Experts: Housing Market Heating Up
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For the past several years, we've all heard "it's a buyers market." But now, that is starting to change. "Every property that I've told my clients this will have multiple offers, it will go quick, it has," says Keller Williams broker Josh Burnett. He works in the Ballantyne area.
Not long ago, Burnett considered an open house successful if five people came through. "Now it's not uncommon for our open houses to have 12 to 20 or even more people come through," he says. Another tell tale sign of a turnaround: agents are also starting to get training on how to handle multiple offer situations. "We're really having to get back to some of the basics we had to learn years ago when the market was so great," says Burnett.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times says buyers are even making offers on properties before they're listed and that bidding wars are erupting due to a shortage of "good homes." Experts say that's because California, and a few other states, had high levels of distressed properties which left an inventory gap now that distressed numbers have declined. Because our distressed property levels never reached those highs, our inventory levels aren't sinking as low here, says Charlotte Regional Realtor Association President Jennifer Frontera.
"Our inventory is down about 18% from last year but I would not say it's a shortage," says Frontera. Other Charlotte area housing market indicators look good. Days on market are down and sales price is up. Also, in May, there was a nearly 8% increase in Charlotte area listings for traditional (non-distressed) properties, which demonstrates seller confidence. "Everything is going in the right direction, whether it's up or down," says Frontera.
Burnett says if you're on the fence about whether to buy a home, the biggest thing you need to keep in mind is that prices are going up, not down.