Year End Market Wrap-Up

The end of year numbers are in from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. The report, which is based on numbers from the Carolina Multiple Listing Services data, shows that the Charlotte market is left with just a 2 month supply of homes for sale. This trend has been going all year with a steady decline as people are reluctant to put homes for sale when there is not enough choice for a next home. This leaves the market chronically low. At the end of 2015 we had 3.4 months supply, 2016 ended with 2.6 months supply.

A balanced market between buyers and sellers is considered to be when there is a 6 month supply of homes for sale. Charlotte’s 2 month supply is well below that and also below the 4.6 month supply across the nation.

Somehow, even with the lack of supply, sales were up year over year. In 2016 there were 44,734 sales and 2017 saw 47,353 sales. This is a rise of 5.9% year over year. There were fewer closings this December than the previous year, 8.4% fewer. There was a 17.3% rise in pending sales in December which leads us to believe that January will be strong.

Prices are on the rise as well, median sales price was up to $226,000, a rise of 9.2% over last year. Average price was up 5.8% to end the year at $272,900.

Homes are staying on the market for a shorter time as well. In 2017 they spent an average of 45 days on the market before a sale. This means that competition for homes is more fierce than ever with homes selling quickly and for higher prices and with lack of supply. This leaves buyers in a situation where they need to be able to act quickly and decisively if they want to get the home of their dreams before someone else buys it.

In fact, in a report from Zillow, 27% of homes in Charlotte have sold for more than their asking price. This is up from 9.4% in 2012. This means that sellers have walked away with an average of an extra $5,000. This is great for sellers, but will leave buyers in a position where they have to be more aggressive than ever to get what they want.

We can help you with that. Give us a call at (704) 525-4045 and we can help get you into the home of your dreams. You can also view homes and create custom searches on our website here.

 

Check out Ballantyne’s The Retreat

A new luxury development is underway right now in Ballantyne. The Retreat by Meritage Homes has two quick move-in homes and will eventually have 56 homes total. These homes will have the most energy efficient features in grand homes with top rated schools. All this and close to shopping, dining, entertainment, and an easy commute. It sounds almost too good to be true.

Located just off Marvin Road south of Providence Road West, The Retreat is in a great spot. A quick drive will have you at Ballantyne Town Center. A few minutes more will have you in the heart of Ballantyne. An uptown commute will take around 25 minutes without traffic. Charlotte Douglas International Airport will take you around the same time. SouthPark Mall area is just 10 miles away making a 20 minute commute or just a trip for world class shopping and dining.

Children in The Retreat will attend top rated schools. Current zoning is for Ballantyne Elementary, Community House Middle, and Ardrey Kell High Schools. All of these schools are top ranked 10 out of 10 by Carolina School Hub. Please verify school assignments as they are subject to change. There are also many private school, daycares, mother’s day out programs, and preschools in the area.

Homes in The Retreat are grand in scale and can be as large as 3,984 square feet. Many of the homes have a tandem three car garage allowing room for a workshop or family bikes and play equipment. Homes are two story and can have owner’s suites on the first or second floor. Ample storage is available in large closets in between 3 and 6 bedrooms. Home offices, lofts, flex space and open concept floor plans are common in The Retreat. Expect a home here to go between $470,990 and $564,900.

Other neighborhoods by Meritage Homes in the area include Riverchase, Vizcaya, and Falls at Weddington to name a few. If you are interested in a home in The Retreat, give us a call at (704) 525-4045 to arrange a tour. You can view current listings and create custom searches on our website here.

December Market Report

As the year comes to a close, we are once again looking at the trends in the real estate market. Based on the numbers from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association home sales were up, but inventory remains depressed causing home prices to climb even higher. This data is collected from the Carolina Multiple Listing Services. The data is for any home sold using that service so it may not take into account homes sold by owner.

In November 3,485 homes sold in the Charlotte area. This is down from the 3,664 homes sold in October. Though it is up 2.9% over November of 2016. It remains to be seen if 2017 will be a better year in total than 2016, but experts are optimistic.

Inventory is down yet again as compared to 2016. 9,024 homes were on the market representing a 2.3 month supply. That’s 1,997 fewer homes than in November of last year representing a decline of 18.1%.

Median sales prices were up year over year by 6.4% rising from $210,000 to $223,375. Average sales price was up 4.8% from $258,619 to $270,957. These rising prices can make it harder for first time buyers to get into the market, but they are great for current sellers as they can expect higher sales prices. Sellers can expect homes to sell quicker as well with 96 days the average from list to close. This is 8 days shorter than homes were on the market in 2016.

Pending sales and new listings this month are encouraging. Pending sales were up from 3050 to 3487 which represents a rise of 14.3%. Listing activity was up 8.3% over last year with 3,707 new listings up from 3,424 last year. If this trend continues, we may see relief from the chronically low inventory. This means that there is a chance for the market to begin to be more balanced between buyers and sellers.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings and create custom searches on our website here.

Low Inventory Woes Cause Slow Market

For many months in a row, the Charlotte real estate market has been left with a lack of inventory. This shortage has caused many home buying woes for buyers and is leaving sellers worried as they become buyers. Charlotte was just named a hot housing market for 2018 by Realtor.com which will likely increase concerns and competition for homes. This can cause buyers and sellers to feel like they are stuck in their current homes with no way to move on and up to a new home.

This situation is not unique. Many markets around the country should be booming in this current economy, but with such low supply, sellers are reluctant to sell because they can’t find comparable homes in their price range. This leads to the vicious cycle that is keeping inventory low. Americans are spending longer than ever in their homes. The median length of time homeowners are staying in their homes has risen to 10 years. This is well above the six to eight years which was the historical average before the housing crash.

Prices are also on the rise, in fact it was just reported by S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index that home prices in Charlotte were up 6.2% for the year. This puts a pinch on first-time buyers and puts home ownership out of reach for many who have student debt. The percentage of first-time home buyers is near an all time low at 34%.

It appears to be a toxic combination. There are fewer homes on the market, people taking longer to move, rising prices, and higher student loan debt. The obvious solution is for builders to build more homes, but builders are not back to the pace of building from before the recession. Last year there were less than 4,000 single-family building permits issued. This is less than half the number issued in 2006.

It remains to be seen when the market will begin to correct itself. Either prices will need to come down or supply must go up because the demand is there.

If you are interested in purchasing a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can view current listings and create customized searches on our website here.

SouthRidge Coming Soon To Ballantyne

More new homes are coming to Ballantyne. The new neighborhood called SouthRidge is coming to North Community House Road. The development will include 27 single-family homes and 60 townhouses. Prices will start in the $400,000 range. This great location is next to Ballantyne Country Club, a great place to live if you’re a member or would like to become one.

SouthRidge will also include paired villas. This trend of upscale duplexes seems to be catching on in the Charlotte area. First seen in Dilworth, these luxury homes come have all of the convenience of townhomes, with low maintenance exteriors, and are individually owned. They do share walls, but since they are luxury homes, they have great soundproofing between units, and have as much space as a single family home and contain features like open floor-plans, spa-like bathrooms, and spacious owner’s suites.

Pre-sales for homes in SouthRidge will begin in June. Homes are expected to range from 2,900 to 3,900 square feet. Homebuilder David Weekley is responsible for the project and floor plans will be similar to the ones offered in Waverly.

David Weekley is also building at Greenway Village in Ballantyne so they are becoming a larger presence in the South Charlotte community. This continues more than 40 years of experience for David Weekley so you know you are getting great quality, design, and service.

This great Ballantyne location is close to many different shopping destinations. Ballantyne Village, Toringdon, StoneCrest at Piper Glen and Blakeney are all close by. The Morrison Family YMCA is also close by, a great place for family fitness and community events. A commute to Uptown Charlotte is convenient from I-485. There is also close proximity to Ballantyne Corporate so SouthRidge would be a great choice for anyone who works there so they have a short commute.

If you are interested in SouthRidge or any other development in the area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

Townhomes Coming to Ardrey Kell Road

The re-widening project on Ardrey Kell Road can’t come soon enough. There are so many exciting projects coming here in the next few years. This area is booming so fast and there is no end in sight for the growth. Between master planned communities, retail, parks, there are plenty of options for any type of family.

If zoning comes through, there will soon be even more options to choose from. Century Communities has recently filed a rezoning petition with the City of Charlotte with plans to build up to 245 new townhomes on a 37 acre plot across the street from Ardrey Kell High School.

The site is currently occupied by several large homes on partially wooded lots. The plan calls for dense blocks of attached homes built around an internal street network. This would make the development walkable and could end up with a European town flair.

There will be two different access points for the new project from Ardrey Kell Road and Wade Ardrey Road. This would be really convenient for homeowners so they can hopefully avoid traffic.

Homeowners in this new project will have fantastic schools serving them which is a big draw for many families. Please verify school assignments as they are subject to change.

Century Communities has been extremely busy in the Charlotte area in the past few years. They are also going to be building 329 townhomes on 50 acres next to the Arrowood light rail station on the Blue Line. It remains to be seen if this new project will be similar. The Arrowood project has a price point starting in the $200,000’s.

Charlotte City Council will hold hearings on the plan and will then vote on it in the coming months. Once the plan is approved by City Council, expect building to commence soon after.

If you are interested in this or any other project in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

October Market Report

The Carolina Multiple Listing Service has released their monthly report and the news looks pretty familiar. Supply is down with low inventory woes persisting while demand is up. Home sales rose year over year and pending sales show that demand is still strong in the area. These numbers all come from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association’s monthly sales activity report.

Closed sales were up 2.6% last month from 3,572 last year to 3,664 this year. New listings were up year over year as well. In 2016 there were 4,205 and in 2017 were up to 4,336 representing a rise of 3.1%.

Pending sales, also called new contracts for sales are the big story this month. They rose 15.4% from 3,617 to 4,173. This strong demand is a great indicator that the market will continue to stay strong for some time to come.

Median sales price was up from $210,000 last year to $223,000 this year, a 6.2% increase. Average sales price was also up 4.2% from $256,812 up to $267,615.

Inventory continues to be low. This helps drive up prices as demand remains strong. There is only a 2.4 month supply of homes in the Charlotte region right now. A balanced market is generally considered to be a 6 month supply. That’s when buyers and sellers have the same power in a transaction. Right now it is considered a strong seller’s market. This 25% decline from last year means that the possibility of multiple offers on a property are more common as is bidding above list price to win a property. Last year at this time, there were 11,760 homes for sale and this year there are only 9,539.

Homes are staying on the market for fewer days as well. From listing to closing homes are on the market for an average of 89 days. Compared to 104 days last year, this represents a decline of 14.4%.

If you are interested in a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can view current listings on our website here.

You have a few more days to get to the Southern Christmas Show

This weekend is your last chance to visit the Southern Christmas Show’s 50th anniversary celebration. This Charlotte tradition started in 1967 and is a great place to get ideas, visit Santa, and make memories.

The theme of the Christmas Show this year is silver and gold. Expect to see lighted trees, decorations, The Enchanted Village and the big guy himself Santa. The Park Expo and Conference Center is the home of the show again this year. People of all ages get caught up in the wonder of the season here.

From the show entrance to the walk along Christmas Tree Lane, the Southern Christmas Show will delight your senses. Here you’ll see all of the latest, best designs and products of the season. Exhibitors and designers work all year to come up with displays and booths to celebrate the season.

Designer decorated trees, mantels, wreaths, and doors line Christmas Tree Lane. Special designer rooms are filled with holiday decor to get you in the mood. There is also an entertainment stage with dancing, singing, and holiday-themed competitions.

There are plenty of holiday inspired culinary treats for you to eat at the show or take home. You can also purchase portraits with Santa himself. Proceeds from the photos benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children. They are $10 for one, $18 for two, or $25 for three.

You can purchase tickets in advance, $19 for adults, $3 for children 6-12. You may also be able to purchase tickets at the door if any remain. The show is open each day until Sunday November 19th. Hours are 10 am until 9 pm for Wednesday – Saturday, Sunday 10 am until 6 pm.

If you are interested in having a new home to store all of the wonderful decorations you purchase at the Southern Christmas Show, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

Tax Appraisals Underway

Currently, tax appraisers are visiting homes all over the Mecklenburg County area. They are in process of evaluating homes and formulating current pricing for homes all around the Charlotte Metro area. This is in preparation for the 2019 revaluation process where prices are set for what each property in the county is worth. The prices are then used to formulate tax bills which will be sent out to homeowners in January 2019 and will be due later that year.

Price per square foot numbers from a presentation by Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office

County commissioners will spend much time over the summer and fall of 2018 setting policy used to calculate taxes. You currently get charged just under 82 cents for every $100 of value for your home. If you reside in the City of Charlotte, you pay the 82 cents plus 42 cents for each $100 of value.

Tax rates are not guaranteed to go up, but values of homes have been steadily going up and costs for government are always on the rise so it’s a good bet. Higher taxes on homes with high values can be another obstacle for potential homeowners.

The last time the county reevaluated homes was back in 2011. There were numerous issues with that reevaluation. Many suburban areas were assessed too high and there will millions of dollars refunded to the taxpayers after the process was completely done over. When all was said and done, values went up by around 11% from the previous evaluation in 2003.

This time around, we are expecting a much higher increase in valuation. The home price index is up about 50 percent, commercial prices are up 101 percent and retail prices are up 77 percent. This means that there could be many property owners that question the new valuations and will challenge them through a formal appeal process.

The county tax assessor’s office has made a number of changes this time around to be sure they don’t have a repeat of 2011. They have a better online system for appeals and disputes. There will be more staff to deal with issues. There will be better communication with homeowners, including helping them determine what neighborhood they are in. A simpler grading system is in place to identify the quality of buildings.

After this year, Mecklenburg county will move to a four year cycle for reevaluation. This means the next reassessment will be in 2023. After that the plan is to move to two-year cycles.

The county will have the option of lowering the tax rate to compensate for the higher values. Some reduction in tax rate seems likely, but taxes may still rise.

If you are interested in a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

Lennar and CalAtlantic to Merge

Lennar Corp. and CalAtlantic Group Inc. announced a merger agreement yesterday. This $9.3 billion valued deal would poise the combined company to be one of the country’s leaders. The merger will mean 240,000 homesites in 49 markets across 21 states will all be under one company. The deal has been approved by the boards of directors at both companies. The deal will put the combined company in the top 3 builders in 24 out of the top 30 markets in the country.

Lennar and CalAtlantic expect to execute the merger in the first quarter of 2018 with shareholder approval. The combined companies would have revenues of about $17 billion.

Both companies seem eager for the merger. They are predicting a strong market profitability for years to come. There is a solid homebuilding market with job and wage growth, consumer confidence, low inventory, and a production deficit. These factors make a merger a smart move as they can save on purchasing, land, labor, and overhead if they combine.

Lennar has 21 communities currently under construction ranging from Rock Hill, SC up to Mooresville, NC. Most of these communities have price ranges in the $200,000’s to the $500,000’s. They offer mainly single-family homes with a few multi-family projects.

CalAtlantic has 41 communities under construction in Charlotte and surrounding areas with 142 quick move-in homes. Most of these communities have price ranges in the $200,000’s to the $600,000’s. Most homes are single-family, but they do have a few townhome projects currently in the works.

Both builders have been in the Charlotte area for a long time and are well respected for building quality homes and neighborhoods. Many of these have amazing amenities, fantastic locations, and all of the upgrades that people want for the way we live today.

If you are interested in a home by Lennar or CalAtlantic, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.