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Old 02-17-2009, 08:05 AM
Location: Waxhaw, NC
494 posts, read 1,181,396 times
Reputation: 171


Originally Posted by gizmobizmo View Post
Did anyone read the related article that was listed???? It didn't mention Charlotte specifically BUT it pointed out that some of the so-called "Empty Cities" are the very same cities that are seeing home sales that are on the rise. Folks who can afford it are taking advantage of the reduced home prices all across the country, including here. Grant you, they aren't rushing out in droves to snap up houses but they are out there.

Where U.S. Home Sales Are Rising - Forbes.com

No matter what the first article says, people have to live somewhere. With the current economic crisis we are in, some folks who have lost everything they had haven't necessarily left the area. More than likely they are living with family members till they can get back on their feet.

If anybody has any questions about Charlotte being an empty city, please go read the plethora of threads being posted regularly by folks who want to move here. We're a pretty popular place!
Great news indeed...I just home develops and builders give us a chance to get rid of some of this inventory before adding to it!!
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:07 AM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,065,320 times
Reputation: 22371
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Whats with all the vacancies in Charlotte and Greensboro?

Too much building or have the people relocated?
This is an ongoing trend that started about 2002 and can be documented. NC, and Charlotte in particular, started seeing a big influx of people moving here from mainly the NE, and specifically, from NY and NJ. The growth b/n 2002-2007 in this city was phenomenal.

Here is the typical scenario. People were able to sell their homes in NY and NJ at the "peak" values . . . so many people cashed out and were able to bring $400,000 or more cash to NC. How do I come up with these figures? From realtors and mortgage lenders who saw documents at closings. So even when newcomers had not secured jobs, people were able to come here, put maybe $200-300,000 down on a house and still have money to live off while they looked for a job. This strategy worked b/c CLT was booming and there were jobs being created, especially in several sectors, i.e., banking, finance and IT.

I noticed in 2002-3, b/c of friends in real estate, that all of a sudden, "new burbs" were popping up in places I had never considered - places I thought were "too far out" - i.e. Union County. In the late 80s and early 90s, the thought had always been that Meck would develop to the west, not to the South into Union County. So this trend surprised me.

When developers were able to grab up cheap undeveloped land, the housing boom started to meet the needs of newcomers from NJ and NY who had cash in their pockets - and insisted on a new home. The natives, like me, found all this perplexing. With so little retail development (and schools) in these new areas . . . we were so surprised at how quickly things took off. Of course, retail development quickly followed. And national contractors who had never really even built in this region flocked in . . . and subdivisions popped up seemingly over night.

It used to be that anything "outside 51" was "the sticks" and Piper Glen was the furtherest out people wanted to go. Monroe was a place you passed through on the way to the beach. But that rapidly changed. Same north of the city. Mooresville was the hinterlands; Huntersville was a spot in the road surrounded by farms. Huntersville doubled its population and became a sought-after bedroom community. This was not so surprising. Union County was the surprise. The other surprise was the spotty development of west Meck. It had always been assumed this would be the "next big thing," - not Union County.

So that is how we got to where we are. Newcomers, used to having to settle for 40 plus year old houses that cost $700,000 up were insistent on a new house in Charlotte. The builders gave them what they wanted. And sadly, those same builders are knocking out houses, still, even w/ inventory sitting here! Why? They are just doing what they are being asked to do. They want to keep their crews running at this point . . . but until the MINDSET of newcomers changes . . . and everyone quits insisting on THAT NEW HOUSE WE NEVER COULD AFFORD UP NORTH . . . I don't know where the building madness ends. I guess when the last hold outs amongst the builders go bankrupt or decide to leave the CLT market for someplace else.

Of course, we haven't talked about people who moved here and took out subprime or Alt-A loans and have been struggling along to make a house payment they couldn't afford. If any of them are in the unfortunate position of losing their jobs . . . we will just have to see how that affects home sales. Even if you lower the price on your house to sell it, and there are no buyers interested in a re-sale . . . that is a problem. The builders need to go away so that newcomers are FORCED into buying an inventory or re-sale home. That is how I see it. Of course, when I say that, I am fully aware that it sounds heartless b/c when builders pick up stakes and leave, crews are left without work. All these things have a domino effect with job loss - and thus, weakened economy.

Until municipalities, hungry for tax revenue, get real and stop issuing building permits . . . I see a downward spiral. Of course, tightened credit has (or will) at some point put builders in the position of stopping the madness.

So now you know. That is how we got here.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:07 AM
Location: Mint Hill, NC
769 posts, read 1,981,622 times
Reputation: 450
Funny how people stop at the headline. I read this article and totally did not get the impression that the OP did. Nowhere did it say that Charlotte was losing population. It was, to me, very clearly an article about the state of the housing industry. And, this article didn't even mention Charlotte - it mentioned Greensboro.

But of course, as has already been mentioned, there's always someone willing to present any viewpoint (however incomplete or erroneous), and always someone else ready to jump on the band wagon.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:19 AM
Location: Mint Hill, NC
769 posts, read 1,981,622 times
Reputation: 450
Oh, and if you go to the linked article, which is actually what the OP must have been talking about, it's the RENTAL vacancy that is 14.7% - the home vacany is 3%, which is 28th. But, again, not enough information to make any kind of INFORMED analysis - no criteria for what cities were included (All in the US, those over xxxxxx population, etc). AND it includes Gastonia and Concord - I expect that if you looked at only incorporated Charlotte you'd see a different picture.

Ok, I'm going to get off my bandwagon now - people who post stuff like this really chap my hide!!
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:28 AM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,065,320 times
Reputation: 22371
I read the article and it refers to rental AND housing vacancy rates. Charlotte has a lot of homes in inventory right now, and many are being offered for rent/lease. This is only going to become even more evident in the next quarter, as people get laid off from jobs here and seek jobs elsewhere - and then have to move and can't sell their houses quickly (and end up renting them or leaving them on the market).

However, I don't think we are going to become a ghost town, LOL.
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