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Charlotte-area home prices rose 7.4% in October

Charlotte-area home prices rose 7.4 percent in October from a year ago, marking the region’s 22nd consecutive month of annual price gains, according to a report released Tuesday.

Around the country, existing-home prices rose 12.5 percent, for the 20th month in a row of year-over-year increases, according to the report from CoreLogic.

Excluding distressed sales, prices increased 9.4 percent in Charlotte and 11 percent nationwide.

Appreciation is slowing on a monthly basis as the housing market heads into a traditionally slower time of year for sales, CoreLogic said. Prices, including distressed sales, rose 0.2 percent nationally in October from September. In Charlotte, prices increased 0.5 percent.

Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said higher mortgage rates also have caused monthly price increases to slow following strong gains in the spring and summer.

Mortgage rates rose this year amid speculation that the Federal Reserve might scale back its stimulus efforts, an action the Fed decided in September to defer. Although mortgage rates are near historic lows, they remain higher than they were at the start of the year.

The slowdown in price gains is good for the housing market, as home prices in nearly half the country are within 10 percent of their historical peaks, Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, said.

In the Charlotte region, CoreLogic data shows prices at record highs, 1.4 percent above the previous high set in July 2007. Home prices in the region have shown consecutive year-over-year gains every month since January 2012. During the recent housing downturn, prices in the region hit their lowest point in December 2011.

Nationwide, sizable annual price gains are said to be stemming in part from low supplies of homes for sale. Last week, the National Association of Realtors said tight inventories are causing double-digit year-over-year price increases. During a visit to Charlotte in October, the association’s chief economist said he expects the Charlotte area and the rest of the country to continue to have a shortage of homes for sale this year and into next.

CoreLogic predicts November home prices, including distressed sales, will be virtually unchanged nationwide from October but increase 12.2 percent on an annual basis. Excluding distressed sales, November prices are expected to rise 0.4 percent from October and 11.3 percent from November 2012.

CoreLogic’s report is based on repeat sales.

The report follows last week’s release of another indicator, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which showed Charlotte-area home prices rose 7.8 percent in September from a year ago.

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