Home sales climbed 23.4 percent in 2012

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 06:00 PM

According to a Charlotte Regional Realtor Association report, based on data from Carolina Multiple Listings, Inc. (Carolina MLS), home sales improved at the end of 2012.

In December 2012, closings were up 23.4 percent compared to 2011 when closings totaled 1,896, according to a statement from Keller Williams.

Around Union County, home sales appear to be up as the data suggests though some local realtors said there appears to be more buyers than property available in the area.

"Our money has gone up," Crystal Crump, Union County's register of deeds, said in reference to the money her office receives from excise tax from property transfers.

The Register of Deeds Office receives $2 for every $1,000. Since the money they receive has gone up, it appears that property sales have increased, Crump said.

"I think there's a lot more buyers than there is inventory," Lisa Giovanniello, who owns United Country Blue Ribbon Realtors in Waxhaw, said in reference to the current housing situation in the county.

Her business works with home sales around the county but mainly focuses on those in and around the Waxhaw area, she said.

There's been a lot of activity when it comes to home sales though the prices homes are selling for haven't really changed much, she said.

"I think at the moment we're dealing with a definite influx of buyers and I think sellers have been a little bit timid about putting their property on the market because the market's been so soft," she said.

Lately she's seen a downturn in pricing when it comes to the amount of money people can get for their homes with people not being able to demand more for them. Working in the real estate market has been a struggle for a while but recently she has felt some relief when it comes to home sales, she said.

"I don't think last year was such a great year but there was definite more activity but things are taking a lot longer. We're still in a short sale, foreclosure marketplace and I think what's happening is people who are not in a short sale situation or a foreclosure situation are hanging onto their houses because people want to pay short sale and foreclosure prices," she said.

As a result of this, people have been timid about putting their properties on the market. A short sale is a situation where the seller, who is the person who either lists the house for sale or owns it, owes the bank more than what it's worth on the market today. Since the market got so filled with foreclosures, the prices all came down so if you had a house that was worth $250,000 in 2008, it might be worth $190,000 now, she said.

"I have always been strong with the listings and now I find that I have more buyers that I'm working with than sellers," she said.

Some of the sellers she is working with now, she has worked with for a few years and only now has gotten their properties under contract but at much lower prices. She has found that when short sales don't go through the situation can turn into a foreclosure situation, she said.

Cathy Burns, who owns Cathy Burns Real Estate, has similar thoughts about local real estate markets.

"Yes, I think that the buyer activity is definitely up this year," Burns said.

She has seen multiple offers on properties and also feels that the number of homes available in the marketplace has gone down in the last year. With so fewer homes on the market, the demand has gone up, she said.