Dec 8, 2023 - Real Estate

6 predictions for Charlotte’s housing market in 2024

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Photo: Brianna Crane/Axios

Experts say Charlotte’s housing market will remain relatively unchanged in 2024, despite a predicted increase in inventory.

What’s happening: Zillow recently released its forecast for the 2024 housing market, which includes more homes for sale and slightly more affordable prices.

Why it matters: Charlotte continues to grapple with low inventory and a lack of affordable housing. If Zillow’s predictions prove accurate, the new year could be promising for buyers looking for more options and better prices — though the shift will be modest.

Zoom in: I spoke with Charlotte real estate agent Jeff Clay, owner of JClay Realty Group, on how Zillow’s forecasts align with Charlotte’s market.

  • In short, he agrees.

These are Clay’s six insights on what 2024 has in store for Charlotte’s housing market:

Current mortgage rates are here to stay.

Don’t expect any wild swings in rates. “We won’t be going back to 4%,” Clay says.

The flow of sellers is likely to pick up.

With rates not budging, homeowners who need to move are starting to realize they can’t wait forever, Clay says.

Because of that, we’ll see more inventory.

There will be more homes on the market, Clay says, but it likely won’t be a significant increase. “I think we’re still going to be overall low on inventory.”

And possibly more affordability.

More homes may mean a fall in housing prices, but it likely won’t be anything significant, Clay says. “It’s been really tough for affordability for buyers. And I don’t think anything next year is going to change that.”

It will be cheaper to rent — in some cases.

Before the pandemic, it was equal or cheaper to buy in a lot of circumstances, Clay says. Now, it can be cheaper to rent a single family home or comparable townhome or apartment.

  • “If you’re just looking to save money, then certainly it’s less expensive from a monthly standpoint to to rent.”

New construction will continue to be a strong option for buyers.

Builders are the quickest to adapt to the market — they can offer incentives sellers can’t, Clay says, like rate buydowns. In that type of financing arrangement, borrowers can opt for a lower mortgage interest rate for a certain number of years, according to LendingTree.

  • “In a world where we don’t have a lot of inventory of pre-existing homes, buyers have been choosing new construction.”

Zillow’s report included one other prediction that piqued my interest: That we’ll see more AI in the the home search experience. I asked Clay if he’s experiencing this.

“A little bit,” he says. He added that he’s seen some realtors use AI to help with tasks like writing property descriptions. But, he says, AI won’t change any of Charlotte’s housing issues in 2024. “Charlotte needs more inventory, and AI can’t create that.”

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