This past week our listings saw an average of 2.5 showings each. Scanning through my blogs from last year, it looks as though the showing traffic is about the same as it was last year. This year however, buyers seem to be a little more hesitant to pull the trigger. That’s understandable because last year there was a tax incentive to act before the end of April. But then we also saw sales drop off tremendously in July after the credits expired. Hopefully we won’t see that same ebb and flow this year.
A couple of weeks ago, I painted a picture of the current real estate market in the Charlotte area describing a gap between those homes that are selling and those that are sitting. Interestingly, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday describing the same phenomena. Basically, it goes on to describe that although the numbers in most markets indicate a severe buyer’s market, many buyers are finding themselves in multiple offer situations and getting outbid. Much of what’s being reported is happening in California where things are starting to heat back up. But to a lesser degree, we are seeing the same thing here in the Charlotte area. The problem is finding the so called diamonds in the rough. Those diamonds are the exceptional, move in ready homes that are owned by motivated sellers ready to make a deal. There are ample houses that fit that bill in our area right now, but finding them amongst the even larger pool of unmotivated sellers with high price expectations is proving to be a challenge. In my experience with buyers this year, it often takes writing several offers on several different properties and LOTS of patience before a deal is made.
So while the numbers show that inventory is in a state of oversupply, many buyers are finding that there is a limited supply of great homes at fair prices. In the Wall Street Journal article, the author points out that Charlotte is currently facing an imbalance with a 16 month supply of housing. I find that to be inflated as my stats (as reported just last week in my E-Newsletter) show that Mecklenburg County supply is currently at 12.5 months which is down 10% from the same time last year. Nonetheless, we are still in a buyers market.
The solution to the housing situation right now really centers around value in my mind. There are plenty of buyers back in the market. But there are a limited number of sellers that understand where the market is. When buyer and seller expectations meet, then a sale is made. Without that meeting of the minds, we have oversupply.