Charlotte housing market ready to improve in 2012

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Charlotte’s housing market is poised for growth in 2012, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

The Charlotte MSA unemployment rate is at 10.3% as of December 2011, down from 11.2% one year ago. The Charlotte MSA unemployment rate has decreased almost a full percentage point over the past year, while a shrinking labor force is keeping our unemployment rate too high. The Charlotte MSA labor force decreased by 2,235 in 2011. “What we need is improved job growth with fewer unemployed. That would help the Charlotte housing market improve rapidly,” said Bill Miley, director of Metrostudy’s Charlotte division.

Charlotte started 1,306 homes in 4Q11, 35.2% higher than starts in 4Q10. Charlotte closed 1,381 homes, 4% less than 4Q10.

Detached housing inventory stands at 6.9 months of supply, and accounts for 89% of annual starts. Finished vacant inventory stands at only 3.2 months of supply. “With these numbers, Charlotte is well positioned within normal equilibrium levels. Any increase in demand could quickly foster the need for additional new starts,” said Miley.

“Confidence in the future of our local economy is a cornerstone to economic growth in Charlotte. It’s the key to increased consumption and job growth,” said Miley. “With both the upcoming Democratic Convention creating increased national visibility and Chiquita’s headquarters move to Charlotte next year, we are seeing both positive media coverage and a improved local economy.”

“Stronger consumer confidence, an improving local economy, record low mortgage rates, and affordable housing market, where 50% of the new homes are available for less than $200,000, will help tap pent-up demand and increase new home sales and the need for additional starts. Charlotte is ready,” said Miley.  Read More.

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