Rising rates and tight supply across the Charlotte market dampen spring outlook

April 18, 2024

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

Canopy MLS Down Payment Resource tool could be a game-changer for buyers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In March, home sales across the 16-county Charlotte region declined 12.3 percent compared to last year, as 3,534 residential properties closed, compared to slightly more than 4,000 the previous year. Sales compared to February 2024 were up significantly, 25.4 percent.  Canopy MLS sales included in this report represent single-family, condo, and townhomes.

Pending sales, which represent buyer activity were roughly on par with buyer demand last year, down 0.3 percent year-over-year as 4,196 homes were in under contract status during the month. Contract activity was up 10.3 percent, month-over-month, showing steady demand for homes this spring. 

March Showing Reports indicated that buyer interest was highest in Matthews, where listings received 9.3 showings (or potential buyers) per listing, followed by homes in Waxhaw, where listings received 8.6 showings per listing. In general buyer interest remains highest in Mecklenburg County, where listings averaged 7.5 showings per listing, and Union County where properties averaged seven showings per listing during March.

Seller activity in March was steady, with new listings down 2.4 percent year-over-year but up 15 percent when compared to the previous month (February), as sellers brought slightly more than 4,800 homes to market during the month.  A closer look at the data showed a difference of 118 more new listings in March 2023. Still, with inventory and supply rising 9.6 percent and 21.4 percent year-over-year respectively, the number of homes for sale remains critically low.  At report time the 16-county region had 5,865 homes for sale or 1.7 months of supply.

“Mortgage rates remained somewhat stable in March, averaging 6.8 percent for most of the month and actually dipping to 6.7 percent during the second week, which helped a lot of buyers and sellers in our market,” said Charisma Southerland, 2024 president of Canopy Realtor® Association/Canopy MLS and Realtor®/broker with Allen Tate Company. “However, rates started increasing in April, due to higher-than-expected inflation numbers, which is disappointing news for spring buyers, who will face higher borrowing costs. The move into the 7 percent range means that a number of buyers, particularly first-time buyers could be priced out of this season. Fortunately, seller activity is still somewhat steady.”

Inventory for Mecklenburg County in March increased 16.7 percent to 1.4 months of supply, which is an increase from last month (February 2024) when there was only 1.2 months of supply. Likewise, supply across the city of Charlotte also increased by 16.7 percent to 1.4 months, up from 1.2 months of supply in February. 

Southerland continued, “Seller activity is moving in the right direction, with new listings up 8 percent in the first quarter of 2024, but Charlotte’s current level of supply is unhealthy and critically low, which means buyers will continue to see competition and price increases as the dynamics of supply and demand continue to play out throughout the selling season.  Buyers should ask their Buyer’s Agent about Down Payment Resource (DPR), a new tool offered by Canopy MLS that provides a range of financing options. DPR is also attractive for sellers because buyers are coming to the table with more financing. A number of Canopy MLS listings qualify for some kind of downpayment assistance.”

The inventory of single-family homes in March is up overall, 7.3 percent year-over-year, with homes priced from $400K-$500K seeing the largest rise in inventory, up 15.8 percent, followed by homes priced $300K-$400K, which had an 11.6 percent year-over-year increase in inventory. However, the inventory of condos and townhomes across the market remains strong and will give buyers more opportunities. During the month of March townhome inventory rose 21.6 percent and condo inventory rose 23.4 percent compared to last year. 

With buyer demand steady this past month, prices rose. Both the median sales price ($385,000) and the average sales price ($480,807) increased by 4.5 percent and 8.5 percent year-over-year.  The average list price across the region rose 5.2 percent to $527,667, which caused the original list price to sales price measure to rise 1.2 percent to 97.4 percent, which is a strong incentive for sellers to continue listing.

Time on market declined in March which means a slightly faster-paced market for buyers.  In March the average number of days a property was on the market from the time it was listed until close (List to Close) was 88 days compared to 100 days in March 2023, while the “Days on Market” metric, which accounts for both “Active” and “Under-contract-show” statuses, indicates homes averaged 46 days on market before selling compared to 53 days in March 2023. 

Mecklenburg County home sales in March were down 13.6 percent year-over-year as 1,335 homes sold compared to 1,545 homes that sold during the same period last year. Month-over-month sales were up 24.9 percent. Contract activity or buyer demand dipped 4.4 percent to 1,528 homes under contract during the month. Contracts were up 10.4 percent compared to activity in February 2024.  New listing activity declined 6.4 percent in March as sellers brought slightly more than 1,800 homes to market during the month, compared to 1,930 that were newly listed in March 2023.

At report time, inventory increased 1.3 percent to 1,714 homes for sale or 1.4 months of supply.  Supply increased 16.7 percent compared to last year when supply was 1.2 months. Still, critically low supply and somewhat steady demand, continue to force prices higher, as both the median sales price ($431,000) and the average sales price ($573,479) rose 3.9 percent and 10 percent year-over-year respectively, while the average list price rose 2.3 percent to $604,592. This brought the original list price-to-sales price ratio up 1.2 percent to 98.4 percent as seller's position in the market was fortified. Homes were on market for about a month, as days on market declined 27.3 percent, showing homes averaging 32 days on market until sale compared to 44 days on market in March 2023.

Closed sales in the city of Charlotte dipped 14.7 percent year-over-year as 1,091 homes sold compared to 1,279 that sold in March 2023. Contract activity was also down slightly, 3.9 percent as buyers drove 1,274 homes under contract during the month.  New listings slipped by 4.3 percent as sellers brought close to 1,500 homes to market, just 66 homes less than last March.  Inventory rose 4.8 percent to 1,393 at report time or 1.4 moths of supply, which is up 16.7 percent compared to last year. Both the median sales price ($405,000) and the average sales price ($557,702) rose 1.6 percent and 7.6 percent year-over-year respectively, while the average list price remained roughly unchanged, rising 0.1 percent to $583,006. This brought the original list price to sales price measure to 98.3 percent while days on market showed homes sold quickly, averaging 33 days on market compared to 45 days on market last March.

Canopy Realtor® Association provides monthly reports on residential real estate market activity for the Charlotte region based on data from Canopy MLS. The Charlotte region, which this report is based on, includes 12 counties in North Carolina (Alexander, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union) and four counties in South Carolina (Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster and York).

For more residential housing market statistics, visit www.CarolinaHome.com and click on “Market Data.” For an interview with 2024 Association/Canopy MLS President Charisma Southerland, Realtor®/Broker with Allen Tate Company, please contact Kim Walker.

Canopy Realtor® Association owns and operates Canopy MLS, the region’s primary source for accurate and timely property data in a multicounty service area including the Charlotte MSA, Asheville MSA and Catawba Valley region spanning across North Carolina and South Carolina to outside the Carolinas. Canopy MLS provides the latest technology, tools and analytics that Realtors® utilize to support consumers with their residential real estate transactions. 

Original Publish Date: 4/18/2024