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If you’re thinking about buying a house in North Carolina, chances are Charlotte is on your list. The biggest city in the Tar Heel State offers tremendous professional opportunities as a major hub of the banking industry, as well as a relatively affordable cost of living. And its status as one of the country’s top 10 fastest-growing cities, per the 2022 American Growth Project, means the real estate market is booming. Read on for everything you need to know about buying and selling in the Charlotte housing market.
Charlotte housing market overview
The Charlotte region covers a sprawling geographical footprint. Data from the area’s Canopy Realtor Association includes housing market numbers from 12 counties in North Carolina and 4 in South Carolina — the city lies right on the border between the two — and the local market will look different depending on which specific area you’re buying or selling in.
For example, in Mecklenburg County, home to the actual city of Charlotte, the median sale price in May 2023 was $445,000. In Union County, its neighbor to the east, the median was a slightly higher $465,000, but in Gaston County, its neighbor to the west, it was a much lower $286,000.
The Charlotte housing market can be pretty competitive: According to Redfin data, homes that sold in May received an average of three offers, meaning sellers are still in the driver’s seat here. Even so, things have slowed down since last year, as the numbers below illustrate.
Charlotte housing trends and stats
- The median price for a home in the Charlotte region was $385,000 in May 2023, according to Canopy data.
- That’s a year-over-year decrease of 2 percent, and close to even with the National Association of Realtors’ nationwide median of $388,800.
- The number of new listings declined by more than 25 percent since May of last year, and closed sales declined by 16.6 percent.
- Homes also spent a lot longer on the market: 34 days in May, versus just 14 in May 2022.
- Homes typically sold for 98 percent of their list price, meaning they’re going for just under ask — as opposed to this time last year, when homes were going for just over ask.
- Closing costs in North Carolina typically add up to 1.1 percent of the purchase price, according to Core Logic’s ClosingCorp.
Should you buy or sell in the Charlotte housing market?
Determining whether Charlotte is a buyer’s or seller’s market is a bit tricky. On one hand, inventory is exceedingly low at just 1.3 months of supply, compared to the 5 or 6 months a balanced market would require. That points to a clear seller’s market. On the other hand, prices are down and days on market are way up, which puts buyers in a much better position than they were last year. Here’s what to consider, no matter which side of the real estate transaction you’re on.
If you’re a home seller
If you’re selling a house in the Charlotte region, the market is more or less in your favor. The supply of homes for sale is extremely short, which gives you a significant edge as a seller. However, keep in mind that homebuyers are struggling with high mortgage rates, and as a result, many are waiting on the sidelines until rates improve. The homes that do sell are sitting on the market longer and selling for about 2 percent below list price.
To maximize your sale potential, be sure you have a good understanding of how much your house is worth. Work with your real estate agent to examine comps of similar, recently sold homes nearby — very nearby, like right in your neighborhood if possible. Be mindful of closing costs, too. North Carolina sellers pay an excise tax to the state, and sellers are on the hook for real estate commissions as well.
If you’re a homebuyer
While Charlotte still leans in the seller’s favor, buyers do have some power to flex these days. For example, homes are staying on the market for more than twice as long as they did this time last year, so you don’t need to rush headlong into making an offer. And a March Redfin study found that more than 50 percent of sellers in Charlotte had agreed to some form of concessions thus far in 2023 — a signal that you may be able to get a portion of your closing costs covered to help save some cash. Be sure to explore other potential ways to reduce your expenses, too, such as North Carolina’s first-time homebuyer programs.
Before you start house hunting, it’s crucial to get preapproved for a mortgage. That will give you a solid idea of how much you can afford to spend on a house, which can play a valuable role in narrowing your search to neighborhoods around Charlotte that match your budget.
Charlotte housing market predictions
News of sizable price drops in places like San Francisco and Austin may be fueling concerns of a potential housing market crash, but there’s no need to worry about the bottom dropping out of the market in Charlotte. Experts predict a healthy housing market this summer, especially if mortgage rates ease up a bit.
In the long-term, Charlotte’s future looks bright. Data from the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance estimates that the area will include 4.5 million people by 2050 — a massive population increase from the 3 million that called it home in 2021. That forecast shows that the Queen City will continue to wear its crown, which is great news for future home values.
Find a Charlotte real estate agent
Buying or selling a home is never simple, and in the fast-changing Charlotte market, it’s even more challenging. That’s why it’s critical to find a real estate agent who can position you for success. A real estate transaction is a big deal — perhaps the biggest financial deal you’ll ever make. For a seasoned local Realtor, though, it’s another day on the job. That level of calm and expertise can help eliminate a lot of stress on the road to exchanging keys.
Yes. According to the area’s Canopy Realtor Association, the median sale price in the Charlotte region was $385,000 in May 2023, a 2 percent drop from a year earlier. Homes are taking a lot longer to sell, too: The typical home spent 34 days on the market in May, up from just 14 last year.
Yes and no. Homebuyers have more options to choose from in Charlotte now than they did a year ago, and more time to make their decision too, as homes are staying on the market for longer before selling. Prices are down slightly (2 percent) since last year as well. However, mortgage rates remain high, which weakens your buying power.