Charlotte Region Housing Market Update:
The Charlotte region's housing market continued its strong start of the new year in February 2016, with none of the key metrics disappointing with closed sales, pending sales, home prices all up and days on market, inventory levels, and new listings all down.
February 2016 Closed Sales: up 1.4% versus February 2015.
February 2016 Pending Sales: up 22.2% versus February 2015.
February 2016 Average List Price: increased 10.8% to just under $314,000 versus February 2015.
February 2016 Average Sale Prices: up 4.2% to just under $231,000 versus February 2015. Median Sale Price was also up 2.2% to $182,000 as compared with February 2015.
February 2016 Percent of Original List Price Received: up 1.4% to 94.9% compared with February 2015.
February 2016 Inventory of Homes for Sale: down 26.4% versus February 2015, with new listings decreasing by 0.2% in February 2016.
- February 2016 Months Supply of Homes for Sale: down 34.9% to 2.8 months. Charlotte region's housing market continues to be very much a seller's market, as it was throughout 2015, with parts of the Charlotte metro area having even less than 2 months of inventory.
The message for Charlotte region home buyers remains what it was throughout 2015 into January 2016, and isn't likely to change much in the forseeable future:
- The supply of homes available to buy remains very tight and those that are on the market are selling more quickly (3.8% more quickly in February 2016) and with minimal negotiating room. In prime neighborhoods, we see many homes going into contract within days of listing. Home buyers continue to have fewer options to choose from and will need to make decisions and offers more quickly than ever. With many homes receiving multiple offers, buyers will also need to make "clean" offers with a minimum of contingencies.
- While home prices are not "running away with themselves," they are continuing a steady increase and housing affordability continues to decrease. Buyers need to be prepared to pay more for a home and to expect to negotiate less off the asking price. Depending where in the Charlotte metro area buyers are looking, they may not be able to negotiate at all and should expect to see bidding wars.
- For buyers looking for homes priced under $250,000, and especially under $200,000, the "pickings" are very slim these days.... and no wonder when the average price of homes sold continues to increase month after month. Increasingly, it's hard to find homes priced under $250,000.
- With the housing affordability index down by 1.5% in February 2016 alone, and by 3.8% on a year-to-date basis, a strong argument can be made that home buyers should be making purchase decisions sooner rather than later.
The message for Charlotte region home sellers also remains what it was throughout 2015 into January 2016, and doesn't appear poised to change much in the coming months:
- If a home is priced right, staged right, and marketed right, it will sell and, on average, should sell in less than three to four months. The days from list to closing in February 2016 were down 3.8% to 126 days in February 2016 and are down 5.3% on a year-to-date basis to 124 days.
- Sellers who have been overly aggressive in pricing their homes are not getting their homes sold. Pricing is still key.
- Sellers need to be prepared to move quickly and to have back-up plans for a new residence at the ready.
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