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'A once-in-a-generation real estate market' | As Charlotte housing booms, buyers left scrambling

The increasing demand and limited supply of available housing is taking a toll on Charlotte's historically Black neighborhoods. And sadly, there's no quick fix.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte real estate continues to be a rocket-charged seller's market with no relief in sight for buyers. 

"There's not a quick fix to this," David Kennedy, President of Canopy Realtor Association said on WCNC's Flashpoint. "A very small amount of inventory out there, and quite a bit of demand.''

So far in 2021, new listings are down nearly 7%, while home sales and listing prices are up. Nearly all homes are being sold for the original list price or higher.

"You will get a great offer on a property you list," Kennedy said.

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Kennedy traces the current situation back to the 2008 housing crisis. He says builders went out of business and never came back, but people continued moving to Charlotte.  

"What we need is more inventory, more affordable inventory," Kennedy said.

The neighborhoods seeing the most explosive growth are centered around public transit corridors where light rail or streetcar lines are under construction.

RELATED: First look at how city staff hopes to spend $50 million bond for affordable housing in Charlotte

"The one thing that drives commerce, population, and value is access to transit," he said.

Colette Forrest has watched the supersonic development from her Wesley Heights home. The city's new Gold Line streetcar line runs nearby.

"It's a blessing and a curse. I'm appreciative but I'm scared for my elderly neighbors."

Forrest moved to the neighborhood 20 years ago. She says the gentrification is pushing out longtime Black residents, and decreasing the area's once-thriving diversity. She says some longtime residents fell victim to eager developers when faced with increased property taxes. In the last 10 years, Forrest says her yearly property taxes have tripled.   

"You can go from paying less than $1,000 in property taxes to paying almost $3,000 in property taxes," she said.

RELATED: Charity battling gentrification in Charlotte's historic Black neighborhoods

Kennedy says an experienced realtor can help ensure the buyer and seller are making well-informed decisions.  He says sellers get caught up in the rush of receiving multiple offers over the asking price, only to find themselves then searching desperately for a new home, ultimately on the other end of a bidding war. 

"You do need to begin with the end in mind and have a place to go", he said. 

Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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