Competition for homes has driven Charlotte area median home prices up from less than $180,000 three years ago to something north of $210,000 depending on where you are. Meanwhile, interest rates are climbing.
Pat Riley, CEO of Allen Tate, says mortgage rates could climb another two points in the next couple of years. Thirty-year fixed rates are up over 4 percent, up about .75 percent from the bottom in late summer, early fall 2016.
Is it a good time to buy? For buyers in the luxury price range over $750,000 or $800,000, almost any time is good. Riley says they’re more resilient than first-time buyers and first-time move-up buyers. Even if rates climb 2 percent over the next two years, they will still be lower than the historic average of 7 percent.
“The long and short of it is that there will be as shortage of homes for a couple of years,” says Riley. Prices are still going to go up “way beyond historic averages post-recession. “It’s good if you’re selling, tough if you’re buying,” Riley says.
Some of the shortage has to do with Baby Boomers “really going slow” around selling their generally larger homes. They are living longer, healthier, and content to stay put, especially considering what they might have to pay for a smaller home.
Meanwhile, the X and Y generations are “still just getting settled into their new homes,” Riley said, so they’re not moving up in the near future.
For buyers in the lower price ranges, higher rates will be a shocker, Riley said, explaining that 82 percent of existing homeowners have mortgages at less than 4 percent. “There will be quite a discussion if we go to 5 percent or 6 percent.”
Abigail Jennings, co-owner of Lake Norman Realty, says now is a great time buy.
“With rates still hovering at all-time lows, slight increases in the rates should not negatively impact real estate markets overall,” she says. Rate increases do mean that the dollar won’t stretch as far.
For example, if rates were to rise a half a percent, the monthly mortgage payment for a $480,000 home would be what you could buy a $500,000 for at today’s rates. “For this reason, buying now makes a lot of dollars and sense,” she says.
A 5,744 square-foot house at 8468 Queens Court in a gated community in Catawba has sold for $1.028 million after being listed at $1.075 million by Debbie Monroe with Lake Norman Realty. The lakefront house is in Astoria off Highway 150 about seven miles west of I-77. The house has panoramic views of Lake Norman, as well as two porches and a pier with a covered boat slip. The house has three bedrooms on the second floor and one on the third floor as well as a five full baths. There is a three-car garage, cypress hardwoods inside, three fireplaces and built-in wine storage. The tax value of the property is $945,110. Kelly Berrey with Lawrie Lawrence Real Estate represented the buyers.
The iconic Union Street home built by James W. Cannon, the textile magnate who helped put Cabarrus County on the map, has sold for $775,000. It was listed at $899,000 by Matt Alexander with Premier Sotheby’s International.
The house was on the market for more than $1.1 million five years ago, but never sold.
The spectacular home, complete with grand staircases, high ceilings, a dome turret and ornate moldings, is at 65 Union St., just north of Concord’s resurgent downtown.
The house has been in the Cannon family since it was constructed at the turn of the century, blending Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles. It was the first home of the Cabarrus Academy which is now called the Cannon School. There are classrooms on the rear of the structure.
Cannon began the Cannon Mills textile empire in the early 1900s. His mill village became Kannapolis, which officially became a city in 1984.
Carrie Craver, with Southern Homes of the Carolinas, was the selling agent.
A 4,000 square foot lakefront home at 18103 Watercraft Place in The Peninsula has sold for $1.21 million after being listed at $1.35 million by Shelley Johnson of Keller Williams Lake Norman. Dixie Dean of Allen Tate Realty brought the buyers to the table. The four-bedroom house has 149 feet of shoreline and a private dock. The house has a private bath off the rear patio as well as an office and wine cellar in the basement. The tax value of the property is $1.02 million.
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A house at 19601 Stough Farm Road in Patrick’s Purchase has sold for $850,000 after being listed by Paula Birmingham for $890,000. On the market for four months, the house has a tax value of $715,000. It has a total of 2,923 square feet above grade as well as 1,090 square feet in the basement. It sits on a .89 acres. Jamie Schettino of Terra Vista Realty represented the buyers.
A house at 19009 Wildcat Trail in River run has sold for $875,000 after being listed at $899,000 by Meg O’Brien with Allen Tate. The 5,337 square foot home has five bedrooms and four full baths. All brick with a three-car garage, the house sits on a nearly half-acre lot with views of the 18th hole at River Run Country Club. It has a veranda, screened porch and a covered porch as well as 10-foot ceilings on the main level and two fireplaces. The tax value is $893,900. Phil Puma of Puma & Associates Realty represented the buyers.