As we dive into the heart of the Spring selling season, we may start seeing some negative housing headlines. They will be misleading. Employment figures are positive, and mortgage rates are extremely low, but both March listings (-.2%) and year to date listings (-1.7%) are showing declines over those of 2015, as are closed sales in March (-1.4%). What’s happening? First time buyers remain “careful”, and year over year inventory levels have decreased 27.8%!
What about condos?
Some quick condo facts provided by the Carolina Regional Realtor Association:
- Pending sales of condos are up 22.0% in the first quarter with the largest gains (+46.7%) from those listings above $300,001
- Average list to close on all condos dropped (10.3%) to 104 days
- Average days on market before contract fell 25.4% to 53 days
- Median sales price for a condo increased 4.6% to $152,000
- % of original list price received increased to 96.1% in the first quarter
- Inventory of condos For Sale shrank 27.4%
- Months supply of condos fell 40% to 2.1 months
It is clearly a Sellers’ market!
First quarter 2016 has brought continued improvement to both Charlotte’s economy and with it it’s housing market. From Forbes.com, Charlotte is the nations 13 fastest growing CMA:
Its 2015 population grew at 1.84% and is expected to grow at a 1.28% clip this year
Jobs grew at 3.48%, as unemployment shrank to 5.26%
Median pay for college educated workers was $64,500
These factors are heightening home buyers confidence as we charge into the Spring selling season. Jobs feel more secure, homes are trading at higher prices, and on average Charlotteans are making more money. Some detail from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association for the week ending 3/19:
- New listings increased 1% to 1,275
- Pending sales increased 28.7% to 1,147
- Inventory decreased 25.3% to 10,272
- List to close decreased 3.1% to 127 days
- % of original list price received increased to 94.9%
- Months Supply of homes for Sale shrank 31.8% to 3 months
This combination of factors has been good for home sellers, and has been a boost to the luxury home and condominium markets. Home buyers, especially first time buyers who so far have been relatively absent from this recovery, would benefit from more inventory and with it a slow down in price increases.
The next six months looks good in Charlotte; but after that with this wild and woolly election taking hold, there is reason for caution.