October 4th, 2019

A Look into Charlotte’s Current State of the Market and What’s Ahead

The real estate market in Charlotte remains hot into the fourth quarter of 2019 with rising home prices and limited inventory. In efforts to dissuade any housing affordability concerns, the Federal Reserve has recently dropped the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point, acting as the first reduction in more than a decade. But what does this mean for the consumer?


“If you told me two years ago that rates in the fourth quarter of 2019 will be back in the mid 3 percent range, I would have said ‘no way’. My guess would have been closer to 5 or 6 percent,” said Eric Layne, real estate agent at our Randolph Road office, who called the recent drop in rates “very unexpected” for buyers.


“For homeowners, it’s a great time to think about refinancing,” said Layne. “Maybe pull a little cash out with all of that earned appreciation over the past two to five years and knock out a project or two.”


Charlotte’s real estate market was recently ranked as one of the best in the country by WalletHub, which graded the health of many metropolitan economies around the US. Charlotte ranked 5th among large cities and 22nd overall. Layne explains that the uncertainty in some of the other larger national markets has fueled better affordability for the local homebuyer or investor in the Charlotte area.


“Most buyers appreciate how far their dollar can go here in the Charlotte market and that they can easily find a neighborhood that reminds them of the home they came from no matter where it was in the country,” said Layne.


On the topic of value for your dollar, U.S. News World & Report explains that Charlotte offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when comparing housing costs to median household income. For example, the median housing costs in 2018 were $213,983 in Charlotte compared to the national average of $227,025. Anyone considering a move to the area can utilize this simple calculator to compare costs with other parts of the country.


“We work with clients moving to the area every day and they’re always excited about the range of what Charlotte has to offer,” shared Rebecca Starrs, Relocation Director. “On top of cost of living and affordability of homes, people love our seasonal climate, access to great restaurants and activities, like the U.S. National Whitewater Center, and proximity to an international airport, the Blue Ridge mountains, and coastal beaches. There’s a little bit of everything here!”


While affordable in comparison to other markets, home prices within the Charlotte-area have continued to increase year over year at a higher rate than most markets, according to the latest S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Index. The report indicates that Charlotte-area home prices increased at 4.5 percent in June, which is higher than the national annual increase of 3.1 percent. Higher home prices are accompanied by a slimming inventory, creating a competitive market for home buyers in Charlotte. On the positive side, these buyers can expect to get a strong return on their investment when buying in Charlotte.


Joel Bennett, real estate agent out of our Randolph Road office, explains that because of this competitive market he consciously prepares his buyers for multiple offer situations and the importance of presenting a strong offer.


“I have honest and upfront discussions with my buyers before we start the process,” says Bennett. “I tell them that as soon as a home hits the market that fits their criteria and catches their eye, we need to see it ASAP. If they love it, we’ll quickly call the listing agent to see if it is still available or if the seller is already in negotiations with another buyer.”


How does a buyer best prepare? Bennett says that the most important thing a buyer can do is get pre-qualified early with a respected mortgage lender. In a tight market like the one Charlotte is currently experiencing, at times the lender or the type of pre-qualification could be what separates one buyer from another.


Moody’s Analytics August 2019 report shows that the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia marketplace is expected to outpace the state and U.S. over the next year as job growth moderates. The finance, logistics, and healthcare industries will help propel these gains and will attract investors to Charlotte long term.


“Throughout the firm’s 44 years in the Charlotte real estate market, we have seen substantial positive growth,” explains Jeff Adams, President of Helen Adams Realty. “The expansions in development, population, and real estate have resulted in a strong investment opportunity for buyers and we look forward to continuing to help these consumers in the Charlotte housing market.”


Founded in 1975 by Helen Adams, Helen Adams Realty has excelled in providing adept real estate counsel, transactional expertise and personalized customer service for more than 40 years. Second and third generation family members, led by Jeff Adams, continue to successfully operate four offices serving Charlotte’s finest neighborhoods with a stalwart commitment to perfecting their craft.


Curious about whether or not you should enter the housing market? Call Jordan Nelson, Referral Services Manager, at 704-944-9237 to find the right agent for your buying, selling, or investment needs.