What’s selling in Charlotte?

This week our listings saw an average of 3.5 showings each.   This was a major jump in activity over last week.   I’m very hopefull that this increase is an indication that spring will be busier than the last few months.   Historically, spring and early summer are the business times in real estate.

Right now the market data  are sending somewhat of a mixed message regarding a  quick recovery in Charlotte.   Some indicators such as sales volume and pending home sales have been steadily increasing.   However, inventory has continued increasing and prices are fluctuating but still trending down somewhat.

So what market segments are selling?   The January 2010 edition of the local Realtor Association published some sales data that can be  analyzed to reveal the answer.   Here’s a brief summary of sales in January 2010 for all listings in the Carolina Multiple Listing Service by price point:  

Price Point No. Home Sales No. of Listings Months Supply

The above data represents home sales and listing data based solely on the numbers from January which is historically one of the slowest months of the year.   (So this should be about as bad as it gets).   The inventory numbers are calculated using the January sales rate.   (Listings divided by sales yields months supply).  

What we can see from these numbers is that the market is substantially better under $150K than the rest of the market.   Under $150K, the January sales pace shows inventory of approximately one year.   From $150K to $500K, the inventories grow to around  two years and then jump to almost five years for homes priced over $1 million.

The higher sales numbers  in the lower price points are likely due to the first time buyer tax credit coupled with better availability of financing.   Loans in excess of $400K are much harder to come by, making sales in the higher price points more difficult

At present, the federal government has allowed for a $6500 repeat buyer tax credit that is set to expire on April 30.   If this credit has the same impact on sales as the first time buyer credit did, we should begin to see an increase in home sales in the slightly higher price points by the time June data is ready for reporting.

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