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Housing inventory, new listings decline while sales, prices rise

The inventory of homes for sale in the Charlotte area continues to decline as factors such as new home construction and seller confidence lag behind the area’s increasing population and demand for homes.

Home sales in the Charlotte area were up 4.8 percent in November compared with last year, but were down 14.5 percent from October, according to figures released Tuesday by the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.

cash for homeThe generally increasing year-over-year number of sales, home prices and pending sales contracts is “a sign that the market is still recovering well,” said Joe Rempson, president of the CRRA and the Carolina Multiple Listing Service. “It’s a good time to sell. There’s a good number of buyers out there, and we just need sellers’ confidence to continue to improve.”

Rempson said the lack of inventory has caused prices to “increase fairly steadily, but not out of control,” as buyers chase fewer homes.

New listings were down 7.1 percent compared with last year, resulting in inventory declining 13 percent to 13,847 properties for sale in the region, representing a 4.6-month supply. An inventory of 6.0 months is considered to be a market in equilibrium. The region comprises 12 counties in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

The average sales price in November, $227,104, was up 1.5 percent from November 2013, and the median sales price, $180,000, increased 2.9 percent over last year. The average list price of $255,259 was just slightly higher than last year’s $255,164. Sellers received 94 percent of the asking price, an increase of 0.2 percent from last year.

Preliminary pending sales for November increased 13.3 percent over last year, to 2,778.

“We’re pleased to see sales holding steady as we approach the time of year when consumers are not as focused on home buying or selling,” said Rempson. “New listings and inventory remain challenged.  However, demand continues to be a bright spot and should create some momentum for sales in 2015.”

The average number of days on the market from list to close was 131 days, a one-day decrease from November 2013. Days on the market, which includes properties that are active and under contract but being shown, was 72 days, 23 fewer than in November 2013.

Distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 6 percent of closed sales, down from 8.8 percent last year.

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