Welcome 2015

A stronger economy with solid job growth is expected to boost home sales in 2015. Though Charlotte has lagged the US economy both can be expected to improve in 2015! From Lawrence Yun Chief Economist with the National association of Realtors:

  • 2015 existing home sales are forecasted to rise 7% to 5.3 million homes
  • Median existing home price will increase 4 to 5% after cumulative increases of about 25% over the last 3 years
  • New home sales are expected to be up 37% in 2015!
  • Distressed sales are disappearing
  • First time Buyers are waking up after being absent for 5 or 6 years.
  • Job growth may push 3 million this year!

Potential speed bumps do exist:

  • Mortgage rates are expected to increase from ridiculously low sub 4% to close to 5% by years end.
  • Lenders have been punished by the Feds and could be slow to ease underwriting standards back to normalized levels,
  • First time Buyers may continue to look for more proof of price appreciation and job security before the enter the market.

Freddie Mac’s November 2015 forecast echoed The Associations:

  • 3% GNP
  • Lower energy costs
  • Less Governmental fiscal drag
  • More business confidence with better paying jobs

Charlotte is finally shaking off it’s “Banking Drag”, job growth is in place, construction has returned……Looks like we are ready to charge ahead!


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Predictions for 2015

Its that time in the business world when we do “inventory” and begin to look at the year to come. What can be expected for 2015? Here is my take:

1. The countries economy will grow at a pace (3%) that suggests we are finally shedding the “Great Recession”, thanks to lower energy costs and higher employment.

2. Charlotte will finally keep pace with the rest of the country. We remain one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas. We will continue to recover with increased home building, increased single family mortgage originations, the multi-family “for lease” construction surge will have continued momentum but its acceleration will begin to ease , and the condominium market will reach full recovery.

3. “In-town” home appreciation will be back to a predictable 5%+.

4. Mortgage rates will rise in 2015, from incredibly low sub 4% levels to closer to 5%.

5.Demand for “high end” move down new construction will to be strong, driven by both life style choices and what I’m describing as a new 2008 conservatism.

We are excited about the possibilities! See you in the New Year.



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Affording Charlotte

In a report released in early May, Deutsche Bank and The Wall Street Journal examined 54 markets using data from Reis, a market research firm, and the National Association of Realtors, and found that it is cheaper to own a home than to rent in Charlotte or the Triad.

The report indicates that rents in Charlotte are 108% of the the average home mortgage payment.

So maybe its a good time to consider that home or condo that you have been dreaming about…..

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Spring 2014

Spring 2014 is here and the consensus is continued improvement in volume and pricing. Local real estate sales re-energized in 2013, with both homes and condos showing strong upticks in sales. You have probably seen the national market stories of renewed strength in housing. Here are some local market facts:

Single-family home prices increased 8.8% in 2013

Condo prices in the Charlotte Region were up 6.3% in 2013

Average days list to close fell to138 and 136 days respectively, a 9.2% drop

Closed sales (units) in the Charlotte region were up 24.6% from 2012

New listings and pending sales per up 12.2% and 17.3% year over year

Inventory of homes continued to drop -7.5%

Our local neighborhoods did even better-

Area 4:

Closed sales 1737 units, +30.4% over 2012

3 months’ supply of inventory

Average list to close 117 days

95.3% of Original asking price

Area 5:

Closed sales 3046 units, +26.1% over 2012

2.6 months of inventory

Average list of close is 117 days

Prices averaged 95.3% of original asking price

2014 has started with a bang. New construction is experiencing healthy pre-sales, and re-sales are closing at higher prices per foot. All in all there are signs about of a return to health for real estate.


Ps. Scot Williams, as manager/ member and Scot Williams Realty, LLC. are representing a new construction project 2251 Selwyn, on Selwyn Avenue near Croydon. Available condos ranging from 1780 to 2321 sq. ft. start at $560,700.


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October 2013

Quoting directly from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association Weekly Market Activity Report for week ending October 12, 2013:
“As tricks and treats are planned, housing starts its preparation for a holiday season hibernation. Though activity hasn’t come to a complete halt- there are still year – over- year gains being posted for listings, sales and prices- the liveliness of the summer months has started to slow. Keep watch on any movements from the Fed, on economic indicators outside of housing and on the legislative tug-of-war. Each may play a part in predicting how the rest of the fourth quarter of 2013 goes.”

Its common at this time of the year for Buyers to become distracted by holiday festivities, and for real estate agents and developers to start to look toward 2014. All trends remain positive for an exceptional Spring 2014. With that strong bias, we continue to evaluate opportunities.

Sales and pricing have continued to improve in 2013, so looking ahead our focus is on Months Supply of Inventory. Over the last 12 month period inventory has shrunk 35.2% from an average of 9.1 months supply to 5.9 months; by the end of September current activity found only 5.6 months of available inventory a 23.8% improvement over the supply one year before. I believe this points to opportunity for new construction……so stay tuned for an exciting announcement!

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August 2013 NC Tax Law Changes

Governor Pat McCrory signed The North Carolina Tax Simplification and Reduction Act (HB998) into law last week. In case you were not paying attention, this is the first comprehensive change in our tax code since the 1930′s. Many of the changes will take place starting in January while others will be phased in over the coming years.

Here’s what we think we can summarize:

Individual income tax rates will change effective January 2014
- to a flat tax of 5.8%, then dropping to 5.75% in 2015
- the law eliminates personal exemptions
- Itemized deductions will be eliminated except charitable deductions and deductions for mortgage and property taxes are capped at a total of $20,000- OUCH!
- the law maintains exemptions for social security income
- the law increases std. deductions for married taxpayers to $15K, head of households to $12K, and single taxpayers to 7.5K
- the law eliminates the NC Estate Tax

Corporate tax rates in NC drop to 6% next year, 5% in 2015, and 4% in 2016 and 3% in 2017 if certain state revenue goals are met.

The sales tax base has been expanded and some tax holidays that effected real estate (Energy Star* appliance holiday) have been repealed.

These changes will touch each of us! And heads up the US Congress is looking to make changes too.

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June 1 2013

WOW, Royal Court is sold out! All 107 developer owned condominiums have successfully closed. Royal Court is a luxury building off of Morehead street, positioned between historic Dilworth and Center City Charlotte. The building’s amenities include a two story illuminated waterfall, mahogany lobby walls fitted with fossils from Wyoming’s Green River Valley, first class concierge services, a residents retreat with both workout area and entertaining kitchen/ media lounge, and a third floor pool deck featuring mineral pool, hot tub, two-sided fireplace, six burner Viking grill, music, and a bar.

Originally, closings were slated for the second half of 2009 (good timing right?), Royal Court weathered all the storms, not only surviving the troubled real estate market since the 2008 collapse, but has sold exceptionally well, performing at or above its peer group in intercity Charlotte. In fact over the last 17 months, only The 386 unit Avenue has sold more than Royal Court:

The Avenue 72
Royal Court 41
Rosewood 27
Piedmont Row 22
Metropolitan 21
The Arlington 19
The Madison 10

Like the building, the sales group, Scot Williams, Brandon Ruby, and Kevin Thompson managed to survive from beginning of Royal Court’s development to the completion of sales. Hey when you are good………Scot Williams Realty, LLC. was a large part of that success. Scot Williams was directly responsible for 49.49% of the gross listing commissions earned over the life of the project, selling 47 of the 107 condominiums.”I knew the building as well, or better than anybody. Once the construction group moved on, and ownership changed, our group was the expert. We felt that Royal Court was the premier property in the area, and our sales success reflected that belief!” If you are looking for a great property there are re-sales in the building, but like all inventory in this market it moves fast. Come take a look.

A quick Market Update:

Listings are up 8.3% for the three months ending 5/25 vs one year ago
Pending sales are up 41.8% for the three months ending 5/25
Inventory is down (25.6) for the three months ending 5/25, and 38.2% for the twelve months ending in April. In Myers Park and Eastover that is translating into a 3 months supply- (less than 4 months is a Sellers market)
Sales prices have improved about 5% over the last 12 months
List prices to closing prices thru April were back to 93.6%

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Referrals are very important in the residential real estate business. In fact we consider a referral to friends, clients, and even other brokers the best and purest form of compliment. Naturally we appreciate great feedback from our clients, and many times they arise from a referral. I thought that as we enter the spring selling season I would share the feedback that we received from our latest closing:

“Thanks again for helping us find them a new home in the Charlotte area. Your professionalism, follow up and patience were critical in making this a smooth and successful event. Hopefully we’ll be able to send referrals your way for more migrating northerners!” B & N 2/20/13

Please don’t hesitate to call or email if there is anything Scot Williams Realty, LLC. can help you with. If you are looking to Buy and need representation, if you want to sell your home or condo, have questions of market value, or just need the name of a vendor; please feel free to contact us 704/953-8256 or scot@scotwilliamsrealty.com .

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So now what?

This information is quoted directly from Wells Fargo Securities, LLC Economics Group, North Carolina Ecomic Outlook November 01, 2012. The highlitesare mine.

Conditions in the Charlotte metro area have deteriorated in the second half of the year. After falling to around 9.5%, the unemployment rate has begun to edge back up as the local labor force has expanded faster than employment.
Job growth in the metro area firmly outpaced the U.S. average thrrough the end of 2011, but the story this year has been one of slower-than-average growth. The service sector continues to lead job gains, The energy and power industry shows signs of continued expansion with new job announcements. In addition, employment in personal care services continues to expand, reflecting the region’s growing population.
The housing market is finally beginning to experience some home price appreciation, mirroring national home price trends. The backlog of foreclosures has begun to clear. and existing home sales continue to improve.
New construction activity also continues to pick up with permits rising for both single- and multifamily segments. Demand for local apartments has helped to support most of the new building activity in the multifamily space.

Our outlook for the Charlotte area calls for stronger job and economic growth as population gains support stability in the housing market. There is upside potential to growth for the region over the next few months; however, ongoing restrictions in local government and funding pressures within the local school district will likely keep government employment in check.

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Time to Vote

According to the National Board of Realtors, there are 7,958,762 persons of voting age in the state of North Carolina. Of that group 77% or 6,137,984 are registered voters. Realtors make up 25,827 of that group, and as a group 84% are registered voters. Is there a reason why Realtors are registered in higher percentages than the state population as a whole? I would argue that there is. Realtors livelihood depends upon sucessful advocacy for the mortgage interest deduction and in their fight against transfer taxes, and I would argue that the health of the housing industry is crtical to job creation in this country.

The National association of Realtors estimates that five hundred jobs are created for every thousand existing homes sold. On top of that each home sale contributes about $60,000 to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)! As the national politicans pontificate about jobs, jobs, jobs; maybe one of the points of focus should be improving the housing market. Dodd/ Frank has dramatically slowed the issuance of mortgages and poltical and economic uncertainty has checked enthusiasm.

This election provides clear choices. Please VOTE.

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