The headline from a recent UNCC newsletter screamed “‘Unprecedented’ housing price increases in Charlotte are creating challenges for affordability.” As if Charlotte didn’t already have well-known affordable housing issues, now there’s more proof. The University’s new report on the state of housing in Charlotte indicates as the pandemic rages on, so does the acceleration of increasing housing prices in the Charlotte region. It’s quite staggering, actually.

Median housing prices in the region jumped 16.3% in just a year, according to research from UNC Charlotte’s Childress Klein Center for Real Estate.

The “2021 State of Housing in Charlotte Report,” released by UNC Charlotte’s Childress Klein Center for Real Estate (CKCRE) show median home prices in the Charlotte market increased at an annual rate of 16.3% from September 2020 to September 2021. Rental prices fared even worse. In 2021, the average rent in the region increased by $198 or 16.6% per unit. 

The report confirmed a few things we already thought we knew… 

  • The supply of owner-occupied housing is extremely tight. Of all the houses sold in January 2020, about 16% of them sold above the listing prices. Compare that to June and July 2021, when the percentage reached a historic high of 59%. At least the trend of paying over value is slowing down and while multiple offers aren’t unusual, they aren’t exactly routine anymore.
  • Affordable houses are becoming extremely difficult to find. Only 4.4% of the houses sold were under $150,000, and only about 35% of the houses sold were under $300,000. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to the issue of low inventory across the board in all sectors of the market.
  • Middle-income housing affordability is becoming a significant challenge for the region. While the situation is alleviated by the low interest rate, the problem will become more severe when monetary policy tightens post-pandemic. We know low-interest rates are contributing to the state of the market but by all predictions that won’t last much longer. Look for an increase in rates next year. 
  • The pandemic has affected African Americans and Hispanics disproportionately. At the end of September, nearly 10% of African American households statewide were behind on mortgage payments. African American and Hispanic renters also faced much higher eviction rates during the pandemic.

Data in the report came from seven primary data sources,in Mecklenburg County and the seven counties that surround it: Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, and Union counties, as well as Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina. 

In spite of the numbers, Charlotte, which was already attracting newcomers prior to the pandemic is growing.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic,a single-family home spent an average of 22 days on the market… But this past June and July, the average was just three days. Let that sink in. It’s no wonder that words like ‘historical’ and ‘unprecedented’ were used in the presentation of the report. 

Keep watching. We’ll let you know if it gets worse. And if you need to find a few bright spots, well, we see those too. We can help you find one!