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Charlotte Foreclosures Pushed Down Prices and Drove Up Sales

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Charlotte foreclosures helped push down home prices and drove up sales in February and March, based on data from local realtor associations and research firms.

A research firm reported that Charlotte was among several U.S. cities that were able to initially resist the negative effects of the housing crisis, but which later succumbed to record numbers of foreclosures in their areas during the latter months of the housing downturn.

The firm said that Charlotte, along with Baltimore, Salt Lake City and Columbia in South Carolina, posted foreclosures in the first quarter that were more than twice their foreclosure filings in the same quarter last year.

As bank owned property listing prices were cut down to attract buyers, the prices of all types of homes in the Charlotte market were also affected. House prices in the area dropped in February by 2.5 percent compared to prices one year earlier and fell by one percent from prices in the previous month, based on a recent report from Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller.

As the pace of Charlotte foreclosures surged, home prices fell for seven consecutive months prior to March. The drop in prices helped pushed up home sales in March by almost 14 percent from total sales one year ago and by 36 percent from February sales.

The number of closed sales during the month rose to 1,900 units, a jump of 13.7 percent from the 1,671 units closed in March last year and an increase of 36 percent from the 1,397 units sold in February.

Pending purchase contracts also surged in March by more than 23 percent compared to March last year and by almost 28 percent from February.

Local realtors said that the pace of home sales in Charlotte started out strong in the first quarter of this year, with all three months posting year-over-year increases in closings. The average number of days that a home for sale stayed on the market in March also fell by 9 days to 144.9 days.

In February, the ranking of North Carolina in charts of home foreclosures for sale by state moved up from 37th to 36th among the 50 states, and in March, foreclosure filings statewide shot up by almost 80 percent from filings in March 2009 and jumped up by more than 13 percent from February filings.

Nevertheless, the rise in Charlotte foreclosures and their downward pressure on home prices enabled investors to cut down inventory and helped improve home affordability.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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