July 17

Home sales, prices up on short inventory


Roberta Fuchs – from the Mecklenburg Times: Home sales, prices up on short inventory

Charlotte-area home sales continued their upward trajectory in June as a double-digit drop in inventory left prospective buyers with increasingly limited options.

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The number of homes sold in the 12-county region rose to 4,434 last month, up 22 percent  from June 2014 and 15 percent from May, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtors  Association.

New listings rose 1.7 percent in June from a year ago. But inventory still dropped 24 percent  in the same period, leaving the region with 13,167 properties for sale. That’s a 3.9-month  supply, far short of the six months considered to be a market in equilibrium where neither  buyers nor sellers have the upper hand.

Inventory has been at a nearly 4-month supply for most of this year as stringent  underwriting standards and stagnant wages make it more difficult for prospective sellers to  come up with down payments and moving expenses or qualify for a mortgage. Many face a  dearth of affordable new construction or are waiting for prices to appreciate to the point  where they can recoup equity lost in the downturn.

Prices continue to increase. The average sales price in June inched up 0.8 percent to $260,003 compared with a year ago, when it increased 7.5 percent over June 2013. The median sales price rose 4.5 percent to $206,089 in the same period.

The average list price in June increased 3.4 percent to $280,884 compared with last year, when the average list price was $271,526. The amount of the original list price received increased slightly to 95.6 percent.

“Mid-year presents the perfect opportunity to assess an active CarolinaMLS market that continues to show gains in contracts, sales and prices,” said Maren Brisson-Kuester, president of the CRRA and the Carolina Multiple Listing Services Inc., in a statement. “Our median sales price is up a conservative 4.5 percent, helping to sustain a healthy seller’s market while still providing affordable options for buyers.”

Brisson-Keuster said that inventory remains challenged, “but a nearly 2 percent increase in new listings should keep buyers interested.”

Homes were on the market from list to close an average of 119 days in June compared with 125 days in the same month last year. The average number of days homes were on the market, including listings that were active and under contract but being shown, fell to 62 days from 73 days a year ago.

Preliminary pending sales in June increased 26.5 percent to 4,438. There were 3,509 homes under contract a year ago.

The CRRA reports on the residential real estate market in the Charlotte region using data from Carolina Multiple Listing Services Inc.


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