Business

Charlotte home sales soar as mortgage rates surge

AP

Charlotte-area home sales surged 19.7 percent in November from the same month last year, as buyers hurried to close deals amid spiking mortgage rates, a report Thursday shows.

In its latest monthly report on the local housing market, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association said 3,175 properties sold in November compared with 2,653 a year earlier. The nearly 20 percent jump marks the largest year-over-year increase the region has posted this year.

The association, which tracks sales of existing homes, attributed the increase partly to a last-minute wave of buying activity typical toward the end of the year – but also to fast-rising mortgage rates.

Rates have shot up nationwide since president-elect Donald Trump’s victory last month, pushing would-be buyers off the sidelines before borrowing costs soar further.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan jumped this week to 4.13 percent from 4.08 percent the previous week. The benchmark rate surpassed its 3.95 percent level of a year ago.

The rate on 15-year home loans, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, rose to 3.36 percent from 3.34 percent.

Thursday’s Charlotte report, which tracks the existing-home market, showed November sales dropped 7.1 percent across the region from October.

Sale prices in November rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier to an average $259,205. Prices in parts of the region have posted sizable gains throughout the year, in part from stubbornly low supplies of homes for sale.

Inventories tightened up further in November, falling to a 2.6-month supply, or 9,770 properties for sale. That’s down from 2.8 months of supply in October and 3.8 months of supply in November 2015.

“Unfortunately prices across the region will continue to be pressured into 2017 as we continue to deal with tighter supply as we move into the slowest part of the selling season,” Maren Brisson-Kuester, the Charlotte association’s president, said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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