Welcome to the Charlotte real estate and mortgage update, for the fourth quarter of 2010. Are you planning to buy a home in Charlotte, North Carolina soon? Perhaps you want to refinance your mortgage loan? Either way, you’ll find this guide helpful. We will talk about Charlotte mortgage trends, the local real estate scene, foreclosure stats and more.
Disclaimer: This guide to Charlotte real estate was published on October 19, 2010. As a result, the mortgage rates and housing statistics may have changed by the time you read this report. For the most recent information, you can contact a real estate agent in the Charlotte area. In fact, we recommend that you do so if you’re planning to buy a home.
Charlotte Mortgage Rates
At the time of publication, the average home loan rates in Charlotte, North Carolina were as follows. These rates were compiled and averaged from a variety of local lending websites.
- 30-year fixed – 4.29%
- 15-year fixed – 3.81%
- 5/1 ARM loan – 3.15%
- 1-year ARM loan – 3.05%
When comparing these numbers to the average rates reported by Freddie Mac for the same period, you might notice something interesting. The rates for fixed-rate mortgages in Charlotte were slightly above the national average. While the rates for adjustable mortgages were slightly below the national average. This could be a reflection of the local demand for fixed versus adjustable loans, or it could just be a fluke.
As you compare Charlotte mortgage rates and lenders, you must also remember that the rate you get is driven primarily by your individual qualifications as a borrower. If your credit score and debt-ratios are better than the average borrower, then you’ll probably qualify for a better rate. And, of course, the opposite is true.
Some are predicting that benchmark mortgage rates will remain below 5% through the end of 2011. But there’s a good chance they will inch upward between now and then, as markets stabilize and activity increases. What does this mean to Charlotte home buyers and homeowners? It means that if you’re in the market for a mortgage loan, you might want to move forward sooner rather than later.
Defaults, Foreclosures and Bank-Owned Homes
Charlotte was not affected by the nationwide housing bust as much as, say, Las Vegas or San Diego. But there are still quite a few foreclosure properties on the market. At the time of publication, we found the following data on Charlotte foreclosure homes. Data was provided by RealtyTrac.com:
- Pre-foreclosure homes * – 67
- Auctions – 2,497
- Bank owned homes – 3,849
* Pre-foreclosure means the homeowner is delinquent on the mortgage, but the lender has not foreclosed on the home yet.
There are relatively few pre-foreclosure homes in Charlotte, when compared to the bank-owned properties. This is usually a sign of a stabilizing market — not that Charlotte experienced much of a housing bust to begin with. Based on these numbers, we predict that the foreclosure inventory in Charlotte will decline steadily in the coming months.
Home Prices And Pricing Trends
According to data reported by Trulia.com, the average listing price of Charlotte homes for sale is between $135,000 and $165,000. The average sales price is lower, falling between $111,000 and $136,000.This suggests that many homeowners are listing their homes above market value, and/or they are being negotiated downward. Neither scenario is surprising in this kind of real estate market.
According to Zillow.com, Charlotte home prices have decreased by 4.5%, between August 2010 and September 2010. This was the most recent data available for pricing trends.
A recent HomeGain survey found that most Charlotte real estate agents and homeowners have a negative view on home prices. The majority of both groups felt that home prices will stay flat or decrease in the coming months. Only ten percent of agents felt that prices would rise over the next few months. This is noteworthy for home buyers. If you are planning to buy a home in Charlotte soon, you should keep a close eye on the market. You might be buying your way into a depreciating property.
FHA Loans Popular in Charlotte
FHA home loans are up in the Charlotte area, and elsewhere in the country. Over the last few years, the FHA’s market share has increased to around 30% of all mortgage activity. This number may increase even more in the near future. We recently conducted a survey to find out how many home buyers were planning to use an FHA loan. More than 80% said they wanted to use an FHA loan, mostly for the lower down-payment.
If you plan to use this government-insured mortgage program, you’ll need to find an FHA lender in the Charlotte area. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website has a list of these lenders. Select North Carolina for state, and Charlotte for city, and then run a search. You’ll then be given a list of FHA-approved lenders in the Charlotte area.
To close out this Charlotte real estate and mortgage guide, we present you with the following comments:
- “Chief executive Wes Sturges said the Charlotte economy appears to be stabilizing, but real estate values continue to experience some deterioration.” –The Charlotte Observer
- “Looking at our overall housing market at a regional level … you will see that while we have our issues, Charlotte is not drastically sliding price wise.” –Charlotte Property Hunters
We hope you have found our Charlotte mortgage and housing update helpful. If you would like to learn more about the home buying process, you can get started on our main website. It offers thousands of articles on mortgages, home buying, house hunting, and other topics discussed in this report.