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Charlotte-area home prices up 5.7%

The sales price of existing homes in the Charlotte area, including distressed sales, appreciated 5.7 percent in December from a year earlier, according to CoreLogic’s Home Price Index report.  Sales prices in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan statistical area decreased 0.4 percent in December from November, according to the report.

Using more than 30 years of transaction data, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index tracks changes in sales prices for the same homes over time.

Annual local home-price appreciation was outpaced by the national price increase of 6.3 percent in December from a year earlier. Month-over-month prices nationwide, including distressed sales, grew 0.8 percent from November.

A low inventory of properties listed for sale has pushed prices higher. In the Charlotte region, the inventory was at a historic low of a three-months’ supply in December, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. That was a 24.2 percent decline from December 2014, when there was a 4.5-months’ supply. A six-month inventory is considered to be a market in equilibrium.

Nationally, unsold inventory was at a 3.9-month supply in December, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“Nationally, home prices have been rising at a 5 to 6 percent annual rate for more than a year,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft in a written statement. “However, local market growth can vary substantially from that. Some metropolitan areas have had double-digit appreciation, such as Denver and Naples, Florida, while others have had price declines, like New Orleans and Rochester, New York.”

CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi said local markets with strong employment growth are likely to see a continued rise in home sales and price growth that is above the national average.

CoreLogic forecasts that home prices will increase 5.4 percent between December 2015 and December 2016.

The states with the highest annual home-price appreciation in December were Colorado at 10.4 percent; Washington at 10.3 percent; Oregon at 9.1 percent; Idaho at 8.6 percent; Nevada at 8 percent; and Florida at 7.7 percent. North Carolina saw a 4.8 percent increase in the home price index in the 12 months ending in December. Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico saw decreases in year-over-year sales prices, dropping 2.9 percent, 2.8 percent, and 0.1 percent, respectively.

In other developments, CoreLogic says the share of Charlotte-area homes with a mortgage that were facing foreclosure in November fell to less than 0.8 percent from 0.9 percent a year earlier.

Foreclosure activity in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia region was lower than the national rate, which was 1.2 percent of all U.S. homes with a mortgage in November. That rate fell from 1.5 percent in November 2014.

North Carolina’s foreclosure activity was also lower, falling to 0.7 percent of homes with a mortgage from 0.8 percent a year earlier.

CoreLogic considers only mortgaged homes with first liens to determine its foreclosure inventory data, which covers the number of homes placed in the foreclosure process by the mortgage servicer.

In the Charlotte region, 2.8 percent of mortgages were 90 days or more past due, or seriously delinquent, in November. That was down from 3.6 percent in November 2014.

CoreLogic, based in Irvine, California, provides property information, analytics and data services.

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