Sales Are Down, Rates Are Up in Cooling Housing Market
Home sales figures continue to drop nationwide, and the Charlotte real estate market is no exception. Buyers must contend with soaring inflation as well as formerly unheard of increases in interest rates. Home mortgages, which long remained at record lows, have more than doubled since March from 3.22% to 6.94%. In addition to the known negatives pulling down the market, there’s the unknown threat of a possible recession looming. Little wonder buyers are hesitant to buy a home, which for many is the biggest financial commitment they will make.
But it’s a tough market for sellers, too. To paraphrase one broker’s remark in a recent article, you can’t stick a “For Sale” sign in your yard and expect 20 offers the next day. However, whether it’s due to job relocation or retirement, people will have to sell their homes at some point, so not only are we seeing continuing, though diminished sales, but rising prices on homes being sold. Changing times call for changing strategies, and sellers are learning to make price and other concessions to attract buyers. Buyers in this challenging market would do well to do their homework and to recruit an experienced buyer’s agent to represent them.
Mixed signals are inevitable as we transition from a long-standing seller’s market. As of October 31, the number of homes for sale in the greater Charlotte area rose by 2,225 units, a whopping increase of 42.1%, giving potential home buyers an inventory of 7,511. Despite the growth of inventory, the median sales price of homes climbed by $44,450 to $379,450, an increase of 13.3% from last year, a counterintuitive and persistent trend from our long-lasting seller’s market. Contrast the continuing rise in home prices with the increase in the number of days on market until sale, which ballooned by 58.8% to 27 days, an increase of 10 days from last October.