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Unprecedented spike in Charlotte-area housing costs

Charlotte-area housing prices accelerated at an unprecedented rate during the pandemic, according to the third-annual housing report from UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business.

The report includes data from eight counties around the Queen City: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, and Union counties in North Carolina, and Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina.

The median home sales price in the region gained 16% through September to $366,314, while the median days on the market for homes for sale fell to a low of three days in June. It rebounded to five days in September. The report authors called the price increase “astounding.” 

Other highlights from the report:

— Only 4.4% of homes sold for less than $150,000, while only 35% sold under $300,000.

— Rental rates increased 17%, or $198 a month.

— Home price growth increased by 8.4% for the least expensive quartile of homes, versus 4.3% for the most expensive. That means “starter homes” are going up at a faster clip than fancier ones.

— Only 2% to 3% of area homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments as of September. 

— Between April and August, about 50% of owner-occupied homes in the area sold for more than their listing price. That declined to about 45% in September.

— An “affordable house” for households with median income of about $100,000 is about $600,000 in the Charlotte region. For a household with a median income of about $54,000, an affordable house would be about $275,000. That is based on a homeowner spending no more than 30% of gross income on a mortgage, insurance and taxes. 

— The Charlotte region added nearly 43,000 people between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020, or about 118 people per day.

The Childress Klein Center for Real  Estate at UNC Charlotte based the study on proprietary data from the Canopy Realtor Association’s Multiple Listing Service. The group won’t provide the underlying data to the public, according to the report.

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