Home sales across America are fantastic. Inventories have dwindled down to just a 5.2 month supply according to the National Association of Realtors. New construction is so active that builders can’t find enough workers to keep up pace with demand reports the National Association of Home Builders.
It is a completely different story in eastern North Carolina. Onslow County has an 11 month supply of home inventory. Carteret County, also known as the Crystal Coast has an 18 month supply. The new construction market is approaching a 2 year level in some areas. Why the great disparity between our local real estate market and national?
Supply of inventory is a term used to describe the rate of sales (not the number of sales) and is expressed in months. It looks at how long it would take to sell all of the homes on market if no new listings were added. A 6 month supply of inventory is considered a normal, stable market.
For example, Onslow County is currently selling over twice as many homes as Carteret County but inventory is backing up. In 2010 Onslow County had a 6 month supply of homes. It currently has an 11 month supply.
New home construction in Onslow is at the magic number of 6 months. But these new construction sales are supplanting existing home sales. It is why inventory is swelling with older homes.
The Crystal Coast has had an ongoing problem with an excess of inventory since 2005. At its worst it had a 24-26 month supply of homes but currently it’s at 18 months. But new construction is a different story. The back log has been on an increase along the Crystal Coast and is nearing a 22 month supply.
The reality of the situation is that this real estate in Carteret County market hasn’t had a change in the number of buyers but has had a big change in the number of suppliers. Why? Back in 2005 for example Carteret County and all of the Crystal Coast maintained 800-900 homes on the market for sale and had a 6 month supply of inventory. In comes the real estate bubble, prices sky rocket and everyone flooded the market with properties for sale. New construction followed. Buyers didn’t equal the number of suppliers so the area went from 800-900 available homes to averaging 2,100 homes on the market today swelling to an 18 month supply of inventory.
No new home buyers just new home suppliers.
The good news for buyers is the glut of inventory can present some unique buying opportunities. New construction can be bought cheaper than homes bought during the real estate bubble. Distress sales such as short sales and foreclosures have made up to 23 percent of all sales in certain areas this year. Up to a third of all sales have been cash.
If you must sell then you must be realistic about the current market and price accordingly. If you are a buyer then be prepared to compete for the opportunities out there but be financially qualified before you begin your search.
Margaret Hitchcock of Hitchcock Realty is an experienced Realtor. She understands market trends, home sales and how they affect both the buyer and seller. In fact, understanding the local real estate market is an essential aspect in determining a home’s salability. Price a home too high and it sits unsold. Price it too low and potentially suffer from loss of profits.
Margaret understands all of this and leverages this information to your full advantage. Whether you are interested in new construction or an existing, waterfront property or vacant lot or land, call Margaret today at (252) 269-2893 or click on EMAIL to send Margaret a message right now.
Portions of this article first appeared in the ENC Weekly newspaper. This publication concentrates coverage of news and events in the Carteret County and Onslow County areas. Pick up a copy of ENC Weekly at areas Walgreens, Lowes Food, Handy Mart, Jim Dandy and many other fine retailers and businesses in the area. Visit ENC Weekly online at www.ENCWeekly.com
Bill Hitchcock is a licensed NC real estate broker and the Marketing Director for Hitchcock Realty in Morehead City Carteret County. His media background includes 30 years in the television, radio and motion picture industry. Bill Hitchcock is an acclaimed, award winning television producer with national and international credits. Currently he co-host the radio program “Live and Local” which covers state and national news and politics. The program broadcats locally on WRHT 96.3 FM weekday mornings between 6:30AM and 9:00AM.