Charlotte, NC Region Housing Market Update:
The Charlotte region's housing market continued its strong performance of the first 11 months of the year into December 2016 and ended the year on a high note. As we finished out year in the Charlotte area, closed sales, pending sales, average sale prices were all up. Days on market until sale were down 14.3% in December versus December 2015 and down 16.9% year to-date. The story for 2016 remained that supply struggled to meet demand, especially in affordable homes.
December 2016 Closed Sales: up 4.5% versus December 2015 and up 8.4% year-to-date.
December 2016 Pending Sales: up 24.9% versus December 2015 and up 10.9% year-to-date.
December 2016 Average List Price: increased 14.2% to just over $285,000 versus December 2015 and up 7.9% year-to-date to just over $299,000.
December 2016 Average Sale Prices: up 8.2% to just over $258,000 versus December 2015. Median Sale Price was also up 10.0% to $209,000 as compared with December 2015. Year-to-date, average and median sale prices are up 6.5% and 7.5% respectively.
December 2016 Percent of Original List Price Received: up 0.7% to 95.8% compared with December 2015 and up 1.3% year-to-date.
December 2016 Inventory of Homes for Sale: down 25.7% versus December 2015, with new listings increasing by 4.8% in December 2016. New listings on a year-to-date basis are up a somewhat anemic 3.4%
- December 2016 Months Supply of Homes for Sale: down 32.4% to 2.3 months. Charlotte region's housing market continues to be very much a seller's market, as it has been throughout the year, with parts of the Charlotte metro area having barely or less than 2 months of inventory.
The message for Charlotte region home buyers remains what it's been throughout 2016 and 2015 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 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 need to make decisions and offers more quickly than ever. With many homes receiving multiple offers, buyers also need to make "clean" offers with a minimum of contingencies.
- Home prices are continuing a steady increase and housing affordability continues to decrease. Buyers must 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 that drive the final sale price above asking price.
- For buyers looking for homes priced under $250,000, and especially under $200,000, the selection is very slim these days.... and no wonder as the average price of homes sold continued to increase month after month throughout 2016.
- With the housing affordability index down by 5.8% in December 2016, alone, and by 3.4% year-to-date, a strong argument can be made that home buyers should be making purchase decisions sooner rather than later, as affordability will most likely continue to decrease (and even more so if interest rates rise continue to rise in 2017).
The message for Charlotte region home sellers also remains what it's been since 2015 and doesn't appear poised to change much in the forseeable future:
- When a home is priced right, staged right, and marketed right, it will sell and, on average, should sell in less than two months. The days from list to closing in December 2016 were down 8.4% to 109 days as compared with December 2015 and are down 8.5% year-to-date to 107 days. Days on market till sale were down 14.3% to 54 days as compared with December 2015 and down 16.9% to 54 days on a year-to-date basis. Cumulative days on market were also down at year end, down 13.5% to 64 days in December 2016 versus December 2015 and down 17.9% to 64 days on a year-to-date basis.
- Sellers who have been overly aggressive in pricing their homes are not seeing their homes sell quickly, if at all. Pricing is still key even in a strong seller's market.
- With homes selling faster, 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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This monthly Charlotte, NC region housing market update is brought to you courtesy of Nina Hollander and Carolinas Realty Partners, RE/MAX Executive Realty, your Charlotte metro area real estate consultants.
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