Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville
In spite of the waterfront McMansions, the area boasted an average sales price of $202,834 for January 2008 (compared to $199,166 a year earlier), which means the area is still quite affordable.
PROS Water, water, water. It’s a driving force behind many thriving areas, and Lake Norman is no different. And while closing prices for homes in greater Charlotte went down from $233,356 in January 2007 to $198,866 in January 2008, they went up in north Mecklenburg County.
CONS In spite of increased home prices, sellers received about 2 percent less than the list price from January 2007 to January 2008. And builders in this area are really feeling the strain: “The Lake Norman market remains strong but has slowed due to higher-end speculative homes sitting in the market,” says Pace. Adds Brad Remmey, managing partner of Artisan Custom Homes: “This is the first time in seven years that we have had a spec house sitting.” But the most negative aspect of the area is the traffic. “Lakefront premium lots are retaining value, but off the lake, vicinity subdivisions are suffering more as the traffic concerns continue to cause a problem for most commuters to Charlotte,” says Pace.
VERDICT In a city growing as fast as Charlotte, it’s hard to ignore traffic issues in an area that really only has one way in and one way out. Until other commute options surface (e.g., potential light rail corridor), we say look south before you go north.