Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice

Where Investors Are Looking to Buy Out East

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Typical German new housing development in the flat countryside of northern Germany between a forest and fields and meadows, made with drone

Charlotte is the largest metropolitan area in the state of North Carolina, with nearly double the population of Raleigh and growing. In fact, around 150 people are moving to Charlotte every day. The median age in Charlotte is 34, as it has become a great city for young professionals.

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The population and culture around Charlotte is diverse because 17% of residents were born outside of the U.S. The metro area is unique because it’s relatively close to a lot of popular destinations. For the adventurers, Charlotte is just 90 minutes from the beautiful mountains of Asheville. For the beach vacationers, the city is about a three-hour drive to Myrtle Beach. Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Charleston, South Carolina, are also all within driving distance—approximately five hours away.

Because Charlotte is located further from the coast, it’s more protected from hurricanes and severe storms than other North Carolina cities. Temperatures vary year-round but generally stay fairly mild with a nice mix of seasons. However, Charlotte is prone to tornadoes coming through the area, as well as flooding. When buying property, it’s best to make sure it’s not in a flood zone.

What’s bringing so many young professionals to the Charlotte area? It’s pretty simple: plenty of job opportunities, above-average household incomes, a low cost of living, low taxes, and a great place for single people to meet each other (55% of Charlotte’s population is single).

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Charlotte

As the coronavirus relentlessly spreads across the nation, many American’s have been hit hard financially. Like most of the country, Charlotte’s job market and economy have been impacted by the pandemic. The biggest job losses came in June when Charlotte’s unemployment rate reached 8.2%. The national unemployment rate at the time was 11.2%. As of October, Charlotte’s unemployment rate is 7.2%, below the national average of 8.5%.

The good news is that employers in North Carolina are still hiring and jobs are slowly coming back. Whether that trend continues across the country is largely dependent on how the pandemic plays out in the coming months.

Related: Where Smart Investors Are Looking to Buy Real Estate in 2020

Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, USA Skyline Drone Aerial

Why Invest in Charlotte

Charlotte’s Population Is Growing Like Crazy

Charlotte has a population of approximately 2.6 million people. The area has seen a 17% rise in population over the last decade, which is 181% faster than the national average. The population of Charlotte is growing at a rate of 1.7%—nearly three times the national average. About 150 people move there every day.

Millennials are also moving to North Carolina in huge numbers. In fact, 70% of people moving to North Carolina are choosing to settle in or around Charlotte. Charlotte also came in at No. 5 for cities where millennials are moving in 2020. There are a variety of reasons for this growth, including a lower cost of living and jobs which will discuss more below. One thing to note is that a new study recently named the Queen City as the No. 1 metro for job growth in STEM fields. It’s no wonder why Charlotte is attracting college students and millennials looking for good jobs and even better lifestyles.

The entire Charlotte metropolitan area has significant demand for housing, due mostly to a lack of inventory. A quickly growing population coupled with a lack of affordable housing may offer opportunities for both buy and hold real estate investors and flippers.

Charlotte Has Jobs

Charlotte is an explosive primary market with a diverse economy. On average, Charlotte is adding twice as many jobs as the rest of the country. The biggest industries include technology, finance, and healthcare. The average household income for the Charlotte MSA is around $60,000 and the total GDP is over $170 million.

North Carolina is a business and landlord-friendly state. It's a right-to-work state and has six Fortune 500 companies in or around the city. Charlotte is No. 2 in the banking industry, only behind New York City. The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is the sixth largest airport in the U.S. as far as the number of flights going in and out.

The largest employers in and around Charlotte include:

  • Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo East Coast HQ
  • Lowe’s
  • Brighthouse Financial
  • Atrium Health
  • Duke Energy
  • Novant Health

Related: 3 Indicators of Strong Real Estate Markets in Today’s Economy

Girl packing books into a box in a brightly lit living room

Charlotte Is Affordable

Average single-family homes in the Charlotte metro are $250,711—below the national average of $259,906. In the last year, home values in Charlotte have gone up a whopping 9.1%. Zillow predicts that the cost of homes will go up 7.7% over the next 12 months.

Almost 47% of people in Charlotte are renters. Median monthly rents for a single-family home in Charlotte are around $1,600. There is a serious affordable housing shortage, which is causing the majority of tenants to spend more than 30% of their income on rent.

It’s possible to find affordability, population, and job growth in Charlotte. The question is whether you can find investment properties for sale. If you can, there are areas just outside of Charlotte with potential for even better appreciation than in the city.

The Fastest-Growing Neighborhoods in Charlotte, NC

  • Wildwood
  • Madison Park
  • Elizabeth
  • Plaza Midwood
  • Dilworth

The Fastest-Growing Neighborhoods in the Charlotte Metro Area

  • Tega Cay, SC
  • Waxhaw, NC
  • Fort Mill, SC

At my company, we have found the best success in finding good long-term rentals by partnering with builders in Charlotte and reserving 10% of their inventory for our members. Since lumber costs have skyrocketed, we were pleased to find a builder that uses steel instead. Surprisingly, these steel built homes cost less than stick-built. It's all about supply and demand.

If you’re interested in learning about other markets around the country, BPInsights offers more information.

Questions? Comments? 

Join the discussion below.

Kathy Fettke is the co-CEO and co-founder of RealWealth Network, a real estate club based in California, that has over 52,000 members who have acqui...
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    Kyle Spearin Investor from Boston, MA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great article! I love reading about different parts of the country. This was very insightful.
    Pranav G. Investor from Blackwood, NJ
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Thank you, Learned something new about Charlotte today.
    Jack Bradham
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Thank you for adding competition to my deals...
    Brad Noe Flipper/Rehabber from Louisville, KY
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I love your articles @Kathy Fettke !! Please do one for Louisville, KY!!
    Ryan Gaus Real Estate Investor from Apex, NC
    Replied about 1 month ago
    The Research Triangle (RTP) is in the TRIANGLE of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. Not Charlotte!
    Victor Valle Flipper/Rehabber from Portland OR, Charlotte NC
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Agreed! Especially that the closest city to the triangle is about 2.5 hrs drive from Charlotte. A little bit of research wouldn't hurt.
    Sean Psaradelis
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Excellent article, good info. This area was on my radar but not top priority. Based on what you are saying I have just booked a flight to NC, hoping to score a few deals. So thank you!!
    Will Cook Lender from Denver, Colorado
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Charlotte is 167 miles from the tech triangle and still growing? is tech moving more into Charlotte?
    Christopher Smith Investor from brentwood, california
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Its always been an area with strong growth and an influx of diverse business, but oh god too humid for my preferences.
    John Canchola from Woodland, California
    Replied about 1 month ago
    I enjoy Kathy Fettke articles- well done.
    Reks Mouk
    Replied about 1 month ago
    what resources/tools can we use to validate where population growth and job growth are for each cities?
    Jacob Compher Real Estate Broker from Asheville, NC
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Nailed it! I moved to Charlotte from the coast of NC exactly for the opportunities. However, I continued west to Asheville. Charlotte is still an easy drive from here, but city living is not for me. Still an explosive market in both areas. Great area to get in to while you still can.
    Shane Durkee
    Replied about 1 month ago
    How saturated is this market, I just (quick) checked Zillow and it looked flooded with rentals?
    Ann Rudd
    Replied about 1 month ago
    It’s not flooded with rentals. There are a lot of them but rents are high, and there simply aren’t enough quality rentals on the market. I work in the Charlotte real estate market every day and it’s tough to find quality single family home rentals here. Just watch your zip codes!
    Dave P. Rental Property Investor from Massachusetts
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Thanks for the useful content!
    Christian Solaita New to Real Estate from Fayetteville, NC
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Awesome and very informative! This was our next market to begin investing and I will definitely use this as a reference for my research. TY!
    Jesse Mancuso Property Manager from Charlotte, NC
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great article about the Queen City!
    Dave Rav from Summerville, SC
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Good stuff. I didn't know CLT was growing at such a pace. I definitely didn't realize they topped Raleigh in growth. But yes, Charlotte is a financial capital of the Carolinas, if not the SE. Lots of banking
    Raafat Habib
    Replied 25 days ago
    Sounds cool. Do you have a mortgage option for Canadian buyers?