Is the Housing Market Shifting to Favor Buyers?
We’re clearly seeing a metamorphosis in the Charlotte real estate market, though it’s not quite as graceful or straightforward as our lovely photo suggests. While home prices continue to rise, the rate of increase has definitely slowed. Homes put on the market continue to move quickly, though this isn’t uniform throughout the area, with sales in some neighborhoods stumbling slightly.
The good news is that sellers are increasingly accepting less than their asking price, a positive development for home buyers. So the ugly caterpillar is transforming, but it’s not going to be a fully developed, beautiful butterfly until long-standing inventory problems resolve.
The latest numbers confirm things are changing. As of April 30, 2019, the median sales price for the greater Charlotte area inched up by $13,500, an increase of 5.6%, $253,500. The inventory of homes for sale dropped yet again, this month by 856 units, or 8.7%. Despite this continuation of the area’s home inventory, we’re still seeing a trend toward moderating prices. The .4% decrease in the percentage of original list price represents a continuation of that trend. On the other hand, the number of months supply of homes for sale has dropped by 8.3%, confirming that inventory will remain an issue for home buyers for the foreseeable future.
And there are other factors at work favoring home buyers. Mortgage rates have been dropping since December, and presently stand at an average of 4.14% for a 30-year fixed mortgage. Also, the national unemployment rate is holding steady at 3.8%, a crucial statistic that reinforces overall consumer confidence. Finally, the greater Charlotte area continues to grow. More than 44,000 moved here from 2017 to 2018, adding more voices clamoring for homes. Builders will find it hard to ignore that kind of persistent, growing demand.