The Uptown Condo Market and the Vue

We have talked about economic conditions in general being much different today an when we bought our units, and have thrown around some general numbers, but I wanted to get some more specific information, especially for condos, in the Center City.  I did a search an lo and behold, I found a site called CharlotteRealEstateUpdate.com. Even better, I was able to make contact with an expert realtor on the Uptown Condo/Townhome/Home market, who blogs on the sales in Center City every month. His name is Jonathan Osman, and his update for sales in July can be found here: Uptown Charlotte Real Estate Update August 2010. Archives of his updates going back months and years can be found here: Archives. And since he is a prolific writer, he also has another recent post on the market being even worse than the media is reporting: Local Media Reports Inaccurate.

I have exchanged emails with Jonathan and he has no bias one way or the other on the Vue (that he will reveal anyway!) and he has provided me some context and answered some questions that have really helped me and I want to publicly thank him here for doing so. I told him I would hate to be a broker in the market that he describes in his posts and he explained to me that his focus (helping buyers avoid foreclosure which he finds extremely rewarding) and working with buyer’s agents helping folks take advantage of today’s prices is keeping him plenty busy. So I am back to worrying about you (Vue Buyers) and me and not so worried about him!

I am afraid when you read about the market in his blog posts you will not be encouraged. I am sure MCL isn’t either. No one asked for only 9 residential properties sold last month in Uptown; a July 09 to July 2010 decrease in average sales price per square foot of 25.4% (245 psf vs 182.67 psf), and so on. Statistics as we know can be misleading but read through the history of his blogs and you will see the Uptown market is, as one person told me, “suicide awful.”

Yet always looking for a glimmer of hope, he does point out that when the market does turn, Uptown will have a big advantage. It takes years to get a project started and completed in Uptown. It takes months to get one in the suburbs. So demand will overtake supply much quicker in Uptown than elsewhere. But alas, we look at supply now, here is a quote from his post: As prices continue to fall, the number of pre-foreclosure and then bank owned will rise, which will have a negative effect on home price appreciation.  Also not helping matters in any way is the 27.7+ month supply of condos and single family homes currently for sale in the small area that is Uptown.

So as you move towards closing, keep in mind that the Uptown Market is in tough shape, and according to many, probably will be so for quite awhile.

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