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Charlotte home sales, prices expected to rise faster than U.S. in 2016

A home for sale on Poindexter Dr. in the Sedgefield neighborhood in Charlotte on August 5, 2014.
A home for sale on Poindexter Dr. in the Sedgefield neighborhood in Charlotte on August 5, 2014. tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Home sales and home prices are expected to rise faster than the national average in the Charlotte region next year thanks to growing demand and the continued tight supply of houses on the market.

Single-family home sales in the Charlotte area, which includes Concord and Gastonia, are expected to increase by more than 10 percent in 2016 compared with 2015, according to a housing forecast this week from Realtor.com, an online real estate database.

The limited number of single-family homes on the market in Charlotte is expected to push up median prices by 6.5 percent next year.

Because the Charlotte area is poised for substantial growth in prices and sales, the report rated the region the No. 8 hottest housing market for next year, right behind Memphis, Tenn.

Demand for housing in the Charlotte region is driven by a growing number of households and improving local employment. The area’s unemployment rate – which stood at 5.2 percent, according to the latest N.C. Commerce Department figures – is expected to drop more than twice as fast as the national rate in 2016, according to Realtor.com.

Strong demand means houses for sale are being bought up faster. The median number of days on the market is 73 in the Charlotte area, which includes Gastonia and Concord, compared with 81 in the U.S. overall.

Listings in the Charlotte market get approximately 1.4 times more views than in the U.S. overall, according to the report.

Nationally, new and existing home sales are expected to reach 6 million for the first time since 2006 next year. Both existing home sales and home prices nationally, however, are expected to slow to 3 percent over the year because of higher mortgage rates, continued tight credit standards and lower affordability, according to Realtor.com.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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