The housing shortage may be turning, warning of a price bubble

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Real estate agents arrive at a brokers tour showing a house for sale with a list price of $1.3 million May 17, 2007 in San Rafael, California.


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The disparity is even more striking in Charlotte, a very hot market fueled by big job growth and an influx of retiring baby boomers. Home sales fell nearly 12 percent in June annually but the median price of a home sold was still nearly 3 percent higher, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. Homes were also selling, on average, 8 days faster than a year ago.

“Even though the Charlotte region is wedged into a solid seller’s market, incredibly low supply coupled with higher prices and rising mortgage rates are presenting challenges to buyers,” wrote 2018 Charlotte Regional Realtor Association/CarolinaMLS president Jason Gentry in a release. “However, home sales are still occurring across the region, as buyers continue to seek homes outside Charlotte’s city limits.”

Inventory in Charlotte did rise one percent compared to a year ago, but supplies are still quite low.

While home builders are slowly ramping up production, they are doing so largely in the move-up and luxury market. Sales of newly built homes have been rising in Southern California, easing the inventory shortage somewhat, but not enough.

“New-home sales continue to run well below historically normal levels, with the sales through May of this year 37 percent below the average number sold during that five-month period over the past three decades,” noted LePage. “Also, most of the new homes sold this year were aimed at mid-market to high-end buyers, with almost two-thirds selling for $500,000 or more and 15 percent selling for less than $400,000.”

Mortgage applications to purchase a newly built home plummeted nearly 9 percent in June compared to June 2017, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. This suggests lower new home sales going forward, despite higher prices.



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