Charlotte housing market still slumping but not as quickly

The pace of decline in Charlotte-area home sales and prices slowed in April.

The 1,773 houses, townhouses and condos sold last month was down 26 percent compared with April 2008, based on figures released this morning for transactions through the Carolina Multiple Listing Services. That breaks a six-month string of declines exceeding 30 percent and December's especially stark 47 percent drop.

Nationally, the housing market, while still down sharply from its peak, has shown signs of stabilizing, a step toward recovery.

Much of the regional gain came from a burst of sales in South Carolina's Lancaster County. Closings soared to 174, up from just 39 a year ago. The county includes Pulte Homes' Sun City Carolina Lakes, a huge active-adult community that has been relatively successful.

Mecklenburg County, which accounted for nearly half of MLS transactions, saw sales fall 37 percent from April 2008. That's an improvement over March, when sales were down 42 percent. Iredell, Lincoln and Union counties also saw steeper declines, while Cabarrus and Gaston fared better than the average.

The sales decline in York County, S.C., also was less than the region's average. S.C. results do not include all sales through another Realtors group in the area.


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