Charlotte, NC

5 Interesting Stats Driving Charlotte's Real Estate Market

Shannon Cuthrell

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Map of homes for sale in Charlotte, via Trulia.Trulia.com

As you might have heard, Charlotte's real estate market is exploding. Over the past year, the number of new listings and closed sales jumped 6.1% and 24.8% in the Charlotte metro area, respectively, per Canopy Realtor Association data.

The city continues to be a seller's market, as the average home sold for 1.46% above the asking price in May, according to Realtor.com. At the same time, Charlotte's home values have increased 16.4% over the last year.

There are plenty of metrics that offer a deeper look at these trends and what's driving them. Below, we'll highlight five interesting data points underlying the Queen City's real estate market boom:

Market Demand in Charlotte vs. Surrounding Towns

Redfin's Compete Score offers a glimpse into just how hot Charlotte's housing market truly is. Homebuyers have a growing preference for suburbs, as towns on the city outskirts remain highly competitive.

With a score of 66, Charlotte's market is considered "somewhat competitive," as homes typically sell 2% above the list price and switch to pending within a month. On the other hand, highly competitive homes sell for about 6% above the list price and go pending in three days.

Compare that to nearby cities like Concord and Fort Mill, both labeled 75 or "very competitive" on Redfin. In both towns, homes often get multiple offers, some with contingencies waived, and the average home sells for 2% above the list price and goes pending in about 20 days. In Concord, "hot homes" typically sell in three days for 7% above the listing price, while in Fort Mill, hot homes sell for 5% above the list price over two days.

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An overview of Charlotte's housing market demand, using the Redfin Compete Score.Redfin

Even more competitive is Indian Trail, a town of about 39,000 people located 30 minutes by car from downtown Charlotte. With a score of 82 or "very competitive," homes in Indian Trail usually receive six offers on average and sell 4% above the list price in around two weeks.

The trends are much different in Charlotte's downtown neighborhoods. Uptown, for example, only scores 33 on the competitive scale. The average home sells 2% below list price and goes pending in about two months. Dilworth is a bit higher, with homes selling around list price and pending in 42 days. Myers Park, meanwhile, is "somewhat competitive," with average homes selling 1% below the list price and pending in around 48 days.

New Private Housing Structures

Building permit data offers a glimpse into investor and consumer confidence in the economy.

Per data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the number of newly authorized building permits for private housing structures (1-unit to 5-unit structures or more) usually fluctuates from month to month in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia MSA. Since this is the typical market dynamic, 2021 is no different. But zooming in over the last few months, the number of new multi-unit private housing structures slid from 2,943 in March to 2,097 in May. That's after a brief uptick in February, before returning to January levels.

Last year, new private housing structures naturally hit their lowest point in April, with 1,253 permits authorized. They picked up again the following month, totaling 2,622 permits in June 2020—the last time the number of new permits exceeded that of March 2021.

Housing Inventory and Prices

Listing prices are skyrocketing in the Charlotte MSA. According to a recent report from the Canopy Realtor Association, that was certainly true in May, with the average list price at $409,502 and an average sales price of $406,194—up 7.2% and 28.5% from May 2020, respectively. Meanwhile, the month's supply of inventory fell 66.7% from this time last year. This indicates that the pace of home sales exceeds the supply of homes to be sold, thus sending prices soaring.

Looking at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' housing inventory data, the average list price has declined significantly since its peak in April, marking a shift in the post-pandemic housing market. While last month's year-over-year listing prices represent a 9.26% jump from June 2020, they've dropped significantly from the 29.78% year-on-year growth seen in April.

Accelerating Migration Patterns

Migration grew significantly in the Charlotte area last year with 3.8 move-ins per 1,000 residents, according to a recent report from CBRE. Comparatively, 2019 saw 2.5 move-ins per 1,000 people. This trend dominated in the south's Sun Belt states last year, as similar rates of acceleration were seen in Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, Dallas and other southern cities.

Most of those moves stayed within Mecklenburg County (or 94,439 moves) or within 100 miles of movers' previous residence (28,879 moves). These rates increased by 10.8% and 10.9% from 2019 to 2020, respectively. Only 13,447 people moved to Charlotte from 100 to 500 miles away in 2020, representing a 6.5% increase from 2019.

Moves from within North Carolina accounted for the most moves to and from the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia MSA. Most people leaving the area picked South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Virginia as their next destination, but the largest year-on-year increases were claimed by Tennessee, other areas in North Carolina, Ohio, New York and South Carolina. Most people moving to Charlotte hail from North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Florida and California, but compared to 2019, the highest percentage of movers came from New York, California, Maryland and Washington.

Industrial Market Demand

Charlotte's industrial market demand, a crucial backbone of the city's economy, has remained elevated for the last eight quarters. But the first quarter of this year surpassed record levels, comparable only to the first quarter of 2001. CBRE released its Q1 2021 Industrial MarketView report this week, detailing the latest local industrial developments.

Driven by consistent population growth and high industrial market demand due to the region's economic rebound, the report cited notable examples in the new Carolina Premium Beverage distribution center in Southwest Charlotte, Amazon's distribution center in Pineville, the Metrolina Park Cross Dock leased by FedEx, and the NorthCross Commerce Center warehouse developments.

As CBRE's 2020 Southeast Industrial Outlook pointed out last year, about 50% of the U.S. population lives within a day's truck drive to Charlotte, making the city a hot destination for distribution operations.

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Shannon Cuthrell is a Charlotte-based freelance journalist with a background covering business, technology and economic development. She has written for Business North Carolina magazine, WRAL TechWire and EE Power, among other publications.

Charlotte, NC
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