Negative housing headlines should be read with calm or skepticism, not alarm. National housing trends, like the steady rise in home prices and decline in inventory, should certainly be observed with care, but tracking wider economic conditions is also necessary. Buyers want to get into the market, but unlike the rising-price sales environment of ten years ago, people are not diving headlong into risky mortgages or uncomfortable situations. This carefulness should be celebrated, not feared.
New Listings in the Charlotte region decreased 0.2 percent to 5,582. Pending Sales were up 20.0 percent to 4,864. Inventory levels fell 27.8 percent to 10,145 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 3.7 percent to $198,000. List to Close was down 5.4 percent to 122 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Homes for Sale was down 36.4 percent to 2.8 months.
Employment figures are positive, wages are going up and employers are hiring. Consumers are holding for the right deal, even in the face of extremely low mortgage rates. As seller and builder confidence increases, we should see more activity in Q2 2016. The second quarter tends to rank as the best time to list a home for sale. But if inventory stays low, it will be difficult to sustain sales increases in year-over-year comparisons. Prices are seemingly not so high as to stall the market completely. Demand is present but an abundance of choice is not, and therein lies the rub.
All data from CarolinaMLS. Report provided by the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association