People continue to make uptown home, but few choose to buy

People continue to make uptown home, but few choose to buy

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by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @richardwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 7:39 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jolene Kares and her family live in uptown Charlotte.

"My husband wanted to walk to work," she said as she and her 3-year-old walked to the local grocery store.  "We walk to the grocery store.  We walk to the CVS, we walk to dinner, even our 3-year-old, she walks to dinner 15 minutes there and back and we never have to get in the car."

The Kares have lived in uptown for seven years and say they enjoy the appeal of what this part of the city has to offer. They say that they've noticed that more and more people are renting, instead of buying.

"There are a lot more renting.  To me it seems like a lot more people are getting jobs to test the city out," added Kares.
 
More and more construction projects are underway in uptown Charlotte to keep pace with the demand for housing.

"They're (residents) coming in droves, this is where the demand is," said Michael Smith, the President of Charlotte Center City Partners  "There is this incredible demand for urban living.”

Smith said the housing market continues to grow in the Queen City, especially in uptown and the South End where vacancy rates are less than four percent.
 
While the demand is high, the trend of people purchasing properties in uptown has gone down as more and more people are now looking just to rent a place to live.

"The potential buyers are choosing to rent.  It’s a little harder to get a mortgage today than it was four or five years ago," Smith said.

In fact, of the three housing projects currently under construction in uptown, only one is set to have units for purchase.  Third Ward BB&T Ballpark apartments has 153 units for rent and Gateway West has 280, while the Skye Condominiums has 67 units for sale.
 
"You saw it in the last decade in the form of condos and now it’s this next generation—three out of four prefer to work and rent and live in an urban place," Smith said.

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