Despite “Stay At Home” Restrictions, Real Estate Begins Rebound

Covid 19 Real Estate Market Summary and Forecast for May

Mecklenburg County

While Mecklenburg County remained under one of the state’s most restrictive activity limitations for real estate (only vacant homes are allowed to be shown), the county rebounded strongly in April after bottoming out in late March/early April.
Total showings rebounded steadily despite the “vacant only” restriction, to the point where the overall activity is now trending at roughly 50% of the activity we saw at this time last year. The dormant luxury market over $1 million in list price, has lagged but is now beginning to rebound as well. Showings in the million-plus range are now above 40% of last year’s activity in the same week.
We believe that should the state lift the stay at home restriction on May 8, that showing activity in the lower price points will rebound to 85-90% of last year’s level due to low-interest rates and very low inventory levels, which should mean a rebound in contracts and sell thru over the next 60-90 days

Charlotte & Surrounding Counties

For this update, we grouped a sampling of Charlotte’s outlaying counties, Iredell, Lincoln, Cabarrus, and Union, together with to them being under less restrictive real estate activity guidelines. Homes in these counties can be shown and listed by realtors regardless of whether they are vacant or not (Mecklenburg’s much more restrictive requirement).

In these counties, showing activity has also rebounded from the initial lockdown week’s order to almost 75% of last year’s similar week’s showing totals as April came to an end. This is with most of the population still observing stay at home restrictions. Similarly, the luxury segment in these counties has fared better than Mecklenburg, with current showing activity running at about 50% of last year’s late April pace despite stay at home restrictions. Multiple high-end homes went under contract in The Point, as well as Union and Lincoln Counties.
Based on this level of activity, we believe that with the lifting of stay at home, showing activity may return to 90% of last year’s activity in the mid-market price points, and 75% or higher above $1 million in price

Overall, given the state has been under “stay at home” guidelines as well as travel restrictions imposed in other states, we believe the positive showing recovery trend in most of North Carolina is surprisingly positive at this early stage of the recovery. With the lifting of the statewide restrictions being phased in beginning in the next few weeks, we believe showing activity will display some pent up spring demand and will rebound into the 80-90% range of last year’s May/June, particularly in the mid-market segment. Low-interest rates continue to attract earlier stage buyers more engaged in the traditional move up market, while the higher end of the market can re-engage more gradually, albeit there remain pockets of continued million dollar plus activity. Over 30 homes pending over $1 million at Lake Norman, 30 more in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, 14 in the traditional Myers Park/Eastover hotbed.

For this reason, we also believe it to be an opportunistic time for listings who’ve delayed or withdrawn from the market, to consider re-entering the market ahead of a May push by buyer consumers. Real estate firms have implemented extremely stringent showing conditions which include sanitary wipe downs, masks, restrictions on the number of persons entering homes that are much more stringent than trips to the grocery stores, etc. Firms are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of consumers and agents.
Frequently Asked Questions:
If I’ve been waiting or have withdrawn my listing from the market, when should I consider re-listings?
Obviously it starts with being comfortable with the precautions being taken by your listing realtor, buyers, and other agents touring your home per CDC best practices and social distancing. Beyond that, we believe there are optimal periods approaching depending on your price range. Contact us or one of our agents for specific metrics and guidance.
How are prices holding up so far?
Pretty well actually. There were a ton of closings pre-booked for the period of “stay at home,” inventory actually declined further in high demand areas, if demand returns in May and June, it should help provide support for stable prices this summer given the extremely low inventory levels.

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