After watching the most recent real estate update by Steve Harney (a respected national real estate expert) there is some information that is important that the public understands. First we need to look at who is today's home buyer. It is the first time home buyer and investors. The volatile stock market and employment uncertainty has definitely affected the high-end market.
In our office, consisting of 96 agents that covers the entire Charlotte market, our average sales price to list price is up to 91%....it was staying around the 87% mark for several months but we are finally seeing this number creep back higher. Our average days on market is now 130 days.....down from this time last year when it was 146 days.
So what is causing this shift...
Part of the sales price to list price percentage increase is due to the higher buyer demand during the summer months...but mostly these numbers have changed because the home price index has gone up in the past 6 months...this is because the percentage of the national real estate market that is in foreclosure has dropped for 5 consecutive months. The number of home owners who are 90+ days delinquent on their home loans is dropping...which means we will start to see less foreclosures hit the market in the next 6 months.
Foreclosures are selling at a 40% discount.
Short sales are selling at a 21% discount.
Until we get rid of the high number of distressed properties this real estate market will remain in a slump.
Nationwide there are still 14,000 real estate sales every single day. The buyers are focusing on resales and distressed properties...not new construction...the best deals are not going to be new construction for a while. Builders may not admit this but look at their inventory and you can tell that they know it is true. They have sold their spec homes and are not building new inventory.
Real estate is still a great investment and from January 1st, 2000 to September 1st, 2011 its' return on investment was 6 times that of the Dow Jones.