Development

Home prices are shooting up fast in Charlotte, but houses are selling faster

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

Home sales and the number of houses on the market dropped in Charlotte last month, but the price buyers are paying continued rising quickly, largely a product of limited inventory.

And if you want to buy a house, you’ll have to move fast: The average amount of time a property spent on the market last month dropped below 100 days, from initial listing to sale closing.

The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association said Monday that 4,719 residential properties sold in June. That’s down 3.8 percent from the same month in 2016. But that doesn’t mean the market is cooling off. The median sales price jumped 8.9 percent from June 2016, to $245,000.

And while that’s a big year-over-year increase, it follows the sharply rising trend of the past five years. June’s median sales price was almost 43 percent higher than the median sales price in June 2012, in the aftermath of the recession, which stood at $171,500.

“The Charlotte market, like many housing markets across the country, is seeing a general slowdown in sales, even as mortgage rates remain low and local job creation remains steady,” said Roger Parham, Charlotte Regional Realtor Association president, in a statement. “Fortunately, demand for homes is still strong, as seen through pending contract activity, even as buyers continue to face inventory shortages and price increases.”

$245,000Median sales price for houses in the Charlotte region in June, up 8.9 percent from last year.

Here are some other key facts about the Charlotte region’s housing market in June:

▪ The number of houses for sale continued its dramatic fall in June, similar to many cities where housing supply hasn’t kept up with resurgent demand. There’s enough inventory on the market for 2.5 months, down from 3.5 months of inventory in June 2016 and well below the four to six months of inventory that’s generally considered a balanced market.

In contrast, more than nine months of housing inventory was lingering on the Charlotte market in June 2012.

▪ The number of days a house spent on the market in June also fell, dropping six days from the same month last year, to 99 days from list to close. The active days spent on the market, which includes when a house is listed for sale and the “Under Contract-Show” period, fell even faster to 40 days, dropping seven days from June 2016.

Five years ago, in June 2012, houses were spending an average of 139 days on the market from list to close.

▪ Sellers are holding most of the cards in this tight market. On average, they’re getting 97.5 percent of the original list price, according to the report. That’s up from 96.8 percent a year ago and 92.7 percent in 2012.

▪ As tight as the market is regionally, it’s even tighter in the city of Charlotte itself. The median sales price in the city ($244,000) is up 9.4 percent from a year ago, and sellers in Charlotte are getting 98.8 percent of their asking price. There’s only 1.6 months of supply in the city of Charlotte itself, down from an already scant 2.3 months of inventory a year ago.

Houses in Charlotte proper are selling fast too: They’re spending an average of just 26 days of active time on the market (down from 30 days last year) and 78 days from list to close (down from 85 days last year).

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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