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Sales prices up for 2016 as inventory drops

Persistent low inventory did not stop the Charlotte region's sales from ending on an upswing for December and overall 2016.

December sales were up 4.5 percent from year-ago figures, while 2016 had an increase of 8.4 percent for closed sales overall, according to the most recent report from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.

The Charlotte region saw its fifth consecutive year of increased median and average sales prices. Median sales rose 10 percent to $209,000, and averages sales prices rose 8.2 percent to $258,108 over year-ago figures.

For 2016, average sales prices in the CarolinaMLS region rose to $257,701, a jump of 6.5 percent over 2015's average sales price.

Low inventory persists in the Charlotte region, however, dropping more than 25 percent from last year. Overall, Charlotte inventory was at a low 2.3 months supply of homes on the market, making for a very strong seller's market.

"As we move forward into 2017 buyers may face limited choices, faster days on market and rising mortgage rates. However, positive job growth over the last year and a healthy local economy continue to boost consumer spending and housing demand, which should help sales remain steady throughout 2017," 2017 Carolina MLS President Roger Parham said in a prepared statement.

In Mecklenburg County, median and average sales prices rose 12.3 percent to $219,000 and 8.8 percent to $277,267.

As inventory continued to drop, days on the market and list to close time also dropped. Mecklenburg County inventory fell more than 29 percent to 2,477 homes for sale in December 2016, down from 3,507 homes on the market in December 2015. Months of inventory saw a nearly 35 percent drop to 1.5 months supply, down from 2.3 months.

Union County saw a bigger jump in median and average sales. In December 2016, median sales rose 16.3 percent to $281,500. Average sales jumped 14.6 percent to $335,074 over year-ago figures.

There is slightly more market inventory in Union County, but it still dropped from December 2015. December 2016 ended with 2.2 months of market inventory, down 29 percent from 3.1 months in December 2015.

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