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Seasonality Brings Increased Supply

Today is the first day of spring the the peak selling season for Charlotte real estate is well underway. No more worries about whether or not the market will recover as prices have shown steady increases for months now. Recovery has happened. Over the past several months, we have seen a steady drop in housing supply and the greatest challenge that now exists is the lack of inventory to satisfy the ready and willing buyers that are out there. But the Charlotte market data shows that inventory is on its way.

I have now been tracking market stats since 2004. One of the key patterns that I have witnessed surrounds seasonality. During each calendar year since 2004, we have seen prices and the number of home sales hit a bottom around February and then peak sometime in the summary, typically somewhere in June – August. In any given calendar year since 2004, the peak month’s sales are almost double that of the valley month (usually February). Also, average home prices have demonstrated a roughly 10% variance between the February low and the summer high.

The numbers for February 2013 are out and they are strong. If seasonality factors in as it always has, then this summer should prove to show excellent gains in both price and home sales, possibly even bringing us back to 2006 levels. (The average sales price in Charlotte peaked in summer 2007.)

Although, prices and home sales should continue to rise through the spring and into summer, housing supply should also rise through the eary part of spring as homeowners put homes on the market. As of this writing, that is already happening. In December of 2012, supply hit a low of 5.8 months and as of today its already back up to 6.4 months. So while, there is a concern about a lack of inventory, the data shows that supply is trending back up which should keep things a bit more in balance.

Today we will release our monthly E-Newsletter publishing the stats for February 2013 when compared to the prior month and again to the same period one year ago. Here’s a quick summary:

– Home sales are down 13% from the prior month, but up 46% from last year.
– Average sales price is down 1% from the prior month, but up 14% from last year.
– Median sales price is down 3% from the prior month, but up 12% from last year.
– Time on market is down 7% from the prior month and down 15% from last year.
– Pending home sales are up 7% from the prior month and up 7% from last year.
– Supply is up 7% from the prior month, but down 34% from last year.
– Mortgage rates are slowly creeping upwards at 3.53% but that is still down from 3.89% from last year.

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