Welcome to the 2024 Real Estate Market

It’s a new year and the outlook for real estate in 2024 is up for grabs! The experts I follow are all suggesting that interest rates, which have considerably slowed sales over the past 18 months, will fall this year and drop below 6% by the end of the year. I like the sound of that. We’ll see if those predictions hold true. I remember back in the early 2010’s writing blog posts encouraging people to lock in a low interest rate before they went up. It was a long time before they actually did. (The rates, not the people.) I also remember starting to feel like a broken record. After a while, I stopped suggesting that people act fast, because rates weren’t rising like we thought they would. In fact, mortgage interest rates hovered around the 3-4% range for over ten years. Wouldn’t you know, they finally went up. The experts were right, eventually.

I’m not sure how fast rates will fall. Hopefully, they come down faster than it took them to rise. But here’s what I do know right now, as facts, in January 2024.

  • The S&P 500 is at its highest levels ever. People have to be feeling good about their investment & retirement plan balances.
  • Gas prices seem to be at a good stable level right now, after a nasty spike up in mid 2022. This puts extra money in people’s pockets month to month.
  • The inflation rate is currently around 3.5% which is way down from the 9% it hit in June 2022.
  • Mortgage interest rates ARE falling. The 30 year fixed hit a high of 7.57% in September 2023 and has been steadily falling since then. (It is currently 6.6%).
  • Real estate is the best way to build wealth.

All of these factors suggest to me that conditions are ripe for increased, confident real estate purchases. Many people have put their buying and selling on hold over the last 18 months as they waited out the Fed rate increases. Those increases have slowed. And the spring market in Charlotte is almost upon us. Our team is ready to help when you are ready to make your move.

If you are interested in studying the data even further, check out the most up to date market stats here. Here’s a quick summary of single family home sales in Mecklenburg County comparing December to the previous month and to the same month last year:

  • Home sales were up 3.4% from last month, but down 12% from last year.
  • Average home price was down 2% from last month, but up 6% from last year.
  • Median home price was down 2% from last month and even with last year.
  • Average price per square foot was down 1% from last month, but up 7% from last year.
  • Sales to list price ratio was unchanged from last month at 99%, but up from 98% last year.
  • Average time on market was up 22% from last month, but down 18% from last year.
  • Pending home sales were up 3% from last month, but down 11% from last year.
  • Housing supply was down 16% from last month and 7% from last year.
  • Mortgage rates at 6.66% were down slighly from last month, but up from 6.15% last year.
  • Average house payment was down 5% from last month, but up 12% from last year.

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