Charlotte-area home prices rose 8 percent in March from the same month last year, as low supplies of homes for sale continued to drive up prices nationwide, a report Tuesday showed.
March marked the 27th month in a row of annual increases in the Charlotte region, Irvine, Calif.-based CoreLogic said. Nationally, home prices rose 11.1 percent from a year ago, for the 25th month in a row of annual price gains.
Rising home prices nationwide, as well as tight inventories and tougher lending requirements, are becoming an increasing drag on the U.S. housing market, the report said.
“March data on new- and existing-home sales was weaker than expected and is a cause for concern as we enter the spring buying season,” Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in a statement.
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Inventories of homes remain stubbornly low in Charlotte and elsewhere. Last week, the National Association of Realtors said the national median price for existing homes is expected to increase by 6 to 7 percent this year because of inventory shortages in much of the U.S.
Industry observers blame the low inventory on multiple factors. Some potential sellers who bought at the peak of the housing market still owe more than their homes are worth and are waiting for prices to rise further before they sell. Also, some potential sellers are reluctant to list their homes while low supplies mean slim choices for their next home purchase.
CoreLogic’s figures include sales of distressed and nondistressed homes.