As summer winds down, it’s helpful for buyers, sellers and agents alike to look at August’s trends in Charlotte-area residential real estate sales. Overall, selling prices are strong, and inventory remains tight.
More Sales at Higher Prices
The Carolina Regional Realtor Association reports positive news on several fronts, especially for sellers. For example, the median sales price is up 7.8 percent for the 12-month period ending August 2015. Interestingly, the number of year-to-date closed sales are also substantially higher. The 27,782 sales closed from January to August of 2015 represent a 16.1 percent increase over the 23,931 closed sales reported during the same eight-month period last year.
Inventory Down Over 20 Percent
However, there is certainly evidence that the demand for single family homes still exceeds the supply. Total inventory of homes for sale stands at 13,166, a decrease of 21.9 percent compared to last year at this time. As a result, it should not be too surprising that homes are selling more quickly, and sellers are getting closer to their asking prices than a year ago. The average residence is only on the market for 59 days, compared to 70 days in August 2014. Sellers now receive an average of 95.2 percent of the price asked, up from 94.7 percent, year-over-year.
Also, there has been a notable drop in the number of months of available inventory. In August 2014, there was a 5.7-month supply, and now there is only a 3.8-month supply. These figures represent a significant 33 percent decline in the number of homes on the market.
For sellers looking for relatively quick sales at decent prices, all of this is good news. In fact, it may be argued that the year-over-year price increase of almost eight percent is somewhat due to demand exceeding supply.
Interest Rate Stability
Overall, the Charlotte market remains tilted somewhat in favor of sellers. However, buyers still enjoy low mortgage interest rates. Bankrate.com calculated that the average rate for its benchmark 30-year conventional mortgage stood at 4.05 percent at the end of August. Some analysts suggest that the Federal Reserve will take action this fall that may eventually push mortgage rates higher. However, one report by CNBC suggests that action by the Fed will not necessarily result in a quick rise in home borrowing costs.
Overall, the Charlotte real estate market continues on its march toward increased stability. However, the market would benefit further from a better balance between supply and demand.