April was a positive month for condo and townhome sales in Charlotte's Uptown / Center City. Sales were up 70% over April 2009 with 17 buyers calling uptown home. This is still fifty percent fewer than closed during the same period in 2007 however positive news nonetheless.
Home buyers found sellers were selling at a substantial discount over 2009 and even more so over 2007, with the average sales price only $201,436 as a result of only two units closing over $300,000 (a 2 bedroom, 2 bath in the Avenue for $340,000 and a 2 bedroom, 2 bath in Trademark for $525,000). In April 2009, the average sales price was $259,190 and in 2007: $301,785.
The one place the drop in condo values was felt the most was in the prices per square foot. Buyers were not simply buying cheaper properties. Instead, buyers were purchasing substantially discounted properties from the boom of just a few years back. The average price per square foot based for condos and town houses in uptown was only $201.69. At the peak in 2007, condos and town houses were selling for as much as $284.43 per sq. ft. That equates to a $90,352 reduction based on a 1,092 sq. ft. condo in uptown.
While the distressed real estate market (homes being sold through either short sale or bank owned) account for 9% of the total inventory of uptown, REO's accounted for 35% of the closed transactions in April. Unfortunately, none of the closings last month were short sales, while 19 are currently active on the market.
Currently showing active in the uptown condo market are 277 active listings, listed for sale at approximately $312.70. That inflated new price is driven mostly by the million dollar plus listings in the Encore, The Ratcliffe (picture shown), The Trust, 230 South Tryon, The Vue Charlotte, Avenue, Settlers Place, and 400 North Church (14 total). When the million dollar market condos are removed, the average listed price per square foot drops to only $247.58.
According to the Realist tax database, only 18 properties (single family and condos) are currenly bank owned in uptown and 29 homeowners received a notice of default since the beginning of the year.
There are a ton of great deals in currently in Uptown for the right buyer. In September, pre-sales in The Vue Charlotte will start closing, which should give a boost to property values and give everyone a better sense of how much in inventory really exists in uptown. However, smart buyers are taking advantage of the low rates and eager sellers by snatching up properties at unheard of prices.