Uptown Living Blog

September Market Report

Sales across the Charlotte region were down again in September. They dropped 3.9% from last year and have been down for many of the months of 2017. This time they were down from 4,121 to 3,960 sales. This is per the Carolina Multiple Listing Service, Inc. data from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association monthly report.

Inventory was down yet again, from 12,297 homes for sale last year to only 10,140 this year. This represents a 17.5% decline leaving just a 2.5 month supply. A typically balanced market with buyers and sellers having the same power in a transaction is considered to be a 6 month supply. With this low supply, sellers usually have more leverage in a Real Estate transaction.

Prices are still on the rise as well. Average sales price was 6.3% higher at $271,606 and median sales price was up 9.2% to $225,000.

Pending sales were up 16.4% to 4,137 showing that the market should be stable for at least a little while longer. New listings were up year over year from 4,550 to 4,700 for a 3.3% rise. Homes are selling 9 days quicker on average taking just 90 days from list to close.

When you look at Uptown Charlotte, the picture is about the same, but please note that due to the smaller size, percentages can skew quickly from month to month with just one large transaction. In Uptown, new listings and closed sales were exactly the same from last year to this year. Pending sales were the big story here rising a whopping 95% from 20 to 39.

Median sales price was up year over year from $249,500 to $287,000, a 15% increase. Average sales price also rose from $298,795 to $354,840, an 18.8% increase.

Inventory in Uptown is also declining just like in the Charlotte region as a whole. Last year there were 108 homes on the market, this year there are just 83. This is 23.1% fewer homes and represents 2.4 months of inventory.

The market is remaining relatively stable, with a seller’s market persisting with prices driven higher with the lack of supply. It remains to be seen if there will be a correction any time soon.

Check out SouthEnd Wine Festival

If you are looking for something to do on Saturday October 21st, come to the 3rd annual South End Wine Festival. This great event includes unlimited tastings from 25 different vineyards presenting 4 wines each for a total of 100 different wines. There will be live music all, and great food from a variety of food trucks. The event begins at 2pm and runs until 6pm. Tickets are already on sale or you can get them at the door if the event is not sold out. The festival is located at 308 W. Carson Blvd, Charlotte, 28203.

There are three tiers of tickets available for SouthEnd Wine Festival. VIP tables are available for $500. The table includes an umbrella and seats for 10 guests. VIP ticket holders can enter one hour early, get 4 bottles of wine for their table, unlimited wine tastings, festival souvenir sampling glass, and access to your own VIP restroom.

General admission tickets are $35 and include 4 hours of wine sampling and a festival tasting cup. General admission ticket holders may bring a picnic blanket, and cooler of their own food or purchase from the food trucks.

Designated driver entry is $10. Designated drivers will receive 4 bottles of water at the event.

Dogs and children are not allowed at the event as it is for adults with valid ID only. Parking is available at some paid lots and there is limited street parking. The best bet is to do a ride-share, taxi, or take the light rail to the Carson Street Station.

At last count over 35 sponsors help this event become a reality. Over it’s three years in existence, SouthEnd Wine Festival has already won Bob Awards best wine event, Best of Charlotte best new gathering, C5 awards best boozy festival, and best of the city best neighborhood festival. Don’t miss out on a great time.

Proceeds from the festival benefit Classroom Central. Their mission is to equip students living in poverty to effectively learn by collecting and distributing free school supplies. Classroom Central helps over 100,000 students in poverty in over 200 schools in 6 school districts. They are active in Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell/Statesville, Union, city of Kannapolis, and Lancaster, SC. Come out and support a great cause!

Draper Place Botique Apartments Coming Soon

Another exciting boutique apartment project is underway. This one is between Elizabeth and Eastover. Draper Place will contain 47 high end multi-family units at the intersection of Randolph Road and Dotger Avenue. This desirable location is perfect for anyone with an Uptown commute, or working at any of the many medical offices/hospitals close by.

Draper Place will rise four stories and will include two and three bedroom units. They will have two full and and one half bathroom. Full size laundry facilities will be in each unit as well as covered balconies with gas fireplaces. Dens, dining rooms, chef’s kitchens with gas ranges, under-cabinet lighting, dry bars and wine refrigerators will make these homes feel sumptuous.

The apartments in Draper Place will boast ten foot ceilings, large walk-in showers, walk-in closets, dual sink vanities, and custom crown molding.

Each of the apartments in Draper Place will have between 1,650 and 2,220 square feet of living space. There will also be additional storage space available. Included with each unit is reserved underground parking. Additional amenities include a community clubroom, conference room, kitchen, and a folding glass wall leading to an outdoor gas grill and fireplace.

The name Draper Place harkens back to Earle Sumner Draper who created landscape designs for Myers Park. It is also a nod to A.J. Draper who was a prominent resident living in Elizabeth in the early 1900’s.

Charlotte based SunCap Property Group is developing the project, it’s first multi-family project in Charlotte. They broke ground on the project this month. Their plan is for these elevated living spaces to fill a need for luxury apartments outside of Uptown. Units in Draper Place are expected to be available in late 2018 and will rent for around $3,400 per month.

Charlotte Convention Center Expansion in the Works

Charlotte Convention Center Rendering

This week  the next steps were taken in the Charlotte Convention Center expansion. If all steps go as they have been aligned, construction will begin in May 2019 and will conclude in early 2021. City Council is expected to approve $8.5 million to finish design and prep work at the September 25th meeting.

The expansion plans will add 26,000 square feet of smaller meeting rooms and 15,000 square feet to host pre-event receptions. The entire expansion should cost $110 million and the plan does not allow cost overruns.

Charlotte Convention Center must expand if we are to be able to host larger events. Plans include enhanced meeting space and increasing breakout areas for smaller events. More inviting and convenient pedestrian areas will be added. A pedestrian bridge will connect the convention center with the Weston Hotel and Stonewall Station.

Stonewall Station Rendering

This is great news for Stonewall Station which should open next year. Included  that project are 459 luxury apartments and a 47,000 square foot Whole Foods. Crescent Communities is the developer for Stonewall Station which in addition to the apartments and Whole Foods will also include 15,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants. There is also direct connectivity to the Stonewall light rail station.

There will be a more open exterior fronted with glass on the Stonewall Street side of the convention center. An architectural “frame” will feature as part of the pedestrian bridge. These details should help the space become a showpiece.

After all is said and done, Charlotte Convention Center which opened in 1995, will be modernized to keep up with comparable cities like Austin and Nashville. The meeting space will be tripled under this plan adding new rooms. These rooms will offer many configurations measuring from 1,800 to as much as 10,000 square feet and can be customized for each event. These will add to the 278,000 square feet of exhibition space, 50,000 square feet of meeting rooms and 60,000 square feet of ballrooms.

TVS Design was the architect on the original building and they will handle the design for the expansion. They will be joined by construction management firm Holder/Edison Foard on the project.

August Market Report

When you look at the entire MLS area for Charlotte, the trend continues where inventory is down and prices keep climbing. Inventory was down 18.6% compared to August of last year leaving just a 2.6 month supply. A balanced market is considered to be when there is 6 months of inventory.

Median sales price rose 5% from last year to $230,000. Average sales price also rose just 1% to $273,549. Home sales were down in August, a decrease of 3.8%.

Industry analysts are predicting that the beginning of the market balancing out is on the horizon.  They expect a market correction over the next few years that would give buyers a little bit more power in transactions and will give them more choices as inventory rises.

When you look just at Uptown Charlotte, the picture is a little bit different. Remember that the small sample size can skew numbers from month to month, sometimes making percentages look extreme.

Inventory was down in Uptown from 95 to 83 homes representing a 2.4 month supply. This is down 22.6% from last year at this time.

Median sales price was down 16.5% to $274,000. Average sales price also dropped 15.5% to $302,271.

Home sales were up 55% from 20 to 31 sales. New listings were down 35.8% from 53 down to 34 listings.

Market correction in terms of new inventory is a little bit trickier in Uptown Charlotte. The trend lately has been to build homes for rent instead of homes for sale. Until builders change this trend, Uptown will probably lag behind the rest of Charlotte’s market recovery.

Zipcar expands in Charlotte

Car sharing programs are growing in popularity around the country, as more and more commuters don’t want the hassle of owning a car, paying for parking, or hunting for parking spots, especially in an urban landscape.

Zipcar, one of the nation’s most popular car-sharing companies with operations in more than 500 cities in North America, already has a small presence in Charlotte. But now, a new two-year car-share pilot program was recently launched by Zipcar in the Queen City, whereby six Zipcars are available to reserve in on-street spaces in South End and Uptown, and six more spots are available at residential properties.

Zipcar allows users to rent cars by the hour. Once users have created a Zipcar account, reserved a car and unlocked the car with a “zipcard” or with the app,users  then drive the car for the reserved amount of time and return the car to its original spot. Users have to be preapproved and must be 21 and older to reserve, or 18 and older if they are registered students. Zipcars are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and users can drive up to 180 miles per day, and hourly rental fees include gas and insurance.

Car-sharing allows users the opportunity to drive a car on an as-needed basis without actually needing to own a car.

For more details on Zipcar’s increased presence in Charlotte and what it means for drivers in the city, be sure to read the full article at courier-tribune.com.

New Restaurant and Another Hotel Coming to Uptown

Uptown is always changing. Here are two more changes that we are excited about, one coming this October, and one not slated to be completed in February of 2018.

  • Graham St. Pub & Patio – Located at 400 S. Graham Street between Bank of America Stadium and BB&T Ballpark, Graham St. Pub & Patio is in a great location. On game days, expect this place to be packed with fans. Construction is underway now and the pub will have a large patio, interior space and rooftop deck. Plans are for the pub to be open initially for lunch and dinner with plans for brunch in the future. Current plans for the menu are inspired by street-food. Expect options like bahn mi sliders and curried chicken nachos. Opening should be in October of this year.
  • AC Hotel and Residence Inn – This dual-branded hotel is currently under construction with plans to open in February of 2018. Located in a 22-story tower atop the EpiCentre, the hotels will total 300 rooms with a rooftop bar, retail space, meeting space, and a “super suite”. The tower will be split, with the Residence Inn having 116 extended-stay suites on floors 14-21. The AC Hotel will occupy floors 5-12 with 184 rooms. The “super suite” will occupy the 22nd floor, adjacent to the rooftop bar and will cater to high-rollers. The rooftop bar will be run separately and is partnering with Asheville chef Peter Pollay as consulting chef.

These two exciting projects join many others as Charlotte has been adding many new hotels, restaurants and bars to the skyline.  They will join the Kimpton, Embassy Suites, Springhill Suites, and Ivey’s, all either open or soon to open in Uptown.

Millennials Desire To, But Also Have Anxiety about Purchasing Homes

Turns out, Millennials are just like the rest of home buyers after all. They desire to purchase homes, but are unsure of the process and if they can qualify to purchase a home.

According to a survey from loanDepot, more than half of millennials are ready to stop paying rent and begin home ownership. But, it turns out only 18% think they can afford a home purchase. This is an incredible disconnect. They are concerned about having enough money for a down payment, poor credit history, and existing debt like student loans. 48% of those surveyed also said they didn’t know how to start the home buying process.

The process for purchasing a home has an easy formula. Talk to a lender to see if you qualify to purchase a home. The lender will be able to assess your current debt to see if it will be a roadblock for your home purchase. Student loans don’t necessarily keep your from qualifying for a home. The lender will also help you find the type of loan that will work best for you, and give you an estimate of the upfront costs including closing costs and down payment. The most important piece of information that the lender will give you is the  amount of money they will be willing to loan to you. Once you have this, and a pre-qualification letter, you can begin your house hunt in earnest.

Now is when a Realtor is your true guide. They have a wealth of knowledge about neighborhoods, homes, and the real estate market. You can help your Realtor out by narrowing your search by looking online. This can help direct your search to your particular requirements in a home. Your Realtor can then help you refine your search and show you homes that meet your requirements.

Once you’ve found the home for you, your Realtor will help you draft a contract for the sale of the home. They will take you through the inspection process, negotiate for repairs if necessary, then help you through the rest of the process until closing and handing you the keys to your new home.

These guidelines work regardless of which generation you belong to. It’s a tried and true formula with little mystery especially if you’ve done it before. That’s the only part of this that sets most millennials apart.

Uptown Value in Springfield Square

There is still value to be had in Uptown Condos, even in desirable Fourth Ward. Springfield Square has 90 units that range from the high $100,000’s to the mid $200,000’s. They don’t come up for sale often, but there is currently one home on the market that you could snap up listed at $199,900.

Springfield Square was built in 1982 and features one and two bedroom units with one full bathroom or one full, and one half-bathroom. All of the units have fireplaces and many have been upgraded to include hardwood floors. Many of the units have had complete makeovers in recent years to modernize the interiors and make them work for today’s lifestyles.

Spacious porches are included in all units in Springfield Square. Many have skyline views making your porch an urban oasis. Full sized laundry inside each unit is an unexpected luxury for an uptown space.

Located at the intersection of 8th and Graham, Springfield Square is right next to Fourth Ward Park. Most of the units have a great view of the park, and the park helps to make it seem like you have a large backyard. Residents also enjoy a central courtyard with a community pool.

Walkability is great from Springfield Square. There are countless bars, restaurants, museums, offices, nightlife venues, sporting events, grocery stores, parks, and more within a short walk of the complex. There are also assigned parking spaces for residents and quick highway access

In the past year, homes in Springfield Square have sold for between $172,900 and $241,000 with an average sale price of $208,538.

Scott Russo earns internationally recognized achievement for performance in luxury real estate.

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Russo earns internationally recognized achievement for performance in luxury real estate.
Charlotte NC | 5.8.2017

Scott Russo with The Mcdevitt Agency recently earned The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Million Dollar GUILD™ recognition for experience, knowledge, and expertise in million-dollar and above residential properties. Russo is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS), an exclusive group of real estate professionals who have completed The Institute’s training and have a proven performance in the upper-tier/luxury market.

“Agents who have earned the CLHMS designation are performing at the highest level in their community,” said Diane Hartley, president of The Institute. “It takes a superior level of service to be successful and consistently close sales at or above one million dollars. We want to recognize this performance, and give these elite professionals the earned distinction that they are the agent of choice for affluent buyers and sellers.”

The specialized training and ongoing membership with The Institute provide Russo with the knowledge and tools to better serve his luxury clients. The GUILD recognition provides evidence of the successful commitment to service at the highest level.