Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Uptown's condo problem

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Want to live in an Uptown condo? Then this might be really good news for you:

What is certain is that there’s an oversupply issue in uptown, analysts say, that could take years to work through. Although sales activity has picked up marginally in the last two months uptown, the small number of condos that are selling are entry-level products typically priced below $300,000. That’s well below the majority of The Vue’s units, most of which were marketed from $450,000 up to $2.2 million.

Most projects that were conceived during the housing boom are now in limbo or changing tack in light of the dismal economy and the sluggish pace of real estate sales. Three projects — Quarterside and Enclave on Seventh Street and Catalyst on South Church — have converted all or a portion of their units to rental apartments. Bill Miley, manager of the Charlotte market for real estate research firm Metrostudy, expects that trend to continue.

According to Metro-study, the number of uptown units under construction and finished vacant units totals more than 1,800. That includes stalled projects such as The Park and 210 Trade as well as more than 400 units at Catalyst and Quarterside that have since been converted to apartments. Even without those, however, that’s more than 900 units to be absorbed in uptown, which is currently averaging nine closings per month, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.

At the current rate, it would take nearly nine years to work through that amount of condo inventory.

“It’s still a long, long process to clean up the inventory uptown,” Miley says. “I expect we’re going to see a lot more of them turn to rental units because they’re not going to be able to sell them.”

Read the rest of this Charlotte Business Journal article here.

Check out Enclave's sales video for ApartmentFinder.com:

Here a peek at Quarterside:

And, last but not least, Catalyst:

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