Charlotte is the third-most attractive real estate market nationwide for 2016, according to a report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute.
The Charlotte region’s booming population, growing economy and strong construction sector are behind the high ranking in the groups’ annual Emerging Trends report. The city moved up four places, from the No. 7 spot last year.
In a survey of real estate professionals and investors, Charlotte ranked behind only Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin as an attractive real estate prospect. Charlotte ranked above traditional rivals in the Southeast, including Atlanta (No. 5), Nashville (No. 7), Raleigh/Durham (No. 11) and Charleston (No. 25).
“Good job and population growth along with the development of urban centers continues to make the market attractive to residents,” the ULI report noted about Charlotte. “Interviewees generally feel good about the Charlotte market, although some did express concern that the concentration of the financial services industry may not offer the same level of growth as other more technology-oriented markets.”
Interviewees ranked housing as the Charlotte market’s strongest sector for 2016, followed by industrial development and hotels.
You can see the flood of money flowing into Charlotte across the city: New office towers being built in uptown, SouthPark and Ballantyne, more than 12,300 apartments under construction and new hotel projects kicking off uptown and in SouthPark.
One reason there is more interest in smaller, traditionally secondary markets is the rising price of real estate in the top-tier markets. Cities and areas such as Manhattan, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago and Washington, D.C. all fell in the rankings compared to 2015.
Respondents to ULI’s survey advised investors to seek out thriving secondary markets instead of the biggest markets in order to find more value in investments: “These secondary markets (think Austin, Portland, Nashville, Charlotte, and similar cities) boast lower costs of living—particularly in housing—and strong growth potential.”