Real Estate Market: The Spring Market Recovery

It is looking like the long-awaited real estate recovery has taken off!  While the past few years have presented a few challenges to sellers and buyers alike, 2012 has come out of the blocks very strong – exceeding our expectations.  According to the January report from the Carolina MLS service which serves Charlotte and the surrounding counties, the MLS closed transactions increased 9.2% January 2012 as compared with January 2011.  However, the Allen Tate Company Charlotte region closed sales increased 21.7% – our growth is more than double the overall market growth!  What does that mean for buyers and sellers?  Great news on both fronts.  For buyers, you should be feeling more confident that the economic rebound we have seen in the past six months provides job security.  You also should be pleased with the incredibly low rates for qualified buyers – hovering around 3.25% for 15-year fixed and 3.75% for a 30-year FHA loan.  If you plan to be in the house for a shorter period, 5/1 ARMs are near 2.5%.  And that’s BEFORE the tax benefits for mortgage interest deductions!  For sellers, you are seeing more buyers in the market as indicated by the increase in sales activity.  Properties placed under contract so far in 2012 is nearly 60% above 2011 numbers.  This is a very strong signal that the housing recovery is here.  A word of caution – there is quite a bit of “shadow inventory” that comes in two forms.  The reported foreclosure inventory has yet to be consumed by today’s buyers.  Additionally, many non-distressed sellers who chose to wait for the recovery may now test the market again.  As this inventory enters the market, it is not likely that we will see appreciation for the short-term.  If you are interested in what the market is like in your neighborhood, call The Lee Ann Miller Team or visit our website at LeeAnnMiller.com.  If you use our TateMap Interactive Search function, you can see what the houses in your market are listed for as well as two years of recent sales activity.  

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