Charlotte housing market sees success


CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - America's housing market is still struggling.

A report released Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors showed almost 5 million houses have been sold in 2011. While that number reflects an increase compared with 2010, economists said 6 million home sales are needed to demonstrate a healthy market.

Despite the national numbers, Eyewitness News learned the Charlotte market is experiencing success.

Barry Ozer is the new owner of a south Charlotte home.

"This house has a very open architecture style," he said. "It had, in our minds, a lot of potential."

Ozer is one of many new buyers in the Charlotte market.

Wilkinson and Associates Realtor Bob Bunzey is seeing a strong December.

"Sales are up this month about 8.7 percent," Bunzey said. "Pending sales through the first week of December are up more than 11 percent."

Realtors are seeing fewer for sale signs, and that's one reason Bunzey said he's confident Charlotte is on the upswing

"A lot of houses aren't being pushed into the market because of the economy and they're being absorbed," Bunzey said. "We like to see that because it stabilizes prices."

Bunzey said Charlotte is a desirable part of the country and that is also attracting prospective buyers.

For Ozer, low interest rates paired with a slashed price tag made his new house a property he couldn't pass up.

"This was probably a $700,000 to $800,000 house in the hay day and we got it for about half that," he said.

Bunzey told Eyewitness News there are still challenges in the market, like getting buyers through the difficult loan process.

He said Charlotte and Seattle were two cities last to feel the impact of the market decline. He expects Charlotte to be one of the first to rebound.

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