Ellen Morgan has worked in Charlotte real estate since 1999. About a year ago, she joined Allen Tate’s University City office as the branch leader and broker-in-charge. As we move into the second quarter of 2023, we asked her to break down University City’s real estate outlook.
What kind of growth have you seen in University City versus the rest of Charlotte?
The area has definitely grown exponentially over the last five to 10 years. And the university of course—UNC Charlotte—has expanded so much. They have about 30,000 students now, which is huge. It used to be a bit of a separate entity, but now it’s a big part of the community. That alone has fueled growth. And obviously, the light rail, and lots of multifamily housing.
How does University City stack up against Charlotte as a region or metro area?
At around $360,000, University City average sales price is a bit lower than the Charlotte region ($444,600) and the Charlotte metro area (roughly $385,000), and we have seen an even higher appreciation rate year over year at around 17 percent.
As far as days on the market, in University City, our average is 18-19 days, compared to 22 in the Charlotte region. The median of days on market is only 6, which I feel is a better measure since it eliminates the extremes. This is still very much a sellers market!
What community traits do you clients ask for when looking at University City?
A main draw to the area is the business climate—the research. And for the light rail to connect the two largest business centers in Charlotte—uptown and University City—is huge. A lot of our clients are connected with the university in some way. The campus is beautiful, plus we have greenways, lots of cultural events, and people like the diversity of the area.
Many people come to our area to be closer to work. Plus we are so close to I-485; we are accessible to everything. We are also slightly more affordable than the average area in Charlotte. I’m really excited about the plans to make everything more pedestrian friendly. People like that modern, urban feel, and that’s going to be good for the area.
Do you anticipate anything changing dramatically anytime soon?
No one has a crystal ball, but I think we’ll stay on pace with the growth of Charlotte. Our values continue to appreciate. Our numbers now are similar to 2019, which were good coming out of the holidays. Inventory continues to rise, though we still could use more inventory. I’m really excited for the future of University City.
What does University City need?
I’d love to see more single family residential housing. We have so many apartment complexes, and some are wonderful, like the new Waters Edge project that we’re excited about. It’s going to be beautiful and add to the area, but we’d love for those renters to become homeowners.