Home prices remain high, but demand for Charlotte homes is also high. There’s good reason to look forward to a Happy 2019, but for the time being, it’s going to look a lot like 2018 for home buyers. One indication that optimism is warranted is the slowdown in price increases, a trend we’ve noted in past months.
Another reason for expecting 2019 to offer relief to homebuyers is significant improvement in inventory. Inventory is slowly creeping higher while rents are flatlining. The construction boom we’ve experienced over the past several years is finally showing up in the data as a wave of new inventory hits the market. When there’s more inventory, pricing comes under pressure.
The latest sales numbers for the greater Charlotte region support analysts’ determination that price increases are indeed slowing while inventory is rising. The number of months supply of homes for sale saw yet another drop, this time from 2.3 last year to its present level of 2.2, representing a 4.3% decrease. Yes, that’s yet another decline in inventory, but is a much smaller rate of decrease than previous months. Also, the number of homes listed for sale decreased from 9,268 in December, 2017, to 8,718, a drop of 550, or 5.9%, also a decline in the rate of diminishing inventory from previous months. The median sales price rose from last December’s $233,000 to $236,750, an increase of $3,750, or 1.6%. The percent of original price received saw a minor dip of .5%, dropping from 96.3% in December, 2017 to the present figure of 95.8%.
Finally, we believe 2019 will be a good year for homebuyers thanks to a strong economy. Nationally, unemployment is low and wages continue to improve. Here in the greater Charlotte area, new jobs created by corporations moving here continue to attract more people who appreciate the low cost of living and quality of life.