Elegant New Construction in Songwood Estates

If you think there are no new construction neighborhoods in SouthPark, thankfully you’re wrong. You won’t find the large master-planned communities here. The new construction neighborhoods are small, exclusive, luxurious, and custom built. Songwood Estates is a perfect example of one of these neighborhoods.

Located at the corner of Sharon View Road and Rock Creek Drive, Songwood Estates is just 3 miles from SouthPark Mall. A 20 minute drive will get you into Uptown Charlotte for a commute, basketball game, or a night on the town. Charlotte Douglas International Airport will take about 30 minutes by car.

Builder James Custom Homes has 14 home sites in Songwood Estates. There are quick move-in homes available, as well as 8 home plans to choose from to build a custom home on one of the remaining sites. They have fully decorated model homes located at the corner of Sharon View and Flintwood Lane where you can tour and get an idea for how you want to design a home of your own.

The homes that are available for quick move-in in Songwood Estates start in the $800’s and head up over $1 million. They range in size from 3,550 to 4,286 square feet and have 4 or 5 bedrooms and 4 to 5 ½ baths. 10 foot ceilings, hardwood flooring, media rooms, studies, owner’s suites, and more are to be expected in each home.

These homes are masterfully appointed, with trey and coffered ceilings and heavy mouldings and built-ins throughout. All have open gourmet kitchens with large islands. Each bedroom has direct access to a full bathroom, and the bathrooms are perfect.

Students in Songwood Estates are currently zoned for top rated Sharon Elementary School, Carmel Middle School, and Myers Park High School. Please confirm school assignments as they are subject to change. There are also many private, preschool, and daycare options close by.

If you are interested in owning one of these amazing homes in Songwood Estates, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

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July Market Statistics

The housing market in the Charlotte continues to be strong this summer. All indicators are that sales are strong, they are up 3.1% year over year which is a rise of 127 sales. However, total inventory is still down year over year down to a 2.6 month supply of homes.

The monthly report from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association also shows that sales slowed between June and July. Sales are down 473 homes from one month to the next. This appears to follow a yearly trend. In 2016 there was a dip in sales of 785 homes between June and July.

The 2.6 months of inventory are down 25.7% from June of 2016 when there was a 3.5 month supply of homes. There were only 10,174 homes on the market at the time of the report as compared to 12,685 in July of 2016.

There are a few factors that are keeping a shortage of homes on the market. Sellers are not listing homes the same way. There is a trend of homeowners staying in homes longer, not trading up from a starter home, or just buying their forever home from the beginning. With a lack of supply in the market, it is hard for sellers to sell until they have secured their next home. This leads to a catch-22 where sellers won’t sell because they have nothing to buy.

Builders are not able to make up the gap fast enough to add supply to the market to keep up with buyer demand. There has been a labor shortage for builders so they are relying on a smaller pool of talent and that inevitably slows down building.

New listings are up 5.9% from 5,123 to 5,427. Pending sales are also on the rise from 4,068 to 4,724 representing a rise of 16.1% year over year. This is a strong sign that the market is going to continue on the current trajectory.

If you are interested in a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

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Charlotte Neighborhoods Reshaped by Teardowns

As demand for homes close to Uptown Charlotte grows, teardowns appear to be inevitable. People have changed what they want out of a home, so original structures don’t meet the needs anymore. Many homes can be added on to get the space and functionality that is desirable now. But, many homes are too small, outdated, expensive, or out of style to easily modify. When this happens, buyers buy the house for the value of the land, then start over with a new construction design.

Many of the older neighborhoods in Charlotte have historical guidelines that prohibit tearing down structures. Those that don’t have such restrictions have seen a rise in teardowns and there is no apparent end in sight as demand seems to be growing. There have been teardowns in parts of Dilworth, Sedgefield and Montford for years, but now we are seeing a rash of them in Wilmore and Villa Heights as well as many areas that are further out from Uptown.

Many people love a new home built in a traditional close-in neighborhood. It allows for a shorter commute, close proximity to nightlife, restaurants, and in some cases walkable neighborhoods. Homes tend to take up much more of the land than the original structures. They can also be much taller than the original. These homes tend to have modern features that are extremely desirable right now. Many contain offices for working from home, high speed internet connections and wifi. They also tend to have open concept living spaces in the main living areas. Bedrooms tend to be large and may contain spa like bathrooms.

If you are interested in a new construction home in an existing neighborhood, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. We can also help you look for a property if you would like to build up a new construction home in place of an existing structure. You can view current listings on our website here.

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More 55 and over Active Communities Coming to Charlotte

Trends show that people want to downsize after their children leave the nest. Builders have noticed this trend and they are responding in a big way. There are at least 6 communities specifically catering to active adults over age 55. Trilogy Lake Norman, Cypress, Tree Tops, Aldersgate, Cresswind Charlotte and Carolina Orchard have been built over the last few years. There are many other projects in the works as demand is soaring.

Most of the communities have found features specifically geared toward a soon to be aging population. These features include single-story homes, low to no maintenance exteriors taken care of by an HOA, and start prices around $200,000.

The thing that sets these communities apart are the amenities. They usually have large recreation centers with gyms, yoga rooms, spin classes, heated salt-water pools and more. Many of them have cooking classes, poker clubs, book clubs, boating clubs, and dinner outing clubs. There are even some communities that cater to the travel minded, organizing group trips to destinations all over the world.

The active adults that want to live in these places are still very much a part of the wider community. Many of them move to be closer to family, but to still be independent. There is really a sense of belonging within the projects.

Many of these 55 and older communities are marketed as if they are campuses of like minded people coming together. They focus on holistic wellness, resort style amenities, and social interaction. There are also many of the communities that provide full assisted living for residents who require a higher level of care.

If you are interested in one of the many communities for active adults in and around Charlotte, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

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New Multifamily Project Coming to Montford

Montford has been a hotspot in Charlotte for a while now. There is much to love about this community. From dining to shopping to nightlife, Montford has it all and is close to Uptown too.

Now Crescent Communities is developing a project to build 337 apartments and 17,000 square feet of retail space at the corner of Park Road and Mockingbird Lane. The project is expected to be completed in 2019 and will be called Crescent Montford Park.

The site has long been the home of Pfeiffer University’s Charlotte campus. The 5-acre site was bought from the university on June 30th. A grading permit was issued last month so they are set to clear the site and prepare for building. The site was rezoned last year to allow the mixed use development so there appear to be no hurdles left for building.

Crescent Communities says the project will be inspired by the surrounding community. This should especially be seen in the architectural design. Careful attention will be paid to the tenants who occupy the retail space to be sure they will benefit residents of the project and the wider neighborhood.

Units at Crescent Montford Park should consist of a mix of studios, one and two bedroom apartments. Size will range between 650 and 1,800 square feet. Pricing will begin in the $1,400’s.

Montford has seen a lot of change over the past few years. The revamp of Park Road Shopping Center has really grounded the area. The 1.5 mile extension of the Cross Charlotte Trail is also an exciting plan for the future.

Construction should begin the coming weeks, with both the retail and apartments available for lease in spring of 2019. If you are interested in a home in the Montford area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.


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June Market Report

Home sales were down again this June compared to last year. 4,719 homes sold in June compared to 4,904 this time last year. This represents a decline of 3.8%. These numbers all come from the monthly report from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. The report is based on data from the Carolina Multiple Listing Services Inc.

The supply issues we have been tracking continue as well. There is a 2.5 month supply of homes on the market as of June. Last year at this time we had a 3.5 month supply. This means just 9,967 homes are on the market compared to 12,592 last year. This represents a decline of 20.8%. It is up from last month when only 9,795 homes were on the market.

As is typical with supply and demand, when there is less supply, demand goes up driving prices higher. Median sales price in the Charlotte area rose from $225,000 to $245,000 in just one year. This is a rise of 8.9% year over year. Average sales price also rose from $279,243 to $290,067 representing a rise of 3.9%. Homes are selling quicker than last year, averaging 99 days from listing to closing.

Pending contracts on homes were up 17.4% year over year. Pending sales show that there is still strong demand for home in the area and is a good sign for sales to be up next month as well as these contracts head to the closing table.

There were 5,658 new homes listed in June, a small increase, just 0.1% year over year. To solve our lack of supply, we will need to see this number increase drastically.

If you are looking for a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can view current listings on our website here.

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Fed Raises Interest Rates Again

Last week, the Federal Reserve again announced that they are raising the nation’s federal funds rate by one-quarter of one percent. This brings it to a range of 1.00 to 1.25 percent making this the second straight quarterly increase.

At this time, the prediction is that mortgage interest may not see a direct increase from this rate hike. In the short term, car loans and bank fees will probably be the first to show an increase. This could also affect millions of borrowers who have credit card debt as it could push their monthly payments higher. The hike could additionally impact borrower’s ability to qualify for a mortgage.

It is not clear at this time if the Fed needed to raise the rate right now. Unemployment is low at 4.3 percent in May. The economy isn’t growing as fast as the Fed would like, nor are wages. The rate hike is unlikely to help either of those causes. It seems that the Fed found themselves in a bind. They said they would raise the rate earlier in the year and they are following through, even though it might mean slowing the economy further.

The Federal Reserve will reassess the market again in September to be sure the projected additional increase is in line with the market at that time.

If you are in the market for a home right now, the hike is not likely to affect you in terms of interest rate. You may qualify to borrow less money if you have significant credit card or other short term debt.

Borrowers who will feel the rate hike the most are ones with an adjustable rate mortgage that is about to adjust as it will now adjust by half a percent. This could mean hundreds of dollars more per month on a mortgage payment. Other borrowers who will feel the pinch are ones with home equity loans or lines of credit. Repayment on those loans will call for steeper payments due to the rate hike.

If you are in the market for a home, call us at (704) 525-4045. We can help you get started on the process today. You can also view homes currently for sale on our website here.

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SouthEnd Harris Teeter opening soon

Despite all the news today about Amazon buying Whole Foods, we are more excited about the new Harris Teeter opening up in South End. We’re not sure yet how Whole Foods might change as they transition to new ownership, but we are sure that the new Harris Teeter will be great.

Located on South Boulevard as part of the Sedgefield shopping center redevelopment, the new Harris Teeter has a retro logo harkening back to 1952 when the first store opened. That original location was in the same block as the new store so this new store is like a homecoming.

Coming in at 53,000 square feet, the store will have everything you already expect, as well as a Starbucks, a bar with wine and 16 beers on tap, beer growler filling station, an events area, weekly meal specials, pharmacy, and sit down eating area. This is a far cry from what was in the 15,240 square foot original store.

The new store will be open daily from 6am until midnight. For opening day, opening will begin at 5pm and will have a free-to-the-public sampling event following the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Sedgefield Shopping Center redevelopment will also include 14,000 square feet of retail, and following later will be 300 apartment units.

There are many homes within walking distance from the new Harris Teeter and many more homes within a short drive. This poises the new Harris Teeter to be direct competition with the Publix just down the road.

Harris Teeter hasn’t been in the neighborhood since 1988 when the original location closed. This is a welcome return for residents. The store opens this Tuesday, June 20th.

If you are interested in a home in Sedgefield or any of the many other neighborhoods serviced by the new Harris Teeter, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view homes on our website here.

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May Market Update

Home sales were down slightly in May according to data released by the Carolina Regional Realtor Association. New listings and pending sales were up year over year, up 4.6% and 16.6% respectively. This shows that there are buyers out there and they are willing to purchase when the right home comes on the market.

The Charlotte area is still suffering from a lack of inventory. The supply of homes fell again down to a 2.5 month supply. This is down 26.5% from the same time last year. A balanced market between buyers and sellers is considered to be a 6 month supply.

The supply of homes was up slightly from last month. In April, there were 9,525 homes on the market. In May, there were 9,795. This represents a rise of 270 homes or 2.8% month over month. Last May, by contrast, there were 12,268 homes for sale.

Median sales price was up 7.9% to $226,500, and Average sales price was up 6.6% to $274,957. Low inventory drives prices up and we have seen gains in home prices for the past few years with no end in sight.

Homes are staying on the market for less time as well. Days on market from list until close went from 106 last May to 95 this May.

Buyers are also not getting as much of a discount on list price. Last year, they paid 96.8% of the list price for a home, and this year they are paying 97.3%. This could indicate more instances of multiple-offer situations where the highest and best offer wins the home.

We have not seen widespread evidence of homes selling for more than list price. When this happens, there is often a case of a home selling for more than the appraisal value and the buyer having to come up with the difference in cash. This is happening in some cities such as Austin, TX.

If you are interested in a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view homes on our website here.

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Is renting or buying the best bet in Charlotte?

Home prices have been rising in the Charlotte region for the past few years with no apparent end in sight. Case-Shiller’s S&P CoreLogic home price index has prices 6.7% higher in March. This is well above the 4.3% year over year increase they reported in March of 2016. It also far outpaces the national average of 5.8% which represented a nearly three-year high.

Unusually low inventory of homes takes much of the blame for the price hikes. People are staying in their homes rather than selling and moving up. Mortgage interest rates are also on the rise which may deter some sellers as a new mortgage would have higher carrying costs. This could contribute to the current trend as it keeps inventory low and prices going ever higher.

With all of this news, you might be thinking that renting might be a better option, but is it? According to home real estate website Trulia, buying remains a more cost-effective option than renting. Trulia’s study shows that purchasing a home in Charlotte is 39.4% cheaper than renting. This assumes that buyers have a 20% down payment, have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and stay in the property at least seven years.

However, Trulia’s study shows that renting appears to be making up some ground. Home prices have been escalating faster than rental prices. Rental rates from 2016 to 2017 have dropped 0.4% while home prices increased 7.5%.

For now, buying a home in the Queen City is a pretty safe bet. If you are interested in making the jump into homeownership, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also create custom searches of home listings on our website here.

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