People with low and moderate incomes are finding it increasingly hard to afford homes in the Charlotte region. Prices continue to rise, and although the number of housing units has increased, supply still lags demand.
"The Charlotte region has continued to grow rapidly, even picking up the pace following the COVID-19 pandemic," said Yongqiang Chu, CKCRE director and primary author of the housing research report. "The population growth has created persistent, strong demand for housing. Combined with the continuing disruption of the supply of housing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we see continued pressure on the housing market."
The Charlotte region additionally is experiencing a shift in the distribution of house prices, Chu said. "The research shows that prices at the lower end of the scale have increased much faster than at the higher end," he said. "Also of concern is that middle-income housing affordability is emerging as a significant challenge for the Charlotte region."
In September 2023, buyers needed a family income of $152,000 to purchase a median-priced home, with the median price jumping to $415,000 from January 2022’s median price of $376,000.
Now in its fifth year, the report pulls from six primary data sources and provides an in-depth look at the housing market in the Charlotte region. Part of a multi-year project led by Belk College of Business real estate faculty, the report offers a starting point for discussion on housing policy in the Charlotte region. The research considers owner-occupied, rental and subsidized housing in the eight-county Charlotte region of Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln and Union counties in North Carolina, and Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina.
Key takeaways from the report
The disruption of housing supply due to COVID-19 continues. The Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area underbuilt 10,000 housing units in 2022.
- Houses priced affordably continue to be extremely difficult to find. So far in 2023, just 2.5% of houses sold for under $150,000, and only about 22% of houses were sold for under $300,000. Those numbers are worse than in 2022.
- The affordability of middle-income housing is becoming a significant challenge for the Charlotte region. Rising interest rates and house prices have made housing quickly unaffordable in the Charlotte region.
- House price growth slowed significantly from the peak during COVID-19; yet the market started to rise again in 2023.
- The housing market continues to be tight. The median days on the market number is still less than 10 days.
- Rent growth has moderated significantly since the middle of 2022.
The 2023 research report also includes an in-depth review of housing in the Charlotte region over the last 20 years. The report was released at the 2023 State of Housing in Charlotte Summit. The summit also included an industry panel discussion that focused on affordable housing.
CKCRE’s State of Housing in Charlotte 2023 report was supported by these industry partners: