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Househunting for a roomy kitchen? Look for this number in Charlotte home listings

A home’s price per square foot may signal just how much of the property is made up of highly-prized areas, such as the kitchen and bath, according to Zillow expert Skylar Olsen.
A home’s price per square foot may signal just how much of the property is made up of highly-prized areas, such as the kitchen and bath, according to Zillow expert Skylar Olsen. skeyser@kcstar.com

Charlotte househunters, take note: If you are looking for a place where the kitchens and bathrooms really stand out, there’s a figure listed in many online real estate postings that often says a lot about what these rooms are like.

It’s the dollar figure denoting the price per square foot. That average is $103 in the metro Charlotte area, according to Zillow, the online real estate database company.

Throughout the Charlotte region, the price-per-square-foot number fluctuates among neighborhoods, according to an Observer analysis of Zillow data. Myers Park checks in as the most expensive at $320 per square foot. Back Creek Church Road, in northeast Charlotte near Interstate 485, is the least expensive at $85 per square foot. Check out our interactive map to see a comparison of more than two dozen Charlotte neighborhoods.

A home’s price per square foot may signal just how much of the property is made up of highly-prized areas, such as the kitchen and bath, says Skylar Olsen, a Zillow senior economist.

Olsen gives this example: Say there are two homes of similar quality, both with attractive kitchens and bathrooms, in the same area of town. One homeowner leaves her property as is. The other adds an extra bedroom, adding square footage to the home.

When the time comes to sell that property, the overall price of the home with the extra bedroom will be higher than the first. But the price per square foot will be higher in the home left put, because a larger share of the property includes the kitchen and bath.

Olsen points out other trends that can influence the price per square foot. They include:

▪ The home’s location. Condos and other smaller units in high-demand areas – typically close to, or within metro areas – will have a higher price per square foot. That factor may drive Fourth Ward’s number, which at $307 is the second most expensive in the Charlotte region among neighborhoods included in Zillow’s data.

▪ The home’s condition. Brand new properties or newly updated ones boost the price per square foot.

Online listing descriptions sometimes reflect this, as seen in a recent Zillow posting for a home for sale in the Lansdowne neighborhood, off Sardis Road in southeast Charlotte. Touted for its “new construction” and “gourmet-style kitchen with lots of counter and cabinet space - all of the perfect ingredients for whipping up the best in culinary,” the Ashton Gate Drive home has a price per square foot of $159.

That’s close to the neighborhood average of $162. Lansdowne saw the Charlotte region’s biggest price-per-square foot jump in 2017 compared to the previous year, increasing nearly 200 percent.

▪ A limited number of homes for sale. A high price per square foot suggests that home prices rise faster in a particular neighborhood, usually because of a lack of inventory, Olsen said. Areas with infill development suggest there aren’t enough homes to fill demand.

This Zillow seller taps into that sense of demand for a Myers Park condo that’s advertised as an ideal tear down, to be replaced by the buyer’s custom home. “House is surrounded by 1 million+ homes. Don’t miss out!!!!”

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