Mortgage

Charlotte house gross sales begin to get better, however stock nonetheless shrinks

Home sales in the Charlotte, N.C., area are rebounding after taking a major blow from the novel coronavirus pandemic, even as the shortage of homes is worsening.

Sales in the 16-county Charlotte region rose 11.4% in July from the previous year, the first year-over-year increase in three months after COVID-19 stalled real estate activity. That’s according to figures released Tuesday from the Canopy Realtor Association.

Because the coronavirus started to hit North Carolina during the spring buying season, the sales that would have taken place earlier this year were delayed by several months, said John Kindbom. He is the 2020 president of the Canopy Realtor Association/Canopy MLS.

But the inventory of homes for sale plunged 47.5% from last year, with just 1.3 months of supply available.

Experts say a balanced market should have around a six-month supply of homes. Just a year ago, Charlotte had almost a three-month supply.

“We’re not having the new construction keep pace with the influx of people coming to Charlotte,” Kindbom said. “It’s a good problem to have, but it is a problem.”

The inventory squeeze means higher prices. The median sales price rose 7.5% from last year, to $285,000.

Jonathan Osman, a real estate agent and owner of Tryon Realty Partners, said sellers have been hesitant to put their homes on the market amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, due to the competition amid short supply, he’s seen buyers write seven or eight offers in the hopes of securing a house.

“A lot of sellers decided to take their properties off the market during COVID,” he said. “And they haven’t returned.”

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