There’s a lot to love about Cornelius, NC
, real estate-wise. With its convenient location within the Charlotte Metropolitan area, beautiful lakefront setting, lively local community, and ideal weather conditions, it’s not a surprise why many homebuyers are eyeing this picturesque suburban town.
If you’re looking for a home in charming Cornelius, it’s useful to look into specific market trends that can factor into your home buying decision. In real estate, few things are as satisfying as making an informed decision on one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll ever make.
In this article, we discuss some of the most relevant trends that can affect buyers for the rest of 2021 and quite possibly, the early part of 2022.
1. Home prices are still high and inventory still needs to catch up
In a nutshell: Many buyers will have to contend with a seller’s market. With high demand and a low supply of homes, sellers are in a better position to call the shots. Buyers must proceed carefully – ideally with professional real estate support.
Whether it’s within Cornelius or on a national level, August 2021 data from Realtor.com show that the median listing price of homes is $425,000. Moreover, the median sales price of $394,000 is significantly higher than the $296,000 figure a year before.
The pandemic-induced demand for homes remains a crucial factor in the price increase. In 2020, the desire for more space amid recurring lockdowns and record-low interest rates fueled the rush to buy homes. And while restrictions started to ease in the summer of 2021, buyer demand hasn’t waned.
Realtors and industry observers note that even if buyers have begun returning to urban centers, a sizable portion of the market remains interested in relocating to less dense communities like Cornelius. In fact, 45% of full-time employees in the US continued to work from home in September 2021
, according to Gallup’s monthly employment trends.The trend clearly shows that the need to recalibrate lifestyles and live in a more relaxed environment is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
The low supply of homes has contributed to higher prices. Moreover, the homes that do manage to get listed don’t stay on the market for too long. The median days on the market for homes in Cornelius is 38 days, but it’s common for properties to be bought within two weeks.
2. Interest rates remain relatively low, but likely not for long
In a nutshell: Buying a home now could mean jumping the gun on interest rates rising in the near future. However, everything is not as straightforward as others might think.
With much of the economy now on the mend, October 2021 interest rates in North Carolina hovered at around 3.1% – still low compared to 2019 rates. However, it may not be long before we see interest rates begin to climb back up.
According to the Weekly Real Estate Monitor (October 4-7)
from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Federal Reserve is preparing to buy fewer securities-backed mortgages. So it may be wise to take advantage of low rates now before they increase in 2022.
Low interest rates since the onset of COVID-19 have played a major role in incentivizing people to venture into real estate. But even before 2020, rates were already declining. The rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.62%, down from 4.46% at the beginning of 2019. As the pandemic tightened its grip worldwide, rates dropped to below 3%.
Whether or not you want to take advantage of the current rates before they rise again depends on your own circumstances. Low rates aren’t a good enough reason for buyers to buy, as we’ll see in the next section. Moreover, despite the persistence of low interest rates, there’s been a noticeable decline in mortgage applications across the US from the late summer in the past few months.
If you’re on the fence about buying, study the local real estate market more thoroughly than you normally would. A consultation with knowledgeable agents or Realtors
will help you make sense of larger trends and apply them in the local context. For those who are in a position to buy and have been mulling the possibility for quite some time, it’s time to take the plunge.
3. Home prices are too high for first-time homebuyers
In a nutshell: Facing steep costs, first-time homebuyers may have to look to viable alternatives in the interim – whether it’s smaller homes or rentals.
According to NAR’s report covering the month of July 2021, home sales declined by 2% nationally
after two consecutive months of increases. The decline is partly attributed to a drop in the number of first-time homebuyers. While buyers are constantly on the lookout for new listings, there are far fewer contracts being signed and deals being closed on homes.
This trend will likely continue until the end of 2021. In its first weekly update for October 2021, NAR found that new contract signings fell by 5.4% and new active listings declined by 5.3% year-over-year.
It’s another indication of how low interest rates don’t exactly drive home sales.
However, there are some signs that prices may level off soon. According to data from Realtor.com, smaller houses measuring 750 to 1,700 square feet are steadily gaining a larger share of the housing inventory. In July 2021, there was an approximately 36% increase in new listings for these modestly sized homes.
As supply continues to catch up with demand, potential buyers can continue exploring other alternatives.
4. Would-be homebuyers are turning to rentals
In a nutshell: As more people compete for rentals, it’s crucial to brush up on tenant rights and make the right impression on landlords.
In July of 2021, the US experienced its biggest increase in tenants with a rental occupancy rate of 97%.
Similarly, NAR reported a boom in apartment absorption (leased apartments)
– the strongest in a decade. The demand has caused rent to increase by 10.7% in August 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to a report by the NAR
. The same report said that rents are surging particularly in multifamily units.
Rentals in Cornelius, North Carolina are no exception. An apartment in Cornelius will set you back around $1,493 a month, an amount that is 20% higher year-over-year.
While rentals are the obvious fallback when homeownership isn’t in the cards, it’s not the only reason people are clamoring for apartments. Younger people who moved back to their parents’ suburban homes during the height of the pandemic in 2020 are moving out again. And where are they resuming their young, social lives? Interestingly, the NAR report pointed out that a considerable number of renters returned to big cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
With the demand in rentals soaring, landlords have the upperhand. After months of conceding to lowered rent and offering concessions, landlords can now take a firmer stand on their desired asking price. For renters, this means making sure they’re aware of local tenancy rules and that they know their rights.
5. Digital real estate services will continue to grow
In a nutshell: One of the irreversible effects of the pandemic is the heavy reliance on online searches and other digital tools. Expect new applications of technology in real estate in the foreseeable future.
To be clear, the role of technology in the real estate industry has been steadily ramping up even before COVID-19. Using smartphones to browse listings, drones to showcase location to dramatic effect, and employing 3D technology for virtual house tours — none of these are new.
What appears to be different now is the implicit recognition that the industry needs to rely on technology if it is to continue thriving. Several key takeaways stand out from NAR’s September 2021 report
on how stakeholders (buyers, sellers, agents, and brokerages) are using digital tools. Consider the following:
- About 97% of all homebuyers searched for homes online. Even among the Silent Generation (ages 75-95), the use of the internet in home searches is widespread at 87%.
- It usually takes buyers 8 weeks to view 9 homes – with 5 of these properties viewed exclusively online.
- With the exception of the Silent Generation, all homebuyer groups were 51% more likely to purchase a home they found online.
- Nearly 70% of Realtors surveyed have a website.
- Social media, customer relationship management platforms, and MLS are the top three tools Realtors use to gain promising leads.
- Many Realtors expect to expand the use of e-signatures in the next 12 months.
Even if technology has become increasingly entrenched in the real estate industry, there is still room for improvement.
For example, about 31% of Realtors still don’t have a website and rely on word-of-mouth referrals and in-person interactions. Of that 31%, only 10% have expressed interest in building a website in the future. Additionally, several Realtors also pointed out that they need more tools that will aid in cyber security — highly important in today’s digital age.
Two of the biggest challenges that brokerages are worried about in the next two years are adapting to new technology and the rise of newer and more virtual-savvy firms.
Neighborhoods to explore in Cornelius, NC
Now that we’ve covered key real estate trends in Cornelius so that you can better make an investment decision, what are some of the best neighborhoods you should consider in your home search? Below is a snippet of the fantastic communities you’ll find in this great town.
Starting off with one of the most coveted neighborhoods, The Peninsula is an exclusive community that offers the best of lakefront living. Situated next to the pristine waters of Lake Norman, the community has some of the best waterfront views in town.
Boat enthusiasts can sign up for a membership at The Peninsula Yacht Club. If you’re not gliding across the lake, you can spend time in The Peninsula Club, where high-end amenities await. Whether it’s the golf course, fitness center, swimming pool, or tennis courts, there is always something to occupy your downtime in this community.
The Peninsula offers luxurious single-family homes on oversized lots. This neighborhood is best for those who value privacy and top-tier amenities.
Jetton Cove is a picturesque, 104-acre neighborhood in the heart of Cornelius. Just about any place in town is fairly accessible from this location. It also boasts its own clubhouse and swimming pool for the exclusive use of residents.
The park in Jetton Cove is one of the best in Cornelius. Facilities include picnic areas, tennis courts, bike and walking trails, a playground, and so much more. Shopping destinations like Jetton Village and Peninsula Village are close by. Discover a great mix of groceries, restaurants, specialty stores, pet shops, clinics, and other eclectic finds.
100 Norman Place
100 Norman Place is a private waterfront community in Cornelius with homes in a variety of architectural styles, from Contemporary to more traditional styles.
Community amenities include tennis courts, a swimming pool, and docking areas with direct access to Lake Norman.
While buyers seek out 100 Norman Place for its lake access and scenic waterfront, some are also drawn by the neighborhood’s quiet streets and serene atmosphere.
Robbins Park is a tree-lined neighborhood with beautifully landscaped lots and several outdoor amenities. Located amidst a preserved area in Cornelius, this tranquil community boasts lush greenery in every direction.
Residents are free to enjoy a number of community facilities, such as tennis courts, picnic areas, a disc golf course, and a swimming pool. There are also walking trails that wind through this fantastic neighborhood — perfect for early morning walks or a late afternoon stroll to catch the sunset by the lake.
Additionally, the nearby boat club and marina is just a few blocks away from the neighborhood.
Lastly, Robbins Park has convenient access to shops, movie theaters, and restaurants near the heart of town.
This neighborhood offers homebuyers a laid-back lifestyle that revolves around water activities and great eats.
Popular in the area for its eponymously named marina, Crown Harbor offers a variety of ways to enjoy the lake lifestyle.
Exciting fishing and water sporting events are held annually. What’s more, there’s a good selection of restaurants and bars that make living here even more appealing.
But it’s the laid-back lifestyle that makes Crown Harbor a balm for harried souls. Beyond events and community activities, residents get to bask in the scenic views of Lake Norman and the surrounding landscape every single day.
If you’re looking for a place to spend your retirement years, Bailey’s Glen should be on top of your list. This active adult community offers the kind of amenities and facilities that will keep you feeling young and invigorated.
There’s a garden, a dog park, a swimming pool, and a few miles of walking trails. Frequent socials keep residents engaged. Lively barbecues are often held around a grilling area. The spacious and well-adorned clubhouse encourages afternoons spent shooting the breeze with friends and neighbors. Or, they can check out the pool tables, game rooms, ballroom, fitness room, and the impressive library for more options galore.
There are parks and restaurants at the edge of town, and it’s just a matter of minutes to get to the downtown area and other Cornelius communities.
Understand the trends with the help of experts in Cornelius, NC, real estate
It’s one thing to be aware of trends in real estate. It’s another thing to make the right moves based on those trends and other relevant information. To achieve home buying success, you’ll need the expertise of a local agent who can translate real estate insights and data into positive outcomes.
With The Christopher Lauren Group
, rest assured you’ll be fully supported in your home buying journey — from start to finish.
Why work with Chris and Lauren?
We make sure you stay ahead of the competition by acting fast in competitive markets, taking stock of ever-evolving trends, and harnessing new technology to your advantage.
As a husband and wife real estate team in Cornelius, we provide clients with a full range of services — from shortlisting promising homes to closing the deal on that dream home. We’re passionate about creating a seamless experience for you, whether you’re buying
or selling your home
Lastly, with solid and extensive connections in and around Cornelius, we make things happen quickly and engage with our clients in a fun and meaningful way.
Reach out to us by phone at 704.299.8296 or send us a quick email at christopherlaurengroup(at)gmail(dotted)com. You can also contact us here.
If you’d like to learn a few more things about Cornelius before calling us, check out our previous blog post
— here we discuss some of the awesome things that not many people know about Cornelius.
Explore other communities around Lake Norman
There are other great lake communities surrounding Lake Norman. Consider exploring the rest of the greater Charlotte area where we have strong presence: