Uptown Living Blog

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.

Luxury real estate Charlotte NC, Uptown Charlotte Penthouses, Uptown Charlotte condos      Luxury real estate Charlotte NC, Uptown Charlotte Penthouses, Uptown Charlotte condos      Luxury real estate Charlotte NC, Uptown Charlotte Penthouses, Uptown Charlotte condos

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.

July Market Report

The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association released their monthly housing report this week. They show that the housing market in Charlotte continues to be strong. Sales are up 3.1% year over year, home prices are up as supply stays historically low with only 2.6 months of inventory. There were 12,685 homes on the market in July of 2016 and we are down to 10,174 in July of 2017. This represents a decline of 25.7% year over year. New listings are up 5.9% and pending sales are up 16.1% giving every indication that the market is going to continue along the current trajectory.

When you look just at Uptown Charlotte, the numbers can be a little bit misleading. Much of the reason for that is figures can sometimes look extreme due to small sample size. For example, there are right around the same number of homes for sale this year as last. In 2016 there were 95 homes for sale and in 2017 there were only 91. This gives Uptown Charlotte only a 2.6 months supply of inventory compared to 3.2% last year. This small sample size means that the difference year over year is -18.8%.

New listings, pending sales, and closed sales were all up year over year in Uptown Charlotte. Average sales price dipped slightly (5.1%) from $302,041 to $286,758. Due to the small sample size, average sales price can swing substantially from one month to the next if a penthouse unit sells.

Uptown Charlotte has been an interesting market in recent years. Most of the new projects are luxury hotels, office towers, or luxury apartment buildings. Almost none of the new construction is for sale to consumers in the form of single family homes, townhomes or condominiums. This leaves a mostly fixed inventory for the area, making it harder for the market to recover from the historically low inventory we have been suffering. Prices will probably continue to rise as a result.

First Ward Project coming next year

Another new project is coming to Uptown next year. This time, First Ward is going to receive 548 apartments and 19,585 square feet of retail. LMC, the multifamily division of Lennar Corp is developing the project that fronts Market Street on the Lynx Blue Line.

Market Street is an interesting project. The street will have the ability to be shut down for farmers markets, concerts, street parties and more. The balconies from this project will be able to overlook the action. This bird’s eye view will be a great bonus for the apartments facing Market Street. For residents worried about potential noise factor, there will be many units facing away from Market Street.

The boundaries of the parcel are the Lynx Blue Line extension, East Eighth, North College and East Ninth streets. The purchase of the property was completed in January. LMC recently filed with the city planning department for the project which also includes 885 parking spaces. The plan calls for a mid-rise building with 180 apartments, ground-floor retail and three sides of parking deck. There is also a 33-story tower facing College street with the remaining 368 apartments and additional ground floor retail. The tower will have four floors of penthouse units averaging 2,000 square feet. The top floor will be reserved for amenities like pool, fitness center, lounge and private dining. It is unclear at this time if the units will be in the luxury range as many of the other recent projects Uptown.

The multi-phase, mixed-use development does not have a formal name yet and is still in the planning stage. Details could change as the process comes closer to breaking ground. The start of building the first phase is expected to be July of 2018 with completion pegged for July of 2020.

Carolina Theater Makeover Funding Confirmed

Funding has been confirmed by Charlotte City Council and we will have a made over Carolina Theater. This project has been years in the making, but Monday night the rest of the funding has been confirmed for the $51.5 million makeover. Most of the money has come from private sources, but the balance, $4.5 million comes from public money.

This project is exciting for a few reasons. First, the theater itself will bring in tax revenue for the city, paying back the investment in the long run. Second, there will be many uses for the theater from film festivals, lectures, speeches, musical performances, comedy shows, plays and more. Third, it brings culture and cachet to Uptown adding to a long list making Charlotte a destination city.

Fourth, and maybe most interesting, there will be a privately funded 270-room InterContinental Hotel built above the restored theater. This will join a host of other hotels in Uptown catering to luxury tourist trade.

The Carolina Theater was sold four years ago to the Foundation for the Carolinas. The Foundation has raised 90% of the money for the renovation. The remaining money comes from existing taxes on hotel rooms and rental cars. This money will come back to the city with the addition of more hotel rooms so the investment is a safe bet.

There were more problems with the derelict theater than was originally expected. Mold, asbestos remediation and removal of lead paint have complicated the project making it more expensive than originally planned. The theater was originally built in 1927 and has been closed since 1978.

The revamped Carolina Theater will be a showplace along North Tryon Street. We are looking forward to all of the local, regional, and national acts it will bring in.

To read more about the Carolina Theater, check out the Charlotte Business Journal and the Charlotte Observer.

Ascent and Museum Towers now Leasing

Two new luxury high-rise towers are now open in Uptown Charlotte. The towers are hoping to lure people who could afford to purchase their own home by offering every amenity you could ask for. They have been modeled after the finest resorts and hotels to convince residents to lease instead of buy.

Museum Tower

The Museum Tower stands 43 stories on top of the Mint Museum. Strict attention to detail keeps the aesthetic of the Museum Tower in line with the Mint Museum downstairs. Childress Klein created 394 luxury units including one, two and penthouse apartments. Units command luxury prices as well, but that is not stopping potential tenants from signing on the dotted line. Many of the units are already leased. Expect to pay in the range of $1,920 for a 710 square foot one bedroom all the way to $6,725 for a 42nd floor penthouse with sweeping skyline views from multiple separate balconies.

Units all have high, 8’ or 10’ ceilings. Whirpool stainless steel appliances, Nest thermostats, and glass tile backsplashes are standard. Premium units have top of the line Viking appliances, rainmaker shower heads and surround sound standard.

Sample Floorplan in the Museum Tower

Amenities in the Museum Tower include a 24-hour concierge, pet spa, complimentary Starbucks, fitness center with both spinning and yoga, and a mailroom-tech lounge hybrid.

The rooftop has a heated saltwater pool surrounded by an ice bar, TV’s, lounge chairs, and cabanas. Residents can also rent out an apartment for out of town guests for $200 per night.

Ascent Tower opened on June 19th and is also in high demand. Greystar put together this project over the course of two years at the corner of South Poplar and West Third street in Third Ward. There are 300 luxury apartments and 22,000 square feet of amenities in 33 stories.

Ascent Tower

Amenities are on the top two floors and include a three-room fitness center, sky lounge, pet spa, pool, community kitchen, private workspaces, lounge spaces and multiple entertainment spaces. There is ground floor restaurant space for residents to enjoy as well.

Ascent Tower has studios, one, and two bedroom units ranging from $1,435-$4,055 per month. Units include Nest thermostats, bluetooth enabled locks, a chiller boiler system providing hydro-powered heating and cooling. Washers and Dryers are standard in each unit as well as floor-to-ceiling windows, USB charging outlets, walk-in closets and top of the line kitchens.

These towers join with many others that have been remaking the rental market Uptown. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the towers to reach full occupancy. There is no denying that they are attractive, convenient, and luxurious.