Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Drop in Charlotte home prices a worry?

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index figures released this
week gave U.S. homeowners a reason to be happy  - six straight months
of gains and statements that the housing market is in the midst of a

But five of the 20 cities included in the index posted declines.
Charlotte, which itself had seen six straight months of increases, for
example, watched its home prices slip 0.3 percent in September from

Should Charlotteans be worried?

Local real estate veteran Pat Riley, president and chief operating
officer of Allen Tate Cos., said he isn't bothered by the monthly
drop. In fact, he said his company hasn't watched monthly figures for
the last three years. He prefers to take a longer view.

"We are creating new stats and comparing stats becomes very hard to
do," Riley said.

He focuses on year-over-year sales. Case-Shiller data shows Charlotte
home prices rose 3.5 percent in September compared to the previous

"Bottom line is home ownership is returning to the 63 percent/64
percent levels," Riley said. "Sales and closing nationally will be up
and up each year off the new norm."

He said the Carolinas' housing market has been performing better than
he expected.  He'd predicted no change in home values this year, but
"because of high rents and low interest rates and low inventories,
appreciation rates are going to be ahead of schedule like this year."

He also has a prediction for area home prices during next year:
Another 3 percent jump.