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Cornelius News

Buyers bite the bullet as rates show no sign of falling

May 29. Mortgage rates are still high, but the spring home-buying season is off to a better start than many brokers expected earlier this year. Meanwhile, Charlotte home prices rose by 8.1 percent from January of 2023 to January 2024, according to the CoreLogic S&P Case-Shiller Index.

“After a disappointing start to 2024 things did seem to thaw a bit in March,” said Champ Claris, managing broker at Premier Sotheby’s International in Cornelius.

“Rates bounced around a bit so it is even possible that some of the increase in activity was from buyers concerned rates may still go higher before coming down in the second half of 2024 and wanted to get ahead of it,” Claris said.

In Cornelius*

• New listings: Up 6.1 percent

• Pending Sales: Up 7 percent

• Closed Sales: Up 17.9 percent

•Average price: Up 14.4 percent

• Days on Market: Up 31 percent

• Months of supply: 1.6 months

*First quarter

Average 30-year mortgage rates ticked up above 7 percent in response to another hotter-than-expected inflation report. Mortgage rates are currently the highest they’ve been since November 2023, according to Zillow.

“Many sellers are just watching for their perfect new home to come on the market before they make their next move.”

—Abigail Jennings, president Lake Norman Realty

The Federal Reserve doesn’t appear ready to lower interest rates while inflation remains a factor, although a recession seems unlikely.

If the Fed eases monetary policy, mortgage rates could decline off the highs experienced in late 2023.

Jennings

Indeed, the Fed says there is “no rush” to lower the central bank’s 5.25 percent to 5.5 percent target range.

Prices aren’t coming down, nor are interest rates.

Nationally, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) forecasts another year of price increases averaging about 3.2 percent for the year.

Homebuyers are starting to face the new interest rate environment head-on, said broker Matt Sarver, with The Sarver Group at Keller Williams in Cornelius.

Sarver

“Home buyers have accepted that interest rates are what they are and though they hope they come down in the future, they are not expecting a drastic decrease in the near future, so they are adjusting their home search to fit their new budget,” Sarver said.

In March, days on market more than doubled, but Sarver said it’s OK, even from the sellerrs’ point of view.

“Though it may take longer to sell, homes are selling for higher prices and with the low inventory at 1.6 months supply it is still considered a sellers’ market,” Sarver said.

Over the past several years, home price appreciation here has far outpaced household income growth.

“They may not be able to afford as much home as they could have, but they still need a home and see that home prices are continuing to increase and will plan to refinance in the future,” Sarver said.

Claris

Affordability

For anyone who’s lived in Cornelius for more than five years, prices are astonishing. Canopy data show that the median sale prices in Cornelius as $551,000 during the first quarter of this year, $462,000 during the first quarter of last year.

Average listing price: In the $900s.

Luxury segment

More inventory seems to be coming available in luxury price points and is likely at least partially attributed to buyers and sellers in that space usually transacting in cash and being less rate affected, Claris said.

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