What will the active Spring real estate season bring to Charlotte-area buyers and sellers? If the month of March is predictive in any way, slowly rising prices and a need for more inventory may lie ahead.
Home Price Trends
For example, consider home selling prices. For the three-month period extending from December 14 to March 15, Trulia calculates the median selling price for a Charlotte single-family residence at $185,000. This figure represents a year-over-year increase of 2.8 percent. Compared to the previous quarter, the median selling price has actually declined 1.9 percent.
However, Trulia’s breakdown of recently sold residential listings is informative. For the quarter ending March 15, the $146,750 median selling price for a one-bedroom home represents a substantial year-over-year increase of 9.9 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, four-bedroom homes also demonstrate a significant increase in value. Such residences were selling for a median price of $332,000 for the quarter ending March 15. This represents a one-year increase of 16.5 percent. Meanwhile, medium-sized homes with two or three-bedrooms are not increasing in price at the same pace. For example, the $131,500 median selling price for a two-bedroom is 0.4 percent lower than one year ago.
Modest March Inventory Gains
Prospective buyers are hoping for an uptick in the number of listings as the prime Spring real estate season draws near. Trulia reported just over 2,640 listings as of March 4. There were about 100 more listings than that by March 18, and that number held steady through March 25. This increase is consistent with expected seasonal changes, but it still represents welcome news for buyers that want at least a few more listings to select from.
Nonetheless, the Carolina Regional Realtor Association reports that the number of months of available inventory is still down 29.4 percent from one year ago. This relative shortage of inventory is reflected in the average number of days a single-family residence is on the market-78. One year ago, such homes were on the market for an average of 99 days.
Ultimately, the reality remains that homes, especially the most desirable ones, are being snapped up at a brisk pace. This means that sellers are getting much of what they are listing their homes for. Charlotte-area sellers now get an average of 94.6 percent of the original list price. Also, closed sales are up 20.3 percent over last year at this time, further evidence of demand outstripping supply.
Signs of Stability
Given these figures, buyers should note that selling prices are appreciating at relatively modest rates. With conventional 30-year mortgage interest rates steady in the threes, buyers are still enjoying some attractive benefits in the greater Charlotte area.