Hot Properties

Highest price homes moving fast if updated with latest & greatest

For $2.27 million, the buyers of this house on Brigadoon in Cornelius got all the bells and whistles.

By Kate Stevens. Swank abodes without high-end finishes and fixtures are keeping the supply of $2 million homes at the two-year mark but top real estate brokers say updated homes are selling quickly.

And, for the first time since the recession, there is money to be spent. In spite of news about the tiny house movement, “right-sizing” and suburban flight, there’s still a powerful market for really big homes in and around Lake Norman.

“All I can tell you is there is a lot of cash out there right now,” said Dixie Dean, an Allen Tate Real Estate realtor and broker based in Cornelius. “It has been a very brisk market in the past 12 months.”

Through August 2017, the Lake Norman area had a 21 month-supply of homes valued at $2 million or more, down from 34 months from the same time period in 2016, according to MLS data.

Jillian Mack, an Allen Tate Realtor and broker serving the Mooresville and Cornelius areas, agreed.

“Since mid-summer, we’ve had more traffic in our $3 million listings than our $1 million listings,” said Mack, who credits the economy’s upturn for these sales as more and more people are willing to dig deep into their pockets.

“I just think it’s pent-up buyer demand,” Mack said.

Cash buyers abound

Dean said there has been a very strong interest in the high-end market this year from people with lots of cash making very quick decisions.

In years past, Dean said she has seen buyers with cash “circling the area” for a number of years while waiting for the right deal.

“This last year, it seems like people have just been ready to spend their money,” Dean said.

According to MLS data provided by the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association, 15 homes priced $2 million or higher have sold through August 2017 compared to 18 homes during the same time period last year.

The median sale price of these homes was $2.68 million, up slightly from $2.65 million during the same time last year.

Update, update , update

But for these Lake Norman ultra-luxury homes to actually sell, they need to be updated with the latest in home renovations and trends.

Otherwise, these high-priced homes might sit on the market for as long as two years, according to Dean and Mack.

These homes, cutting edge 10 or 15 years ago, “were the latest and greatest but they have aged out,” Dean said.

Lake Norman data

The median days on the market for these homes has dropped from 172 days through August 2016 to just 79 days through the end of August 2017, according to the data.

“Although the month’s supply is down from 2016, we are still looking at 21 months of inventory in this price range, which remains clearly a buyer’s market with lots to choose from in this elite portfolio of beautiful Lake Norman homes,” said Abigail Jennings, president of Lake Norman Realty.

This buyer’s market is reflected in a study recently released by the online real estate source Trulia.

More demand for starter homes

Trulia’s study found that not only in the Charlotte real estate market, but nation-wide, more people are searching for lower-priced starter homes or mid-priced trade-up homes while the majority of online listings are for premium homes valued at $614,000 or more.

New homes built 10-15 years ago that haven’t undergone any recent updates have helped cause the market to be glutted with high-end inventory.

And these are the homes that are taking years to sell, said Dean.

The only way to sell these homes is to drop the price, she said, since buyers could spend another $1 million in renovations.

Real estate experts advise getting your luxury home updated with the latest trends if you want it to go fast.

Granite counter tops are now being replaced with marble or quartz and cool colors like gray have replaced warmer colors, Dean said.

Light fixtures and cabinet pulls are also changing from brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze to a brushed brass, Dean said.

These ultra-luxury Lake Norman homes, with large lots and plenty of square footage, are a bargain compared to the high cost of living in other states like California where $1 million gets you a much smaller home, Mack said.

The majority of the people looking to buy these luxury homes are mostly empty nesters about to retire who want a large home that will entertain all their friends and family, Mack said.

“I hear it over and over,” Mack said. “I want everybody to gather here, whether it’s friends, families or colleagues.”

One Cornelius home that closed in May sold after just 22 days on the market due to its prime location on Lake Norman and recent construction date of 2014. This English cottage-style home on Brigadoon Place in the upper Jetton area of Cornelius offered five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms over 4,600 square feet.

The home’s covered veranda led to lakeside seating, a fire pit, private beach and dock and an adjacent carriage house.

The home was listed for $2,349,000 but sold for $2,272,500, according to MLS data.

Stephanie Gossett, Allen Tate regional vice president, said homes priced at $2 million or more are selling on average in five months in Cornelius and seven months in Mooresville.
Cornelius data

Cornelius properties selling for $2 million or more in July 2017 spent an average of 147 days on the market compared to 166 days on the market during the same time last year.

In July 2017, there was a nine-month supply of inventory priced at $2 million or more in Cornelius down from a 19-month supply the same time the previous year, Gossett said.

For properties sold in Mooresville priced at $2 million or more, the average days on the market was 206 days compared to 235 days in July 2016.

This summer, Mooresville had a 26-month supply of inventory priced at $2 million or more compared to a 23-month supply in July 2016, Gossett said.

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