Housing Crisis: The beginning of the end?

Resale inventory dropping, prices and closings rising
May. 18, 2013 @ 02:45 PM

The real estate market in Union County is improving for the first time in years. 

Carson Baucom, president of the Union County Association of Realtors and a realtor with NuVure Realty, said new construction permits have increased compared to last year and in Union County, they are experiencing an inventory resale shortage. 

"A lot of the realtors in our immediate marketplace are seeing a tremendous pick-up," Baucom said. "That means that consumer confidence is increased and more people are buying."

According to the April 2013 local market update from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association, new listings in Union County went up 16.9 percent compared to last year. Closed sales increased by 60.1 percent compared to last year and the median sales prices increased 3.8 percent. 

Baucom said they do not have as much inventory now as they would like, but she hopes it will increase as owners start to put their homes on the market again. 

The increase began toward the fourth quarter of last year, she said. She and many of realtors the beginning of this year is when the market really started to pick up. 

"I think an increase in ability for sellers to sell their homes, prices are increasing, so sellers are able to list their homes and are in a financial position where they can list them," Baucom said when asked why the market is recovering. "An increase in consumer confidence, where they're willing to spend money and make large purchases." 

Many sellers were hesitant to list their homes because they would have listed them for less than their mortgage, Baucom said. Most sellers need to clear their mortgage or make a dollar amount to purchase a new home. Many sellers could not afford to simply break even on the sale. 

Baucom believes this increase is the beginning of the end of the housing crisis. 

"I think for a lot of (realtors) and myself as well, you oftentimes can feel a little bit nervous and a little bit leery of how quickly it's taken off," Baucom said. "I do think we're going to continue to see a good, positive pick-up."

She added that it may not continue with this strength, but she believes realtors will see an increase in sales and listings moving forward. 

The market in Union County reflects a national trend in housing markets of increased prices and home sales.