Charlotte-area home sales climb 40 percent over last year

news@charlotteobserver.comFebruary 8, 2013 

— Charlotte-area home sales soared 40.4 percent in January compared with the previous year, according to the latest data from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.

There were 2,163 home sales last month compared with 1,541 in January 2012, the association reported Thursday.

Average sales prices ticked up 0.6 percent annually to $189,007.

Sellers also got more of what they asked for than a year ago. Buyers paid an average 92.6 percent of the listing price, up from 90.2 percent in the beginning of 2011.

New listings, meanwhile, dipped 1.3 percent to 3,838 as the amount of available homes for sale continued to fall, dropping nearly 30 percent in January. The Charlotte region is now thought to have a five-months supply of homes for sale. Agents consider a six-month supply a healthy market.

Association president Eric Locher said in a statement: “With inventory decreasing and new listings down, we are seeing continued upward pressure on prices. We are a couple of months ahead of the selling season and it’s a good time for sellers to prep homes for listing, keeping in mind that the property still needs to be realistically priced for what the market will bear.”

Homes took an average 155 days to sell, down 10 days from January 2012.

Foreclosures and short sales also dropped, accounting for 11 percent of new listings, down from 14.4 percent a year earlier.

Around 18 percent of January sales involved distressed homes, down from 21 percent during the same time last year.

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