Tiny Homes More Popular than Expected in Charlotte

Earlier this month we told you about the new tiny home community called Keyo Park West. This past weekend they held an open house that drew 1,600 people. Many just wanted to get a look at how ingenious these homes are. Many were looking at these small homes as investment properties. Many were looking at how to duplicate them in other locations. There were, at the end of the open house however, 21 people who put down a $4,000 non-refundable deposit to purchase one of these homes.

In the coming weeks, the rest of the homes will probably be purchased. The next step for the buyers is a meeting with the designers to design every part of the home to meet their individual needs. There are some large options such as an additional bathroom, extra square footage, or garages. Two more meetings will help buyers decide on the rest of the design. Basic room layout, window and door placement, and final finishes will be decided at these meetings. Also tile, cabinets, counters, flooring, and paint will be decided. Once the design is in place, building will commence.

Keno Park West has become so popular that a second phase is already in the works. They expect lots in the next phase to be available for purchase in spring of 2018. The level of interest shows that Charlotte is ready for more of these tiny home communities.

Millennials and empty nesters are a perfect fit for tiny homes. Keyo Park West is imagining them as a solution to the shortage of affordable housing in the Charlotte area as well. Price points for these homes is in the $89,950 area. If you add the additional square footage, additional bathroom, and the garage, the price will jump up to the $135,950 to $150,750 range.

If you are interested in these or any other homes 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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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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Tiny Home Community Coming to Charlotte

Tiny Homes have been all the rage for a while across the country. There are entire HGTV shows dedicated to them. They can be mobile on trailers, or permanent on a foundation. These tiny homes can be in a back-yard as an office, home gym, or mother-in-law suite. They are incredibly versatile and inexpensive to make and maintain.

Kitchen and Living room in Keyo Park West

There are endless variety of designs for tiny homes. Modern architecture is very common, with some even being built out of old shipping containers. Homes built in back-yards tend to mirror the main house. Many are made out of recycled materials or completely built by the owners.

Tiny homes have loads of great features packed inside and seem more like boats or recreational vehicles than a traditional home. Clever panels conceal storage, steps are condensed to look like ladders, rooms multi-task to make the most out of each space.

Keyo Park West is a new tiny home community coming to the Charlotte area by developer Kelvin Young. Young was appalled at the lack of affordable housing in Charlotte and wanted to be part of the solution. His plan calls for 56 tiny homes starting at $89,995. This price includes the lot and a one-bedroom, one-bathroom 493 square foot home.

Bedroom in Keyo Park West

Homes in Keyo Park West will all have top of the line appliances, modern light switches, and Italian bathroom tiles. The feel they are going for is luxury boutique hotel.

The homes will be customized to meet the needs of each buyer. The developer is committed to building 2 homes for homeless families for every 25 homes sold. This follows a trend that is seen in Austin, TX where there is an entire community of tiny homes to house the chronic homeless population.

These homes are located in North West Charlotte near Freedom Drive and I-485. They are right across the way from Paw Creek Elementary School. This makes for an easy Uptown commute.

If you are interested in a tiny home in this community, or would like us to help you find a home with a tiny house in the backyard, 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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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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Growing Economy = More Uptown Luxury Apartments

Charlotte had the 4th fastest growing economy in the United States last year according to a new report from Headlight Data. Job growth has been more than double the U.S. average in 2016, going up 3.7 while the entire U.S went up by just 1.7%. This fast growing economy has been fueling a spate of new construction condominium towers Uptown, but just how much is too much?

Many of the new jobs in the Charlotte area are in construction. These jobs help support all of the new building as more people move to the area and need housing. There has been a lack of housing for an extended period as priced have climbed higher. New housing just hasn’t been able to keep pace with the demand for housing in the area.

Tenants have been signing on for leases in apartment towers Uptown. There have been fewer condo towers lately as demand for upscale apartments has been on the rise. Developers love these towers as there is less chance for failures that they saw with the for-sale condos. There can be vacancies in the first few months or years of these towers, but as population rises and job growth stays steady, the towers fill up. This means renters can reap the benefits of move in specials before the towers rent out completely.

There is also the possibility of these units being converted to condos at some point in the future. This would attract buyers who are leery of the risk of buying pre-construction. All of the new luxury apartment towers include high-end amenities such as heated salt water pools, spa like gyms, pet spas, clubhouses, wifi, 24-hour concierges, and much more.

With over 2,000 units currently under construction and more in the works, the luxury apartment market could be near the peak. Expect to pay around $1,729 per month average for rent in an Uptown tower. The three most recent towers to open are the Museum Tower, SkyHouse Uptown, and Ascent. We’ll keep an eye on the situation and report if anything changes.

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

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Uptown 550 at Stonewall

Stonewall Street in Uptown Charlotte is a far cry from what is used to be. There is construction all over the street. With all of the projects in progress, Stonewall Street has the most active construction of any other street. We are excited about the transition of Uptown and Uptown 550 at Stonewall looks to be another great project..

Uptown 550 at Stonewall, a project by Northwood Ravin will have 421 apartments and ground floor retail. Located at Stonewall and Caldwell streets, there are two separate buildings. A 20-story tower with 143 units and a four-story building with 278 units. The four-story building will have three stories of parking and an elevated pool and lounge deck.

The 20-story tower will have first floor retail, a gym on the third floor, a fourth-floor dog park, and rooftop bar. These units will have balconies with great views of Uptown Charlotte.

Units will be a mix of studios, one, two, and three bedrooms. Luxury features will come standard, including quartz countertops, rain shower heads, outdoor gas fireplaces, designer lighting and custom cabinetry.

There is a central courtyard plaza with plenty of green space, urban garden, fountain, and walking paths. There will be many luxury features including Amenities will include full-sized golf simulator, resort style indoor spa and sauna, game room and lounge space.

Just downstairs will be retail and you can walk to bars and restaurants in the area. There are also many other new projects which will have additional shopping destinations including a new Whole Foods which should be finished around the same time as Uptown 550.

Expect Uptown 550 to open mid-to-late 2018. If you are interested in a home in Uptown, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view 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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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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