Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 home sales rise slightly but prices fall

Charlotte-area home sales in 2011 rose slightly compared to the previous year, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association reported Monday.

Nearly 23,000 home sales closed in 2011, up 2.5 percent from the number of sales in 2010, the association says. Sales volume in 2011 hit roughly $4.6 billion. (No comparison with 2010 sales volume was provided.)

The 2011 average sales price of $200,351 was down 3.5 percent compared to the previous year. Homes took seven days longer in 2011 to close, and the time a property was listed until it closed averaged 152 days.

During the month of December, closings were relatively flat compared to the same time last year, with 1,896 properties selling. Overall inventory, or the number of homes listed for sale, fell 27 percent compared to the same time a year earlier, to about a 9.1-month supply of homes. Experts say a healthy market has a six-month supply.

This inventory does not take into account what's known as shadow inventory, or homes that are distressed and could hit the market but are not currently listed for sale. A recent Observer analysis found Mecklenburg County has more than 16,000 homes in shadow inventory.