As the cool winds of autumn more frequently sweep down from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Piedmont, the market for Charlotte real estate continues to heat up. As October came to an end, there were only 2.8 months of inventory, and the average home was on the the market for only 51 days.
Not surprisingly, this inventory shortage exerts an upward pressure on prices. Thanks to a recent surge in prices, the median selling price for Charlotte area homes is now $209,690, an increase of 12.7 percent compared to last year at this time. As eager buyers compete for the best listings, the prices realized continue to rise. Sellers are receiving, on average, 96.2 percent of the original list price, an increase of 1.6 percent over last October’s already high levels.
Trulia, which calculates median selling prices based on the number of bedrooms, offers some interesting data. Year-over-year increases are reported in one, three and four-bedroom residences, while two-bedroom residences actually decreased in value for the three-month period extending from August 24 to November 23. Apparently, Zillow analysts are also persuaded of the strength in the Charlotte real estate market. After projecting a 2-3 percent price increase in their one-year forecast, the current projection now stands at a higher 4.3 percent figure.
Evidence of Better Inventory
There is some good news for buyers in search of Charlotte homes for sale. There are signs that the shortage of listings that has spanned the past couple of seasons is finally easing. In October, 4,150 new homes new listings hit the market, an increase of 2.7 percent over October 2015. The number of new listings year-to-date has shown similar improvement – 49,392 this year compared 48,079 last year. As homes sell quickly, the number of pending sales tend to rise. Such sales for this October stood at 3,984, a whopping 26.4 percent year-over-year increase.
Dramatic 4-year Run
Improving economic conditions and solid job growth make Charlotte one of the stronger residential real estate markets in the country. The recovery in median selling prices over the past four years has been impressive. In October 2012, it stood at approximately $160,000. With the median selling price now closing in on $210,000 and showing little sign of slowing, there’s been a $50,000 increase in the median selling price in just 48 months, an impressive average increase of over $1,000 per month.
October Interest Rates Steady
At the end of October, mortgage interest rates remained steady. For the week ending October 26, 2016, Bankrate.com’s thirty-year benchmark fixed rate stood at 3.64 percent, nearly identical to the figure one month earlier. However, there has been a post-election surge in mortgage interest rates, and this will be discussed in our November report. Whether a rate increase is temporary or lasting remains to be seen. Prospective buyers may want to look at Charlotte homes for sale now to take advantage of still-low mortgage interest rates.