As we near the end of the peak season for Charlotte real estate sales, we’re seeing confirmation of some long-standing trends, some positive, some not so positive.
First, for all the talk about how millennials have rejected many of the goals and values of their parents, they still see a home as not only a means of establishing long-lasting roots in a community, but as one of the most important investments they can make. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that millennials constitute the majority of first-time home buyers. That’s a reassuring generational trend.
On the other hand, many millennials are saddled with student loan debt and stagnant wages. And like everyone else in the market for a home, they’re having to contend with continuing problems with inventory and historically high home prices.
The latest home buying data confirm these issues aren’t going away any time soon. As of August 31, 2019, the median sales price of a home purchased in the greater Charlotte area rose by 5.2%, or $12,850 from last August, to $257,850. The glimmer of good news we’ve been reporting for the last several months is still with us: the percentage of original list price received inched down, though by a modest .1%. (That’s better than the increases we saw the last few years.) Of course, inventory woes continue. The number of homes for sale in the Charlotte area dipped by 2,001 units, or 17.5%, to 9,412 homes. The number of months supply of homes for sale dropped by 17.9% to 2.3 months.
While it’s true the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates at the end of July, housing analysts see little immediate benefit to buyers. However, it should be noted that many existing homeowners took the opportunity to refinance with their mortgage lenders, a strong indicator that homeowners continue to see their homes as vital and worthwhile investments. This expression of confidence in housing is good news for buyers and sellers alike.