Charlotte’s Hottest Neighborhoods Share a Common Feature: Walkability
Used to be, if you had a big yard and a big garage, you had an advantage in Charlotte’s competitive real estate market. Now, homes in the city’s hottest neighborhoods share a new trait: walkability.
In communities across Charlotte – including one you might not think of as pedestrian-friendly – homebuyers are looking to see what they can reach on foot, be it shopping, restaurants or the city’s expanding light rail service, says one area real estate agent with listings across the region.
“Walkable has become trendy for people,” says Lexi Longstreet of Charlotte’s Savvy & Co. Real estate. “I feel like when you look at what’s hot, where we’re seeing sales, that’s a common factor.”
Among the most popular walkable communities:
- The NoDa arts district north of Uptown. Once considered the next big thing in Charlotte real estate, the former mill community’s momentum stalled when the recession slowed retail and housing development. Now buyers are back, Longstreet says, thanks to nearby amenities that includes three new microbreweries, mill conversions and, most importantly, the promise of light rail’s Blue Line arriving soon from uptown.
- Beautiful, tree-lined Plaza Midwood is also hot once again thanks to a surge of trendy restaurants nearby, along with an extreme makeover of the neighborhood Harris Teeter grocery store. Longstreet says the East Charlotte neighborhood has had more sales this year than any Charlotte community. “Anything under $375,000 is selling very quickly,” she says.
- A surprising entry on the walkability list: Thornhill, located in south Charlotte’s Ballantyne community. Although Ballantyne is typically thought of as an auto-friendly suburb, Longstreet says, Thornhill features a short walk to Stonecrest’s retail, restaurants and cinema. “When people buy there, they’re getting only about 1 percent off list price,” she says.
Longstreet says in a market as large as Charlotte, neighborhoods can quickly transition from buyers’ markets to sellers’ markets. Homebuyers should find Charlotte real estate agents who knows the trends that influence those market patterns.
Right now, the biggest trend involves not only what’s on the property, but what’s a short stroll away.
“Before, people didn’t care as much about it,” she says. “Now that’s high on the list.”