Charlotte home prices climb again even as inventory keeps falling

Charlotte home prices climb again even as inventory keeps falling

CHARLOTTE, NC (Ely Portillo/The Charlotte Observer) - Charlotte's housing market continues to be a bit of a paradox, marked by strong demand and rising prices that keep bumping up against the falling supply of homes for sale.

The latest numbers, from November, show that the region's inventory crunch remains just as severe. According to statistics released Monday by the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association, the number of houses sold across the region increased 2.9 percent in November compared to the same month a year ago, with 3,485 sales closed.

The average price jumped almost 5 percent from a year ago, to $270,957. The median price, another measure of the market, increased even more, rising 6.4 percent to $223,375.

But even though sales prices jumped, the number of properties plunged. In November, the number of houses on the market was down 18.1 percent from the same month a year ago. The drop looks even starker in raw numbers: In November 2016, there were 11,021 houses on the market across the Charlotte region. By last month, that number had fallen to 9,024. The market has about 2.3 months of supply available, well below the four to six months considered normal in a healthy market.

That can hurt the housing market by creating a cycle where fewer people are willing to put their house on the market because they might not find a comparable house in their price range, further reducing inventory. Association president Roger Parham was optimistic, however. This year is on track to finish with more total sales than 2016, and the number of new listings has been trending up, even though the overall number of homes on the market is down.

"We're optimistic that inventory across the region can be replenished," said Parham.

Here are some more key numbers from the November report:

  • 96 - Average number of days from list to close in Charlotte, down from 104 days in November 2016.
  • 1.4 - Months of supply on the market in the city of Charlotte, down from 1.9 months last year.
  • 1,983 - Number of houses for sale in the city of Charlotte, a 22.1 drop from November 2016.
  • 43,754 - Number of homes sold across the Charlotte region in 2017 so far, up almost 7 percent from last year.