January brings out a rejuvenated crop of buyers with a renewed enthusiasm in a new calendar year. Sales totals may still inevitably start slow in the first half of the year due to ongoing inventory concerns. Continued declines in the number of homes available for sale may push out potential buyers who simply cannot compete for homes selling at higher price points in a low number of days, especially if mortgage rates continue to increase.
New Listings were up in the Charlotte region 4.7 percent to 3,937. Pending Sales increased 20.6 percent to 3,643. Inventory shrank 25.0 percent to 8,639 units. Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 14.5 percent to $205,000. Months Supply of Homes for Sale was down 30.3 percent to 2.3 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.
In case you missed it, we have a new U.S. president. In his first hour in office, the .25 percentage point rate cut for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was removed, setting the table for what should be an interesting presidential term for real estate policy. FHA loans tend to be a favorable option for those with limited financial resources. On a brighter note, wages are on the uptick for many Americans, while unemployment rates have remained stable and relatively unchanged for several months. The system is ripe for more home purchasing if there are more homes available to sell.