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Report: Charlotte home prices rise 7.2 percent in 4Q

Charlotte was among the 133 U.S. metro areas that experienced an increase in median home prices in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the same quarter in 2011, according to a report released Monday by the National Association of Realtors.

Charlotte’s increase of 7.2 percent, though, was below the national increase of 10 percent, as the median U.S. home price climbed to $178,900. Charlotte’s median price was $25,900 lower: $153,000.

Also, in comparison with other nearby metropolitan areas, Charlotte’s year-over-year price change outperformed that of Raleigh, which had a fourth quarter 2012 increase of 2.6 percent. But Raleigh’s median home price, at $190,100, was higher than Charlotte’s. Greensboro had a larger price increase than Charlotte’s: The state’s third-largest city saw prices rise 8.6 percent, but its median home price, $128,200, was below Charlotte’s.

Those three areas suffered median-home-price declines since 2010, when Charlotte’s was at $191,000; Raleigh’s, $217,600; and Greensboro’s, $129,800.

The NAR report is based on sales of existing homes, not newly built ones that have never been lived in. Also, the report examines home-sale activity in 152 metropolitan statistical areas.

Charlotte’s median home price in the first quarter of 2012 stood at $139,000, then rose to $164,600 in the second quarter and continued to climb, to $165,400, in the third before sliding in the fourth quarter.

According to NAR data, the  median Charlotte-area home price rose to $150,000 in January from $146,200 in January 2012, an increase of 2.6 percent.

Philip Corriher, leasing specialist with Charlotte-based The Chambers Group, said Charlotte appears to be on the upswing, as more foreclosures “get siphoned out.”

“Those prices are going to move higher,” Corriher said. “Charlotte is definitely moving up.”

Charlotte was suffering from a period of “overbuilding and overselling” but is “leveling out,” he said.

“I think Charlotte is poised a lot better than other big cities, with our demand for development increasing from incoming growth as more people move in from other parts of the country. I think we’re moving past the bad to a more stable, positive market.”

The NAR report comes after the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association this month released its statistics for January. According to that report, Charlotte-area home sales jumped 40 percent in January compared with the same month in 2012. In January, there were 2,163 closings in the Charlotte area, up from 1,541 in January 2012.

The CRRA also said average home prices last month in the Charlotte metropolitan area were $189,007, up 0.6 percent from January 2012, when the average sale price was $187,803.

On Monday, the NAR said the national median home price increase is showing the strongest year-over-year increase in seven years.

Abbie Bennett can be reached at (704) 247-2911, abbie.bennett@mecktimes.com or on Twitter at @AbbieRBennett.

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