eased a bit but is still up from last year.
All real estate is local and national statistics do little to tell the story of the Charlotte market. However, Charlotte’s market has shown a tendency to lag the national market slightly and when it does, it seems to be affected less dramatically than the national market on the whole. (i.e smaller gains and smaller losses). Our market has definitely shown an increase in the pending home sales and home sales indicators. (See my blog from last week).
Right now there are two main factors that create uncertainty regarding the direction of the market over the next few months: seasonality & the first time buyer credit. Seasonally, we could see the wind sucked out of the increased “sails” (sorry), but we may also see the expiration of the first time buyer credit help the market through a traditionally slow time. I know which outcome I’d prefer, but given the high unemployment numbers, a prediction is really just a roll of the dice. Time will tell.