Real estate market continues to recover in Cabarrus and Lake Norman region
BY LUKAS JOHNSON – LJOHNSON@CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.COM
02/12/2015 5:16 PM
The Cabarrus County real estate market has seen strong in growth in recent years, and area agents predict an upward trend for sellers will continue in 2015 as consumer confidence grows.
According to data from the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, the average sales price of a home in Cabarrus County rose 9 percent between 2012 and 2014 and closings are up 37 percent.
In addition, the number of homes for sale is down 13 percent and the supply of homes for sale is down from 10.5 months in 2012 to 6.6 months in 2014.
Cabarrus real estate agent Diane Honeycutt said the recent uptick seems to support economists’ predictions that 2015 is going to be a good year for home sales. “Sales for January are up 7.6 percent over 2014,” she said. “In addition, there are (fewer) homes on the market this January, down 15.4 percent over January 2014.
“This means the inventory of homes on the market is down, and competition for those homes is going to be strong. Homes that are priced correctly and available for showings should sell for competitive prices.”
The average sale price of homes in Cabarrus County rose from $189,524 in January 2014 to $194,948 in January 2015, according to data from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.
New listings have dropped nearly 13 percent in the last year, and sales have increased by 7.4 percent.
The main driving factor behind the improving market, Honeycutt said, is that consumer confidence is up, but competitive prices and low interest also help.
“We usually look at a recovery from two points of view: pricing and sales,” she said. “Many areas have already experienced the improvement in both areas. … Most have seen at least one area of improvement, and 2015 could be the year where they see both.”
The one sign to watch is the months supply of homes for sale, Honeycutt said.
“A normal market (supply) is typically six months, so if the inventory drops below that, then we could see it drive prices up due to lack of inventory,” she said. “But only time will tell on this statistic.”
A potential downside for buyers, Honeycutt said, is that interest rates are predicted to go up by next time this year.
“So, waiting to buy may cost you money,” she said. “The thing to remember, though, is even if they go up, rates will still be great compared to the overall average rate over the last 30 years.”
Maren Brisson-Kuester, the 2015 Charlotte Regional Realtor Association/CarolinaMLS president, said that while demand for homes across the region continues to be strong, inventory remains a challenge.
“With properties experiencing shorter days on market, today’s buyers are seeing signs of a solid seller’s market, which will probably persist through spring,” she said.
More first-time buyers, more new construction and the potential rise of interest rates are a few factors behind an uptick in the lake-area’s real estate market, real estate agents say.
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