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Charlotte home sales drop 9 percent in July

Charlotte-area home sales fell 9 percent in July from a year ago, as persistently low supplies, weak new listings and ongoing price increases dampened activity, a report Wednesday says.
Charlotte-area home sales fell 9 percent in July from a year ago, as persistently low supplies, weak new listings and ongoing price increases dampened activity, a report Wednesday says. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-area home sales fell 9 percent in July from a year ago, as persistently low supplies, weak new listings and ongoing price increases dampened activity, a report Wednesday says.

During the month, 3,900 homes sold versus 4,286 in July 2015, according to the Carolina Regional Realtor Association. July’s sales slumped 11.9 percent from June, the latest monthly report on existing-home sales in the metro area shows.

One key factor in the declines is a continuing shortage of listings, the report says, citing an issue that’s impacting other U.S. markets.

A balanced real estate market has about six months of inventory. Charlotte’s inventory in July stood at 3.1-months’ worth.

Supplies are so tight in Charlotte, many potential buyers are sending personal letters to sellers in an effort to have their offer accepted over competing bids. Real estate agents say the supply shortage is also frustrating potential sellers, preventing many from listing their homes out of concern they won’t be able to find a property to buy.

July recorded 5,075 new listings, a decline of 3.4 percent from a year ago, when inventory was at a 4.4-month supply.

Amid the supply shortfalls, prices continue to post sizable gains. The average sales price of $269,426 was 6.5 percent higher than July 2015.

Although home sales activity continues to cool in the region because of low supplies and the other challenges, demand continues to be elevated as measured by pending contracts, association President Maren Brisson-Kuester said in a statement.

“This should send a strong signal to sellers that there are motivated buyers in our market and that the outlook for future sales is still good,” she said.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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