This fall, the whole region is abuzz over the stellar performance of the Carolina Panthers. The excitement in Charlotte’s sports bars is palpable as the Panthers chalk up one victory after another.
Traditionally, residential real estate market cools off in the fall even as football heats up. This year is no different as new listings and closed sales declined from September to October. New listings were down 3.1 percent, and closed sales were off 3.9 percent.
Sellers See Some Quick Sales
However, numerous indicators point to strong demand for available properties. Many homes attract buyers in record time. Homes are on the market for only 62 days on average, down 13.3 percent from 71 days one year ago.
Over the last couple of years, sellers have been getting a high percentage of their asking price. This October, sellers are receiving, on average, 94.6 percent of what they are asking, up one percent year-over-year.
Residential Inventory Remains Tight
A shortage of inventory continues to drive these trends. In October 2015, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association calculates that there were 12,375 homes for sale, down from 15,788 in October 2014. Those figures represent a significant 21.6 percent decline.
Strong demand and a shortage of listings create a market in which there is only 3.6 months worth of inventory, down 32.8 percent year-over-year.
Prices Up Almost Four Percent
Selling prices continue a slow, steady climb. The factors that contribute to increasing prices remain: low mortgage interest rates, an inventory shortfall and pent-up demand. The fact that the Federal Reserve continues to hold the line on rate increases bodes well for mortgage rates in the near-term.
As a result of these factors, the median sales price of a single-family home in the greater Charlotte area is now $186,000, up 3.9 percent from one year ago. That means that the median sales price is up about $8,000 over the past 12-months, a nice gain for many current homeowners.
Sustained price gains over the last couple of years bode well for sellers and buyers alike. Sellers waiting on the sidelines increasingly have they equity they want to justify putting their homes on the market. At the same time, buyers enjoy the prospect of low interest rates and potential future gains in property value. The key for each buyer is finding a suitable property from an inventory that’s lean in some parts of the Charlotte area.
A winning combination of low interest rates, modest price increases and decent demand will continue to drive the Charlotte residential real estate market as fall’s colors lead us toward the holiday season.