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Charlotte home prices rise 6.2% from a year ago

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Charlotte-area home prices continued their upward movement in February, rising 6.2 percent on average from the same month a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday.

The Charlotte-area increase was not as strong as the national average price gain of 9.3 percent among 20 cities tracked by the index. Phoenix was No. 1 for February, with an average year-over-year increase of 23 percent.

When compared with the prior month, Charlotte did see a small decrease, 0.2 percent. But the city has seen year-over-year price gains every month since March 2012.

Debe Maxwell, a broker/owner for Charlotte-based Savvy + Co. Real Estate, said home prices in the city of Charlotte have heated up quickly over the past 12 months – and can’t possibly continue to rise at their current pace. In the city, the average sales price last month was $215,222, up from $198,312 in March 2012, she said.

That’s an increase of 8.5 percent.

“To me, that’s high,” she said, adding that Charlotte is definitely a seller’s market, defined by having less than 6 months of supply of homes for sale. Supply is Charlotte is equal to 5.2 months, she said.

According to the latest statistics from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association, sales of existing homes in the Charlotte region rose 24.9 percent in March from the same month a year ago, while the average sales price rose 10.3 percent. Real estate brokers say the falling supply of homes in the Charlotte metropolitan area is contributing to some buyers making multiple offers on homes.

“They’re creating a bidding war,” said T.J. Larsen, owner of Charlotte-based realty firm My Townhome.

In Charlotte, prices are rising the most in uptown and nearby neighborhoods, such as Myers Park, Dilworth and SouthPark, Larsen said. He said he expects home prices to keep rising over the next three to five years until they hit prerecession levels.

Maxwell, though, expects prices in Charlotte to keep rising during the spring homebuying season and then level off later this year.

There’s so much demand for homes, some buyers are making purchases sight unseen, she said. “It’s crazy.”

Although some real estate brokers in Charlotte have expressed concerns that appraisers might not be able to find comparable sales as home prices rocket, Larsen and Maxwell lauded the job appraisers have been doing.

“I have not had issues with appraisals,” Larsen said. “I’ve found them very good to work with.”

All 20 cities tracked by the Case-Shiller index had year-over-year increases in February.

Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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