Steele Creek and Lake Wylie Housing Market Report 2017-2018

The Steele Creek Real Estate market continues to be one of the top markets in the Country and is estimated to be one of the top 5 in the entire Country by the end of 2018.

On the National scene existing Home sales will finish at a pace not seen since the bubble bursting run up to 2006 clocking in at about 5.5 Million but amazingly still approximately 1.1 Million less than that all time high.

According to forecasts by the National Association of Realtors the steadily improving US economy, sustained job growth and rising confidence that now is the time to buy a Home should pave the way for an increase in Homes sales in 2018.

Back to Steele Creek, the availability of land, proximity to Charlotte’s 485 outer loop, Downtown and the Airport along with a widely diverse Housing Market are driving increases in prices and sales. A new master planned Development is in the final planning stages for the large mainly undeveloped area west and south of the Airport which will include the proposed River District slated to be larger than the Ballantyne area in South Charlotte. The area is expected to increase in population by 20-25% over the next 5 years.

Sales of new and existing Homes in the Steele Creek area over the past 12 Months for the zip codes of 28278 and 28273 were at a staggering pace of close to 2000 sold, leading the way the Community of Berewick with sales up 33% to 356, the Palisades with 131 sales was a distant second.

Another large Master planned Community is rising in Gaston County near Lake Wylie and Belmont called McLean, while just getting started sales were up to 40 in 2017.

Over on the South Carolina side of the Lake new Developments are popping up like spring flowers, national production Home Builders like Mattamy Homes and DR Horton along with local Builders, Fielding and Bonterra Homes are building a potpourri of styles and myriad of prices. New Home sales in the Lake Wylie SC area have increased from 75 in 2014 to around 200 per year at the end of 2017.

Sales of existing Homes in the Clover-Lake Wylie-York area zip codes of 29710 and 29745 although not quite as strong as its counterpart Steele Creek were close to 1300 over the past year. The top seller in that area is the well-seasoned “Jewell” of them all, the magnificently well planned Community of River Hills with close to 80 closings and an average sales price up 15% to $354,000.

WATERFONT MARKET UPDATE

Median prices continue to rise in the waterfront market due to low inventory and high demand, as of this writing there were just 57 active listings in both Carolinas down from the 120-140 we experienced for a few years with only 6 priced below $500,000. The 1 Million plus market was very active with 16- 1 Million Dollar plus Homes closed in 2017 and currently 12 were on the market. A total of 169 waterfront Homes sold down slightly from the year before with a median price pushing close to $700.000 up from the low $600,000’s that were steady for some time.

As urbanized Charlotte continues to gobble up large tracks of land for high density development the demand from those looking for the serenity and peace of Lake living along the shores of Lake Wylie will find it more and more difficult to afford.

New Housing Development: The Vista

A new housing development called The Vista at Lake Wylie is planned for the intersection of S.C. 274 and Pole Branch Road. There are 169 homes planned. Because this development is planned for such a busy intersection, the developers are hosting a meeting for residents. Instead of the typical presentation, this meeting is an open-mic, question and answer meeting to hear resident’s concerns.

The money for this development came from the 2003 and 2011 Pennies for Progress votes. In this project, county residents decided whether or not to charge a cent sales tax for improvements to roads. Because the money came from this project, residents have had concerns that the development will affect conditions of the roads.

In addition to the 169 planned homes, the development is planned to include an amenity area on the lakefront property with two separate entrances and a new intersection. However, in order for this development to happen, a rezoning still needs to take place. This proposal has been submitted but has not gone through yet due to the currant lack of traffic impact studies.

Assuming the approval of the rezoning, construction should be starting April and wrapping up in 2020. Construction bids for the $35 million development should open in February. To read more about the project and its details, be sure to check out the full article at heraldonline.com

Lake Wylie and and US Real Estate Market Report

The steadily improving US economy, sustained job growth and rising confidence that now is a good time to buy a Home should pave the way for an increase in existing Homes sales in 2018 according to forecasts by the National Association of Realtors.

Nationally existing Home sales will finish at a pace of 5.47 million the best since 2006 but still about 1.1 million less than that all-time best mark.

The lack of inventory has pushed prices up 48% from the low point of 2011, locally the Steele Creek area remains one of the hottest markets in the Country, the population is expected to jump 20-25% over the next 5 years, and for most of us originally from the area this is both a blessing and a curse.

Closings in the past 6 months are at 834 with 211 under contract and currently 221 listed for sale.

Prices on Waterfront Homes have steadily gone up and finding anything under $600,000 is tough sailing. Homes for sale are at an all-time low at this writing of only 78.  Median price is over $750,000 all record breakers.

Enough of the boring stats, if you’re planning to buy a Home or Condo now should be it, sitting on the fence so to speak is going to price you out of that dream Home. Quarterly prices have been increasing in some areas by 8% in the Charlotte area.

Buyers in the region are flocking to areas closer to Uptown Charlotte and prices are skyrocketing. Commute times and just being closer to the action seem to be the driving force. As traffic worsens that trend will surely continue and speaking of traffic it seems that it increases daily.

As a former member of the York County Planning Commission I always said the reason people left their former Cities and Towns and moved to this area will be the same reason they leave this area, Taxes, traffic, crime and poor planning.

David has been a Real Estate Broker, Developer and Contractor in the Charlotte area for 40 years and is currently Principle Broker and Partner of Lake Wylie Realty, David and his wife Karen live on Lake Wylie and are both Charlotte natives.

Copyright 2017 David McCorkle

Plan to Raise Water Levels in Catabwa River

Duke Energy has a plan in place that will raise summer water levels in three lakes on the Catabwa River by six inches. In recent years, municipal water providers and the company have been meeting to discuss extending the time line of how long the river can continue to support business and residential growth in the area and raising water levels would be vital to this plan.

However, the company does not want to increase water levels without first fully examining all impacts it could have. The major concern here is whether raising levels could create a higher risk in high water situations. Lake James would have the highest risk flooding according to their research, but that risk is minuscule compared to potential benefits. The FERC also issued Duke a 40 year license in late 2015, but the company has appealed for an extension to a 50 year license with millions of dollars in improvements contingent on the extension.

The current plan is to raise summer target elevations by the end of 2025 or when the Watertree spillway is complete, whichever one is later. This is not just an issue of water quantity, it becomes an issue for boats to as it could affect whether boats remain afloat or sit on land in the dry summer weather. The goal is to have enough storage to withstand droughts but enough room to be able to withstand major rain events. According to the company, drought is a more pressing issue than potential flooding and thus the benefits of raising water levels outweigh the flood risk. In fact, it was a major drought in the late 1990s and early 2000s that began the conversation in Catabwa about possible solutions.

Current research shows that by 2048 the demand for water use will outweigh the amount the river is able to supply so this will be an important issue in the near future. To read more about potential benefits to Duke’s plans, be sure to check out the full article at heraldonline.com

York County Council Asking to Vote on Concrete Plant

In mid-August, county planners met and discussed plans for a concrete plant on Bethel School Road. Although this plan has not yet been approved, city council members are worried about its effects on citizens and how much they would be able to interfere to help. This issue has sparked a conversation about what the county should allow without a council vote.

As it stands, if land uses are listed in zoning and the project meets density, building, and traffic requirements, there is little a city council can do to stop something from being built. In the case that a special exception is made, the proposals can go to vote on the council, which is what leaders are trying to do in the case of the concrete plant.

People have argued both for and against building this new plant. Many people do not want the plant so close to family homes and rural areas. But many others supported the economic development that new business would bring to the area. It has also been compared to a plant at another site that has been causing traffic problems. The county’s main concerns are what the plant would do to the property value of homes in the area as well as potential traffic problems it could cause on a small road headed to a school.

If the county decides to make concrete and quarry plans an exception, the council would be allowed to vote on each issue and look at each one individually in terms of how it would affect the community rather than companies just being able to build whenever zoning allows it.

Council members say that zoning in the area is outdated and are working hard to change that. It is unclear how quickly these changes can come but to read more about what council members are doing to progress and what potential affects of a concrete plant would be, be sure to check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

Push for One Fishing License on Lake Wylie

The Lake Wylie Marine Commission is now contemplating whether anglers should be able to get just one license to fish in Lake Wylie. Not only would this make things easier and less expensive for the fishers themselves, but it would make things easier for the patrol officers on the lake itself.

Currently, with the a state line bisecting the lake, fishers need a license for both sides of the lake but there has long been a discussion over whether it would be possible or practical to get fishers a reciprocal license that would work on both sides. Reasons throughout the years supporting a single license include convenience and cost and more simplicity for officers on the lake. Reasons against it involve money and how the two states would split proceeds based on where the angler was caught and where the license was purchased.

The last time the issue was brought up in 2014, S.C. Senator Hayes admitted that South Carolina could lose money. This would be because North Carolina has two counties on the lake as opposed to South Carolina’s one and Charlotte has a larger population.

There are multiple agreements regarding bi-state waters between states like North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina so there is a precedent for this kind of law. But getting legislation passed between two states is very challenging and that may be why the issue has been in discussion for years without major progress. S.C. Senator Climer has stated that he is unsure that there is enough political interest to get a solution but thinks the issue is definitely worth looking into and that the discussion will continue.

To continue reading possible solutions and the benefits this dual license could offer, be sure the check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

Lake Wylie Home Project May Have To Be Put On Hold

There have been recent plans by a developer for a 178 home project at a new subdivision called The Vista at lake Wylie. This subdivision would be located at 457 Highway 274 near Pole Branch Road. Although the plans fit land-use criteria, some county staff is recommending the request be denied when the planning commission meets August 14th.

The reason for this recommendation is traffic. A traffic analysis cannot be completed until two major road improvements are completed, both of which have yet to happen. The first is a signal and road relocation of S.C. 24 and Pole Branch Road and the second involves intersection changes at three points.

The first is estimated to be completed in a reasonable amount of time because the entire plan has already been funded and approved by a Pennies for Progress campaign. The second part is up for another Pennies for Progress referendum in November. The $7.4 million project would have no other funding and there are no guarantees at this time that it would be approved.

According to current traffic reports, levels of service on nearby roads are receiving failing grades. With the new neighborhood, developers would pay for new access points to S.C. 274 and Pole Branch Road

York City Councilwoman Allison Love has said she wouldn’t support this new development in the area no matter what the outcome of a traffic study is. She has said that Pennies projects currently being finished will fix traffic problems and adding new neighborhoods would increase traffic again, negating and progress or improvement. She also supports recommending denial for now in this matter.

To read more about this development and what the possible outcomes will be, be sure to check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

Company given stop order for home project in Lake Wylie

Mattamy Homes has been working on a project in Y0rk County, by Lake Wylie. Lake Crest, the site of the project was originally zoned for 175 homes on 85 acres of land and is one of many ongoing residential developments in Lake Wylie under the company. However, a stop order has just been issued for the project, halting any construction.

Stop orders are issued to halt construction until certain environmental standards are met but the exact cause of this order has not been released. This is not the first time this has happened in Lake Crest. Back in 2015, a notice of violations was issued to the site citing that the company disturbed land outside the delineated zone. A notice of violations is issued before further actions are taken in the form of a stop order.

This 2015 incident was when Allison Love first decided to run for York County Council. Her campaign cited runoff and over development as causes for concern for the health of the lake. Now, as a current member of council, Love has the same goals. She has participated in ongoing committee work to keep sediment out of Lake Wylie in an effort to protect it. She also plans on meeting with environmentalists and state legislators later in the week to further discuss these issues.

For more on Love’s position and goals as well as the status of the Lake Crest development, be sure to check out the full article at www.charlotteobserver.com

New program created to keep South Carolina’s lakes clean

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is partnering with Clemson University to expand a water monitoring program that has been successful in York County for years. This program will rely on the public’s help to monitor the quality of water in streams and lakes in South Carolina.

This program is called the Adopt-a-Stream program and South Carolina program leaders hope it will meet the same level of success as a similar program in Georgia. Volunteer groups would be provided with training classes and a database for water quality information, as well as any other necessary resources. These groups will meet each month to document stream conditions and alert the state of quality problems, illegal discharge, and other potential issues.

This program is a large expansion of an Adopt-a-Stream program in York County that has been in effect for 8 years. However, that program was just a campaign to clean up trash in the rivers. The new program will expand that to monitoring actual water quality and reporting it to the proper authorities.

With a major state agency backing it, leaders are hopeful that this program will be able to make real changes in the quality of South Carolina’s water. Leaders say that one of the main problems with water quality is that not enough samples are taken. They are hoping that this program will provide more reliable, complete data to improve South Carolina’s waterways.

To learn more about what the responsibilities are for volunteers and the positive impact this program could have, be sure to check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

New technology to prevent pool drownings

After a close call with a 2 year old girl earlier this week, Belmont’s YMCA is training with a new technology designed to prevent pool drownings. Earlier in the week, paramedics arrive at Ballantyne’s YMCA to respond to a drowning call. A lifeguard had pulled the young girl from the pool and she was alert and breathing. The girl’s father later reported that luckily she was doing fine.

In response to this incident, lifeguard’s have begun working with a new technology developed by Dr. Graham Snyder, a pediatrician from Raleigh. He had dealt with many tragic drownings in the past and developed the new “swim safe” neck bands in response to that.

The band is designed to fit around the child’s neck before they go into the pool. If the child is underwater for more than 15 seconds, the band will begin to flash and sound an alarm to alert nearby lifeguards. Dr. Snyder said that he had seen too many young children die from drowning over the years and wanted to develop something to help remedy that. If the bands are a success in Gaston County, the plan is to expand their use throughout the rest of North Carolina. This technology could be vital to saving many young children in  the future.

To read more about this new invention and how it can help North Carolina children, be sure to check out the full article at www.wsoctv.com