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NAR: Charlotte home-price appreciation ranks 13th

Homebuilders group sees pickup in housingMedian sales prices for existing single-family homes in the Charlotte area increased at a faster clip between the fourth quarters of 2013 and 2014 than all but 12 of the 175 metro areas included in a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

Preliminary nonseasonally adjusted numbers for fourth quarter 2014 show Charlotte home prices rising 11.8 percent year over year to $192,800 from $167,500. The fourth-quarter 2014 price was down 4.3 percent from third quarter 2014, however. Nationally, median sales prices increased the most in Sherman-Denison, Texas, up 21.1 percent.

Charlotte’s median existing-home price ranked 58th on the list, behind both Raleigh-Cary and Durham.

The NAR said that home prices increased in 150 of the 175 metropolitan statistical areas. Twenty-four markets recorded lower median prices than the previous year.

Appreciation is remaining steadily strong due to a decline in housing supply and an uptick in demand as a result of lower interest rates and a stronger job market, according to the NAR.

“Home prices in metro areas throughout the country continue to show solid price growth, up 25 percent over the past three years on average,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement. “This is good news for current homeowners but remains a challenge for buyers who are seeing home prices continue to outpace their wages. Low interest rates helped preserve affordability last quarter, but it’ll take stronger income gains and more housing supply to help meet the pent-up demand for buying.”

The national median price for an existing single-family home was $208,700, up 6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013.

Total existing sales, including single-family homes and condos, declined 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter in the third, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.07 million, but were up 2.6 percent from fourth quarter 2013.

The average supply during the fourth quarter was 4.9 months. A supply of about 6 months is considered to be healthy for the market. The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association recently reported a 4-month supply, which is not an average but a snapshot taken when the organization releases its reports.

“Despite affordable housing conditions in most of the country, an upward pressure on home prices still persists in some metro areas – particularly in the West – where the current supply of new and existing-homes for sale is failing to keep pace with overall demand and growing populations,” said Yun. “Unless homebuilders significantly boost construction, housing supply shortages could develop and lead to further price acceleration this spring.”

The highest median sales price was $855,000 in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; the lowest was in Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, where it was $78,000.


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