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Charlotte home-seekers keep buying – even as prices keep climbing

Charlotte home prices rose higher in January compared to national averages and some major metropolitan markets, according to the Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index.
Charlotte home prices rose higher in January compared to national averages and some major metropolitan markets, according to the Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte home prices rose higher in January compared to national averages and some major metropolitan markets, according to a report released Tuesday.

Nationally, the Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, which tracks repeat sales, increased 5.7 percent in January. That’s a 31-month high.

Home prices in Charlotte rose 6 percent in January from a year earlier, according to the report.

In Charlotte, the higher home prices reflect the tight inventory of single-family homes. Local real estate experts have said that even though new home construction will ease things, it will take some time before more homes are available for sale.

Charlotte home seekers snapped up homes in February, with sales rising 3.2 percent compared to January, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. Many buyers likely sought to close their deals before mortgage rates increased further. On March 15, the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates by a quarter percentage point – and signaled that more hikes are coming this year.

But that hike isn’t expected to dampen homebuying, according to David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Dow Jones Index Committee.

“Given the market’s current strength and the economy, the small increase in interest rates isn’t expected to dampen home buying,” Blitzer said in the report.

Homes in the Seattle, Portland and Denver markets saw the biggest price gains.

The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The January figures are the latest available.

The Associated Press contributed

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