It seems odd to say it. But the real estate market in the Crystal Coast is improving. Why is it odd to say? Mainly because it goes against the grain of just about every report I’ve given over the past several years. But, and this is a big “but”, we are nowhere close to being out of the woods yet. Let’s take a peek at some of the July highlights.
Let’s start off with some good news. July saw 137 homes sold, the most sold for the month dating back to 2007. That’s when 142 homes were sold. But loyal followers of my reports know that the emphasis should never strictly be on homes sold. You have to look at over-all inventory and the rate of new homes coming on market and sold homes going off market.
Take a look at this first graph. It shows the percent difference between new on market inventory to sold. As you can see the Crystal Coast marketplace has been running what I call a deficit of sales all the way back to 2003. To put it in simple terms we have been putting more homes for sale than we have been selling. This leads to a glutted market.
Another way to look at the glut is the absorption rate or often times referred to as the supply of inventory. It is expressed in months. The graph below depicts that. In a normal stable market there should be around a 6 month supply of homes. Although this past July the market had well above the norm you can see that compared to recent years we are well on the way to recovery.
Now last but not least every buyer and seller wants to know about price. How much am I going to spend or how much am I going to make. Below is a graph of average sold prices. In my opinion prices are still too high. Fault sellers who think it is still 2005 and real estate brokers who can’t tell the seller “No, it’s overpriced”.
Two points I’d like to bring up about price. I like averages better than median. I think a homogenous number is more indicative of a market than a middle number. Also the Crystal Coast is very diverse. We have oceanfront property, city slicker property and way back in the boonies type of property. We have resort and retirement areas like Atlantic beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, Salter Path and Emerald Isle. Our “metropolitan” spots include Morehead City, Beaufort and Newport. We have islands like Harker’s Island and Cedar Island and the list goes on and on and on of the various locations. Because of this diversity average or median prices as a single representation of the area can be deceptive. You can take a property and relocate that property elsewhere and watch the value triple or quadruple. So you see the unique situation we are in.
When it comes to gauging the area I stick to my guns and use averages. I compare those averages to prior months or years to see any trending that maybe occurring. And on the subject of trending I honestly believe we are seeing an improvement here along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.