Consumer demand high as a kite
March is here, and consumer demand for Charlotte real estate continues to soar. Despite the low inventory of homes for sale, all regions of the country are seeing double-digit increases in the number of homes shown, a vital indicator of future home sales. Despite concerns about the coronavirus, the positive indicators for the housing market continue to outweigh the negative indicators.
On the bright side, we’re seeing increased activity by builders, who have had major problems in keeping up with demand. So relief should be on the horizon.
The monthly numbers for the greater Charlotte region reinforce this forecast. As of February 29, the median sales price grew by $27, 892, or 11.9%. The percent of original list price received inched up by .9%. So consumer demand, backed by favorable trends in the unemployment rate and expected wage stability, certainly remains high. Of course, persistently low inventory in the number of homes for sale helps fuel these rising prices. The number of months supply of inventory fell to 1.5, a drop of 40%, the biggest drop we’ve seen in decades. And the inventory of homes for sale plummeted by 3,074 units, a loss of 31.3%.
On the plus side, we’re seeing growing availability of credit for consumers. Last week, the Federal Reserve lowered rates to 1.25%, certainly good news for homebuyers. And there’s talk rates could go as low as 0% to allay fears of a coronavirus-induced recession, which will give mortgage lenders increased flexibility in securing financing for more buyers. While it’s true volatility in the stock market may deter some from making a sizable investment, those who lock in these bargain basement rates now will rack up significant interest savings in the long run, and real estate is all about the long run.