"Building Boom" in Charlotte expected to slow down

New apartment buildings have been cropping up all over Charlotte with record construction over the past two to three years, but that new hot commodity is cooling off.

"I think the apartment boom is slowing down. I think we're on the downside of that trend," Kenny Smith said, a Charlotte Council Member. 

Smith said he sees a surge in town homes. Several construction projects are already underway in Charlotte. This, he said, is the newest development in the growth of the city. 

"Woodlawn, Fairview, Sharon Amity, areas that 25 years ago were still appealing to have a single family house and 830,000 people in your population, adding 33,000 a year, some of those major thoroughfares that are getting 35,000 cars a day don't have the same charm for a single family house."

If his prediction for a boom in town homes is correct, it will turn the tide.

"You need to be in the housing unit four or more years to make sure you're going to break even with appreciation versus closing costs. That's always a biggie. That's the reason condos and town homes have been flat for the past ten years."

Kent Samanski with the Charlotte Apartment Association says people are still filling the apartment buildings we see around town. Charlotte - he says - is one of the top six hottest cities in the country.

"Generally it's about 93 percent filled throughout the marketplace and in some of the softer markets that are brand new are a slower to lease up. Maybe they hope to lease up in nine months, but it might take double that time."

City Councilman Kenny Smith said millennials and baby boomers - our two biggest population groups - are driving the shift from apartments to town homes.

"For an aging boomer, that may not quite be ready to move into a retirement community, but wants to shed all the responsibilities of a traditional house, it's a good fit for them. All of this, happening on major thoroughfares."

It’s a transition to keep an eye on in the New Year.