This was the bread isle was at the Walmart in Crownpoint, just before one of the snow storms a few years back. I’m not sure why people seem to eat a ton of sandwiches during a snow (maybe they use the milk and eggs they also buy in bulk to make french toast) but they do. The only bread the usually remains are the expensive, smaller loafs and the kinds that the kids won’t eat. This is the current state of the Charlotte housing market.
Last month, there were only 4,147 single family homes active on the market during the month of January in Mecklenburg County. That’s not 4,147 new listings but the total number of listings that were on the market at any given point. Only 1,164 homes were added to the market in January, which was the lowest number of new listings added to the market in over 10 years. Subtract from that 1,128 as the number of homes that went under contract (highest since 2007) and what you have is the empty bread isle shelf at the super market just before a snow storm.
With just over 3,000 single family listings available for sale in a county with a population over 1 million and growing (depending on which website you read, it’s either the 2nd, 5th or 6th fastest growing city in America), that’s not much to choose from.
In the past, bank owned and new construction would add to the inventory of the market however that’s not happening as much so far. Many foreclosed properties are being purchased in cash at the courthouse, never making it to the open market. New construction is facing it’s own unique challenge as the cost of land has risen so dramatically, affordable new construction homes in-town are very few and far between – kinda like a unicorn. There is, though, millions upon millions of dollars to invest in apartments, which are going up everywhere (I think I saw they are building on in the highway divider on I-485 near Ballantyne). It is also why so many of these companies are purchasing single family homes and converting them to rental properties.
The condo & townhouse market is one that has been slow to recover however as the price of housing has skyrocketed back to 2006-2007 levels, they are being seen as an alternative. During the month of January, 1,403 condos and townhouses were active and on the market (442 were added during the month of January alone) and 360 of which went under contract. That’s great news for that segment as the activity will lead to further increases in value, which should help. Additionally, the FHA announced guideline changes to it’s condo financing program, which will open up opportunities in the condo market for buyers looking under $300,000.