Charlotte, North Carolina Housing Forecast: Prices Rising into 2020?

Recent forecasts for the Charlotte, North Carolina housing market suggest that home prices in the area will continue rising steadily through 2019 and into 2020.

Charlotte, NC aerial photo
Image: Aerial view of the Charlotte, NC skyline

Population growth has something to do with that. According to a report released last year by the U.S. Census Bureau, Charlotte had one of the largest population increases among U.S. cities from 2016 to 2017. Housing supply, meanwhile, remains tight across the metro area.

Here are the latest trends, stats and predictions for the Charlotte real estate market in 2019 to 2020.

Charlotte Housing Forecast: Prices Rising Into 2020

A new forecast from the real estate research team at Zillow predicts that the median home value in Charlotte, North Carolina will rise by 6.1% over the next 12 months. That outlook was published in March 2019 and therefore extends into March of 2020.

The company stated: “Charlotte home values have gone up 9.5% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 6.1% within the next year.”

The median home price was around $226,000, as of February 2019.

The chart below (courtesy of Zillow) shows house-value trends for Charlotte dating back to 2009. You can see the drop in values that occurred after the last recession, followed by a steady upward climb since then. Their forecast is shown in the green shaded area to the right.

Chart: Home value estimates for Charlotte. Source: Zillow.com.

This forecasts is not at all surprising when you look at the current supply and demand situation within the Charlotte, North Carolina real estate market.

Here’s the short version: While housing inventory in the area has risen a bit, it still falls below what’s considered to be a “balanced” real estate market.

A Supply-and-Demand Imbalance

Meanwhile, there are still plenty of home buyers in the market who are actively seeking a home. This imbalance (between demand and inventory) has contributed to the above-average home price gains of last year, and it continues to put upward pressure on prices.

As of January 2019, Charlotte had about a 3.6-month supply of homes for sale. That was slightly below the national average for the same period, and well below the 5- to 6-month supply level that economists say is needed for a balanced real estate market.

So, it seems that home sellers still have the upper hand in the Charlotte housing scene. But that could begin to change later in 2019, and into 2020. If inventory continues to grow, we could see a more balanced market later this year or early next.

In-Migration Brings Home Buyers Into the Charlotte Area

Population growth is also contributing to the strong forecasts for the Charlotte real estate market. And it’s partly why prices continue to climb.

In 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau published a report that (among other things) ranked the top 15 cities in the nation with the largest numeric population increase from July 2016 to July 2017. Charlotte, North Carolina was #7 on that list.

According to census data, the city gained 15,551 new residents during that 12-month period alone. That was more than most other cities across the U.S.

To quote that report:

“Some of the other cities with the largest population gains were Phoenix, Ariz. (24,000); Dallas, Texas (18,900); Fort Worth, Texas (18,700); Los Angeles, Calif. (18,600); Seattle, Washington (17,500); and Charlotte, N.C. (15,600).”

This trend has increased housing demand within the Charlotte area, for renters and buyers alike. And it comes at a time when the supply of homes listed for sale is below normal or balanced levels.

Strong Job Market Boosts Demand of Housing

Historically speaking, there’s a correlation between local economies and job markets. When the employment rate rises in a particular area, we tend to see more demand for homes. That’s only logical. A strong local economy gives buyers the confidence and the income needed to make a purchase.

This is another factor contributing to the positive forecasts and predictions for the Charlotte, North Carolina real estate market in 2019.

At the end of 2018, the unemployment rate for the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan area was down to 3.4% according to the Labor Department. That’s a huge improvement from the peak of 12.9% reached back in January 2010 (in the wake of the Great Recession).

Charlotte is a major banking and financial hub, second only to New York City. Seven Fortune-500 companies are headquartered within the metro area, including Bank of America, Lowe’s and Honeywell. Microsoft’s East Coast headquarters are located there as well. These and other employers help contribute to a strong local economy, which in turn supports the Charlotte real estate market.

Frequently Asked Questions

We receive a lot of questions from home buyers regarding market conditions in cities across America. From those inquiries, we’ve created a “template” of frequently asked questions. Here are some of those FAQs applied to Charlotte, North Carolina:

Will home prices in Charlotte keep rising or level off?

Given the current supply and demand situation in the area (along with the strong local economy), it appears likely that home prices within the Charlotte real estate market will continue to climb for the foreseeable future. Note: That’s just an educated guess, so don’t bank on it.

Is Charlotte more of a buyer’s or seller’s market in 2019?

Housing inventory in the area is still a bit tight, while demand remains strong. As a result, this market tends to favor sellers over buyers at present. But change is happening. We predict that the Charlotte real estate market will experience some inventory growth between now and next year. This could shift it more toward “neutral” territory in 2020, or even pave the way for a buyer’s market down the road.

Is now a good time to buy a home in the Charlotte area?

There are personal and financial considerations here, and we can’t help with those. But from a market standpoint, 2019 could be a great time to buy a house in Charlotte, North Carolina. This area is still relatively affordable, compared to many other cities in the U.S. But prices are rising steadily. That gives buyers the opportunity to build equity. Also, mortgage rates are still low and the economy is firing on all cylinders.

Disclaimer: This article includes predictions for the Charlotte housing market through 2019 and into 2020. Those forecasts were provided by third parties not associated with the Home Buying Institute. Economic and real estate predictions are the equivalent of an educated guess, and not a foregone conclusion.