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.

 

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.

Discovery Place Renovation in the Works

Charlotte City Council is going to be renovating for Discovery Place Science Museum. This renovation was just approved with New York based Diller Scofidio + Renfro and local firm Jenkins-Peer Architects taking on the task. The $700,000 master plan will overhaul the museum with a timeline expected to take about 18 months.

Discovery Place was first opened in 1981 and has been delighting children and adults alike since they first opened the doors. They are leaders in STEM education for adults and children. The museum has outreach programs, classes, workshops and more. They cater to individuals, families, groups, field trips and even rent out the museum for special events.

The main location is the one up for the renovation. There are three other partner museums that are a part of Discovery Place. Discovery Place Nature, Discovery Place Kids Rockingham and Discovery Place Kids Huntersville round out the museum quartet.

Located at Sixth and Tryon Streets, Discovery Place just underwent a massive $31.6 million renovation in 2010. That renovation left the buildings in a confused state with multiple elevators and lobbies that don’t connect. The building is not very inviting and is running out of space.

The city has selected New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro to serve as design architect. They will partner with Charlotte firm Jenkins•Peer Architects who will act as architect of record. Together the firms will oversee a team that will create a master plan and conceptual design to imagine the future of one of the Carolinas’ premiere cultural attractions.

The plan and design will include solutions to keep the facility financially sound and determine a budget for a major overhaul of the building. They will re-vamp the main entrance to make the space more inviting and help with curb appeal. The renovation is part of the North Tryon Vision Plan meant to revitalize North Tryon Street.

There will be workshops and forums for the community and key stakeholders to have dialogue about what we need in the new space. Trends and models will be analyzed and future needs and opportunities will be planned for. Discovery Place will continue to be one of the top museums in the country for STEM education.

If you are interested in a home in the Charlotte area so you can be closer to Discovery Place, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings 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.

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.

September Market Statistics

Sales across the Charlotte region fell again in September. They dropped 3.9% from last year from 4,121 down to 3,960 sales. These numbers all come from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association’s monthly report based on data from the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc.

According to the report, inventory was also down. Last year at this time there were 12,297 homes for sale in the region and this year there are only 10,140. This is a 17.5% decline year over year. The region is left with only a 2.5 month supply of homes. A balanced market giving equal power to buyers and sellers in a transaction is generally considered to be a six month supply.

Home prices on the other hand, continue to rise. The average sales price was 6.3% higher at $271,606. Median sales price was up 9.2% to $225,000. This shows that the seller’s market that has been the trend is showing no signs of stopping.

Pending sales were up 16.4% to 4,137 up from 3,555. The strength of pending sales shows that we should have a stable market for a while to come.

New listings are up year over year. They are up 3.3% to 4,700 from 4,550. This shows seller’s confidence in the market continuing to be strong.

Homes are selling quicker than last year as well. The time on the market from list to close was 99 days last year and this year is down to 90 days. Loans still take about the same time to come through so this means that the days on the market until the sale were also down from 47 to 39 days.

The market shows all indications of remaining a strong seller’s market, even with sales in a slump. 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.

Check out the Parade of Homes

If you are interested in new construction in the Charlotte area but aren’t sure what you want in a home, the Parade of Homes is a great place to start. This showcase highlights model homes in communities all around the area in a wide variety of styles, home builders, and price points. The Parade of Homes is also a great way to learn your way around if you are new to town.

The Parade of Homes began last weekend, and continues this weekend and the next. Dates are October 13-15, and 20-22. Homes are open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Sundays. The tour is free of charge and even has an app this year that will help you navigate. You can also check out http://www.paradecharlotte.com/ for the interactive website to plan your tour.

The Parade of Homes is like a huge open house. The best home builders in Charlotte and the surrounding area are all participants. They pull out all of the stops to show you everything they can do for you. Builders show fully furnished model homes and hope to get you to sign on the dotted line for a new home.

Some important things to remember about purchasing a new home. Just like purchasing an existing home, it is important to have your own Realtor represent you in the transaction. All of the sales staff for the builder work for the builder’s interests. You want to make sure you have someone to help guide you through what will probably be the single biggest investment in your life. A Realtor can help you through the process of choosing all of the options, upgrades, and finishes that will make your house a home, but will also make it appreciate and if necessary, get you the best price on resale.

Eighty homes will be a part of the tour this year highlighting 21 builders. Prices range from $240,000 up to $1.4 million. The show is organized by the Home Builders Association of Greater Charlotte. This year the homes are in Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Weddington, Huntersville, Concord, and in Charlotte as well. Builders represented this year are:

  • Alan Simonini Homes
  • Arthur Rutenberg Homes
  • Bonterra Builders
  • Century Communities
  • Chelsea Building Group
  • David Weekley Homes
  • Epcon Communities
  • Essex Homes
  • Fielding Homes
  • H & H Homes
  • Knotts Builders
  • Kolter Homes
  • Mattamy Homes
  • Meritage Homes
  • Niblock Homes
  • Saussy Burbank
  • Shea Homes
  • Smith Douglas Homes
  • Taylor Morrison
  • Terrata Homes
  • Toll Brothers

If you are interested in a new home in the Charlotte area, go tour the Parade of Homes, then give us a call at (704) 525-4045 and we will be happy to help you navigate through the process of purchasing your new home. You can also view current listings on our website here.