Who’s got the edge in Charlotte? Buyers or Sellers?

Generally speaking in any real estate market there is usually one party that has the upper hand in negotiations. Sometimes it’s the buyer and sometimes it’s the seller. This can be identified by the inventory in the said market. When supply is over six months, we consider that to be a buyer’s market and when its less than six months, its a seller’s market.

Based solely on inventory, we have been experiencing a seller’s market for several years now in Charlotte. But right now, I am witnessing a very unique time in real estate history. Because right now, there is great opportunity for buyers and sellers to be working TOGETHER for mutual benefit. How can that be, you ask? How does that even make sense?

Well, we have just finished publishing the market stats for single family sales in Mecklenburg County for the month of September. And I had an interesting insight as I studied the numbers. When looking at September’s sales vs the same month a year ago, home sales and home prices are both up. That means sellers can expect to get record high sales prices for their home. At the same time, the average house payment (based on average price and current interest rates) is DOWN almost 10% over last year. So buyers can lock in a lower monthly payment.

Interest rates are currently so low, that it makes buying right now very, very attractive. Money is so inexpensive, it personally makes me want to buy real estate just to capitalize the cheap money that’s available. It is absolutely cheaper to buy than it is to rent in Charlotte right now and opportunity is abound.

Home sellers and home buyers can actually work together right now and both win. Sellers get top dollar, and buyers lock in a very low interest payment. Remember that over the life of a loan, interest payments can equate to more than half of the total money spent to purchase a home. So if that interest can be reduced significantly, then the impact can be much greater than a few thousand dollars in savings on price. Think about it!

Here’s a summary of the monthly market stats comparing September to the previous month and again to the same month last year:

  • Home sales are down 13% from last month, but up 15% from last year.
  • Average sales price is down 4% from last month, but up 2% from last year.
  • Median sales price is down 2% from last month, but up 5% from last year.
  • Average price per square foot is down 2% from last month, but up 1% from last year.
  • Average time on market is up 13% from last month and 7% from last year.
  • Pending sales are down 8% from last month, but up 14% from last year.
  • Mortgage rates are at 3.61% which is about even with last month, but down from 4.63% last year.
  • Average house payment is down 4% from last month and 9% from last year.

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