Roberta Fuchs – from the Mecklenburg Times: News for Mecklenburg, Union and Iredell counties

Existing homes in the Charlotte area, including distressed sales, appreciated 7.6 percent in May from a year earlier, according to CoreLogic’s Home Price Index report. Existing-home sales prices in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan statistical area grew 1.4 percent in May from April, according to the report.

Excluding distressed salesCharlotte-Area Home Prices Rise 7.6%, year-over-year existing-home prices rose 7 percent in May and increased 1.5 percent from April. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate-owned transactions.

Using more than 30 years of transaction data, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index tracks changes in sales prices for the same homes over time.

Local home-price appreciation on an annual basis outpaced national increases, which averaged 6.3 percent in May from a year earlier. Month-over-month prices nationwide, including distressed sales, grew 1.7 percent in May from April.

Excluding distressed sales, prices rose 6.3 percent year over year in May and were up 1.4 percent from April. Only Massachusetts and Louisiana showed a year-over-year depreciation, at 2 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Ten states and Washington, D.C.  — including North Carolina — reached new price peaks not experienced since the CoreLogic Home Price Index began in 1976. The others were Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.

A low inventory of properties listed for sale has pushed prices higher. Several factors can cause a dearth of supply, including prospective sellers waiting for prices to rise sufficiently to recoup the equity they lost during the housing crisis. Low interest rates make refinancing existing mortgages attractive, while stagnant real wages have made it more difficult to save for a down payment on a new home.

The supply of homes in Charlotte has sat at 3.9-months since February, versus an average of six months in a healthy market. In May, new listings rose 0.3 percent over May 2014, but inventory fell 22.9 percent during that same period, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association. There were 13,213 properties on the market in the Charlotte area in May. Nationally, the market has just 5.1 months’ supply of homes.

CoreLogic says higher home prices over the last couple of years have spurred increases in single-family construction.

“Sales of newly built homes during the first five months of 2015 were up 23 percent from a year ago, and as rising values build equity for homeowners, we expect to see more existing homes offered for sale in the coming year,” said CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi.

The states with the highest annual home-price appreciation in May, including distressed transactions, were South Carolina at 10.3 percent, Colorado at 9.8 percent, Washington at 8.8 percent, Florida at 8.7 percent and Nevada at 8.3 percent. The Tar Heel state saw a 5.1 percent increase in the home price index in the 12 months ending in May.

Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest home-price growth were South Carolina at 9.6 percent, Colorado at 9.2 percent, Florida at 8.9 percent, Washington at 8.5 percent and Oregon at 7.9 percent. North Carolina had a 5.1 percent annual increase.

The company forecasts that home prices, including distressed sales, will rise 5.1 percent between May 2015 and May 2016. Excluding distressed sales, prices nationally are predicted to grow 4.7 percent in the same period.

CoreLogic, based in Irvine, Calif., provides property information, analytics and data services.


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