Home buyers spending more; home prices rising

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When it comes to buying houses in Charlotte, people are spending more, which is good for the economy. According to the Shiller Home Price Index, home prices in the Queen City have gone up for the fifth month in a row.

Realtor Tim McCollum said he's noticed the change. He was glad a house to see a home in the Wesly heights neighborhood sell for more than $300,000; a first for the community since the downturn of the economy. He's says it's encouraging for anyone who has been having a hard time selling their house.

"There's been a dramatic shift where buyers are having a tough time buying homes and sellers are deciding to rent their homes rather than to give their home away," McCollum said.

Wesley Heights is one of Charlotte's trendier neighborhoods. Just outside of uptown, it's a prime location for many homeowners. In 2008, it too fell victim to the housing market crisis, but now, the tables have turned.

According to the Shiller Home Price Index, Charlotte's home prices have bumped up slowly but steadily for the past five months. It shows Charlotte's numbers are up 2.2 percent from where they were a year ago. McCollum said it's very positive news and proof that it's now a seller's market.

"They don't have to sell their homes through a short sale, give it away to the bank or even rent it out," McCollum said.

McCollum said the numbers are comforting to sellers who were worried they were making a mistake. It's a big change from the past three years of dropping prices in the Queen City.

"Home values that were in the mid- to high-300s dropped down to the mid- to low-200s, and now, they've climbed back up," he said.

Realtors said it not just Wesley Heights experiencing the increase in business but other neighborhoods, too. Last month, Eyewitness News spoke to a realtor in Huntersville who sold 16 houses in one neighborhood.

While McCollum hasn't had the same luck in the Wesley Heights neighborhood, he's hoping that will turn around soon.