Charlotte home prices rise 8% in January over last year

03/04/2014 11:20 AM

03/04/2014 11:25 AM

Home prices in the Charlotte area rose 8 percent in January from a year ago, as the region continued to post large annual gains in appreciation.

A report Tuesday from real estate data firm CoreLogic showed January marked the 25th month in a row of annual increases for the region.

On a national level, January’s monthly and annual gains posted their strongest showings since the height of the housing bubble in 2006, CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming said in a statement. Severe winter weather during the month did not weaken appreciation, he said.

In Charlotte and nationwide, low supplies of homes for sale have been a key driver of appreciation, real estate insiders say. With supplies low, some properties have attracted multiple bids, helping boost prices.

The outlook for the U.S. housing market is uncertain, as economists say rising prices are dampening demand for homes.

Last week, the National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes are expected to be weak in the first quarter. Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, said some potential buyers are being priced out of the market as home prices have risen faster than their incomes.

Higher mortgage rates are also hindering home sales, economists say. In February, the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.3 percent, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. A year ago, it was 3.53 percent.

On a monthly basis, home prices in the Charlotte area rose 1.1 percent in January, CoreLogic said. Nationally, prices rose 0.9 percent over the same period.

Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s president and CEO, said in a statement that home prices nationally are expected to rise further during the spring buying season.

On Tuesday, the company predicted February prices will increase 12.5 percent on an annual basis and 0.7 percent on a monthly basis.

The CoreLogic figures include sales of distressed and nondistressed homes. The report is based on repeat sales only.

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