Price Distribution Shift – Are Prices Up or Down?

An interesting thing has appeared in the market stats for single family home sales in Mecklenburg County. In September, the median sales price fell (-2%) from the same month a year ago for the first time since January of 2019. However, the average sales price is still up 5% from a year ago. What’s going on here?

The number of home sales dropped 30% due to affordability and the rising interest rates, with the 30 year fixed rate currently at 7.57%. The lower demand seems to be impacting the segment of the market below the median price more than the segment above. Consider that the average price of homes that sold below the current year’s median price was virtually flat from September 2022 to September 2023. But the average price increase for the segment above the median was almost 9%. This means that there has been more competition at the upper price points than in the lower range. This makes sense because buyers tend to be more sensitive to interest rates and payments at the lower price points.

Ultimately, this is great news for buyers looking for homes below the median of $440,000 as these homes are seeing less competition and flattening prices. This could mean a break from the chaos and frenzy of the multiple offer situations we’ve been seeing.

I am quite intrigued by this distribution of price changes and how its being affected by the changes in interest rates and demand. So I’ll be watching closely to see how this unfolds in the coming months. In the meantime, here is a summary of the full stats we report on our website, comparing Mecklenburg County Single family home sales from September to the previous month and the same month last year:

  • Home sales are down 11% from last month and 29% from last year.
  • Average sales price is down 1% from last month but up 5% from last year.
  • Median sales price is down 4% from last month and 2% from last year.
  • Average price per square foot is down 1% from last month but up 4% from last year.
  • Sale to list price ratio at 99% is down from 100% last month, but even with last year.
  • Average time on market is unchanged both from last month and last year.
  • Pending home sales are down 6% from last month and 23% from last year.
  • Housing supply is up 9% from last month and down 10% from last year.
  • Mortgage rates at 7.57% are up from 7.18% last month and 6.11% last year.
  • Average house payment is up 3% from last month and 22% from last year.

Photo by Al Soot on Unsplash

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