Improved affordability could spur buyer activity in Charlotte

    Low affordability has prevented people who want to buy a house in Charlotte from doing so in recent months. However, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity revealed affordability is increasing. 

    Nearly two-thirds of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900 – up from 64.7 percent in the previous three month period. 

    "Housing affordability remains strong and this is an encouraging sign as the spring home building season moves into high gear," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.

    NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said now is as good a time as there'll be all year to purchase a house. 

    "As home prices and mortgage interest rates are unlikely to go down, the first quarter HOI is another indicator that this is an opportune time to buy," Crowe said. 

    Charlotte housing market likely to improve
    Sales have been on the rise in Charlotte, but improved affordability could spur more activity. In March, a total of 2,658 properties were sold – a 1.4 percent year-over-year increase, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. 

    "We're pleased to see forward looking indicators like pending contracts improve in March, which means that future sales look promising," said 2014 Association/CarolinaMLS President Joe Rempson. "Consumer confidence is on the rise, and even though inventory continues to be a challenge, we think there will be improvement in the months ahead."

    Buyers who plan on entering the Charlotte housing market in the coming months should be prepared for higher sale prices. Despite improving affordability, the average list price jumped 6.7 percent on a year-over-year basis to $288,600. Fortunately, mortgage rates have been dropping recently, which is contributing to high affordability. 

    One of the biggest headwinds buyers could face is bidding wars. With limited inventory, there could be multiple bidders on a property, which – naturally – increases the sale price. 

    Those interested in moving forward on a local housing acquisition, or hoping to sell a house in Charlotte, can benefit by partnering with Lodestone Real Estate. The trusted agency has helped hundreds of individuals successfully navigate the path to homeownership during its years in operation.

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