Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Demand For Downtown Property Is Returning

There has been much talk lately about renting vs owning.  There are accompanying articles that talk more directly as to the nature of rentals, but this article is addressing more the demand side of what is taking place in the downtown Charlotte market.

I tried in vain to produce this information in a graphical format, but when I recognizing the difficulties of trying to size the graph correctly in this eZine, I decided to just include the table itself.  The graphs were all too busy and the data points would be too small to easily see.  The data is YTD 2011 for downtown Charlotte.

The nature of my study was to look at the downtown Charlotte condo market in three slices, Non-distressed, Distressed, and Rentals.  For the rental slice, I have taken out rentals that were in traditional rental buildings like the Tryon House on Tryon.  Also, all the data analyzed here comes from the MLS system.  It should be noted that there are sales and rentals that happen outside of that reporting structure.

All the data in this analysis is year to date.  So here comes my analysis!  The first five months of 2011 has delivered 258 properties either sold, leased, or under contract.  Projecting that out over a full year can be difficult because some months are stronger than others, but just using straight math it calculates to over 600 units in a years time!

Non-Financially Distressed properties are selling.  A large reason for that is that current owners are pricing their properties more in line with current market conditions.  It is difficult to sometimes look at our homes as an asset, but that is what needs to happen.  Proper pricing in a market like this one can, and sometimes does, lead to multiple offers.  I have seen evidence of units being sold for greater than the asking price, a sign of multiple offers.

Financially Distressed properties are selling at a rate of nearly 5 to 1 YTD downtown, and there are currently only 10 available.  The return to a healthier housing market will depend on the foreclosure problem being lessened. 

I will repeat that the rentals indicated here are not traditional Rental Properties, but individual units located in condominiums such as Fifth & Poplar, The Avenue, 400 North Church, ChapelWatch, etc.  They are the result of owners not being able to sell their property in this market, but finding a way to lessen the impact of the financial strain, or perhaps just waiting for a healthier real estate market to emerge before selling.

With respect to the laws of Supply and Demand, the most important considerations in real estate are motivation, motivation, and motivation!  How motivated is a property owner to reduce the financial burden of a property?  How motivated is a buyer to move into an urban market?  It appears clear that there is enough motivation to begin to bring us back to a stable market and a return to increasing property values.

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