Charlotte is the 16th largest U.S. city with a population of more than 827,097, making it the largest city within the region. Of the major metro centers in the Southeast, Charlotte has 7.4 million people living within a 100-mile radius, compared to Atlanta’s 8.3 million. This radius population well exceeds Miami’s 6 million and Memphis’ 2.6 million. As a result, Charlotte has emerged as a financial, distribution and transportation center for the entire urban region.
Of the nation’s 51 metropolitan markets with more than 1 million in population, 34 are located on the Eastern Seaboard, making up more than 58 percent of the country’s population. Of these 34 markets, 29 lie within a 650-mile radius of Charlotte and can easily be reached by 24-hour truck delivery or two hours flight time. Charlotte is the only major distribution center midway between the Northeast, Midwest and Florida markets.
North Carolina claimed the top spot in Site Selection magazine’s listing of the most competitive states for economic development in 2015. The magazine also ranked North Carolina as the second best business climate in North America, second only to Georgia. The Queen City has such a pro-business environment that 291 of Fortune’s top 500 companies have placed one or more facilities within the region.
Check out some of the best reasons to be in the Queen City. Did you know? Charlotte ...
- Ranks 1st among top 10 cities with the best employee engagement (Forbes)
- Ranks 2nd among 25 largest cities for most desirable place to purchase a home (Nerdwallet.com)
- Ranks 2nd in the best areas for job-seeking college graduates (Careerbliss.com)
- Is the 5th fastest growing metro from 2000-2012 of the 52 largest metro areas (US Census)
- Ranks 6th among top 10 hot cities for IT jobs in 2013 (Modis, Inc.)
- Ranks 7th among the top Spring Break destinations for families (Livability.com)
- Is one of the top 10 cities for newlyweds to live and work (Rent.com)
- Ranks 8th among the top 10 big booming cities (CNNmoney.com)
- Ranks 9th among top 50 cities with the most job openings per capita (Beyond.com)
- Is among the top 20 best cities for businesses and careers (Forbes.com)
- Ranks 9th among the top moving destinations of all cities (Penske Truck Rental)
- Is the 17th largest city in the U.S. in total population
- Is a top 10 city for urban forests (American Forests)
- Has been named “Tree City” for 33 consecutive years by the National Arbor Day foundation
- Is home of ImaginOn, the top ranked children’s museum in the country (Livability.com)
Carolina blue skies can be seen year-round in Charlotte. With an annual average temperature of 61.5 degrees and the annual average precipitation of 43 inches distributed evenly throughout the year, weather in the Queen City is fair and mild. Winter is welcoming, spring and fall are transformative, and summer is sunny and bright.
- 58% or 212 days of the year are sunny
- 11% or only 40 days with temperatures higher than 90 degrees
- 59% or 216 days of the year are frost free
The Job Market:
Why do people move to an area? They may relocate because they want to retire there or they think it is safer. However, the general reason people move to – or away from – an area is economic opportunity. North Carolina’s unemployment rate dipped below 4% in August, 2018. The area’s historically strong economy explains why roughly 100 people a day move into the area. And that propels demand for the Charlotte real estate market.
Its Affordability for Investors:
The median home/condo in Charlotte was worth $200,000 in 2016. Home prices here are somewhat more expensive than the rest of North Carolina but affordable when you look at national prices. Detached homes cost around $300,000, townhomes around $200,000. You can buy duplexes roughly $400,000. Three and four unit structures cost around $120,000 apiece. This makes the Charlotte real estate market a particularly good value for real estate investors.
Charlotte has a median age of 34, several years younger than the national average. That is because many people are moving here for work. This means the Charlotte real estate market is going to see demand from both people moving here for work and young adults who stay and raise families here; young adults who come here for school and work will eventually move up in the Charlotte housing market, whether in the city or in the suburbs. The fact that the city is a top destination for Millennials guarantees long-term growth for the Charlotte real estate market.
Quality of Life:
Charlotte, North Carolina ranks rather high in the U.S. News rankings of the best places to live. They were ranked 22nd in both on the list of best places to live and best places to retire. Other places ranked higher on desirability, sometimes due to a “coolness” factor that brings people to Austin, Texas. Charlotte’s good score was due to the availability of jobs, overall value, amenities and safety of the community.
That will attract people who may not be moving specifically for work and lead many who were raised here to stay. This suggests the Charlotte real estate market is going to remain strong even if the local economy isn’t so hot in the future. The huge demand for homes in Charlotte provides uncommon stability in its housing market. There are also intangibles such as quality of life and strong southern comfort than can’t be measured by metrics. Residing in the south usually equates to easy living, but few southern cities offer Charlotte’s stable housing market.
North Carolina is considered landlord friendly. The state doesn’t have notice of entry laws. A written agreement is recommended by not mandated for leases that last less than a year. There’s a five day grace period before you can assess late fees on rent. You don’t have to have a rental license to be a landlord. The state doesn’t have rent control or rent regulation. If they don’t pay the rent, you can begin eviction on the 11th day. If they violate the lease, especially for criminal offenses, there’s no need to give notice and the eviction process is expedited.
A new law makes Charlotte even more landlord friendly. A law that passed in the summer of 2018 allows landlords to recover attorney’s fees and court costs from tenants when the eviction goes to court. Therefore, one of the reasons we recommend the Charlotte housing market is the fact that you won’t own a property where the tenants aren’t paying rent for months while you rack up insane legal bills.
North Carolina’s corporate income tax ranks No. 3 in the nation in terms of its competitiveness for business, according to a high-profile comparison of business tax climates across the U.S. Corporate tax is one of five categories the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation considers in producing its annual State Business Tax Climate Index. The nonpartisan, pro-business foundation also considers personal income, sales, unemployment insurance and property tax rates in developing the overall rankings
Overall, North Carolina ranks 12th in the nation in the latest State Business Tax Climate Index released in September, with its strongest performance in the corporate tax component. Among states in the Southeast U.S., North Carolina comes in at No. 2
The Diverse, Sizable Student Market:
Being the largest city in the state guarantees there’s a sizable university in town. Charlotte boasts several of them. The University of North Carolina has a campus here, of course. Queens University of Charlotte, Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University and two dozen others are located in and around Charlotte, North Carolina. You could buy up apartment buildings in and around massive campuses or literally next door to smaller schools like Johnson and Wales University.
The Redevelopment in Downtown:
Charlotte is seeing a wave of redevelopment of downtown. Properties along transit corridors are eligible for grants and special privileges. The city has targeted specific corridors for redevelopment like Rozzelles Ferry Road and Beatties Ford Road. North Charlotte, too, is slated for redevelopment. If you buy up properties in the vicinity and renovate them, you could either rent them out at higher rates in the future or sell them at a sizable profit. The interesting opportunity lies in the car-free city center that could result in rundown buildings becoming upscale properties. That project is called the North Tryon Vision Plan, and it covers a sixty acre, 50 city block area.
Charlotte, NC Market News: