South Charlotte

Charlotte’s Starmount expected to be a hot property this year

The Starmount neighborhood is expected to see a flurry of real-estate activity in 2015, according to a recent analysis from online real-estate firm Redfin.

The south Charlotte neighborhood topped Redfin’s list of hottest neighborhoods in the city.

Redfin based its ranking on homebuyer searches in 2014 and the number of properties in the community that were marked as favorites on Redfin.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean that Starmount is hot right now, but based on predictions we think it will be a future hot neighborhood later this year,” said Redfin agent Julie McGee Sharpe.

Redfin spokesman Jon Whitely added, “It’s not an exact science. It’s more of an art and a science.”

For its annual list, Redfin ranked more than 10,000 neighborhoods in 27 cities, inluding Atlanta and Raleigh, Whitely said.

The Starmount neighborhood is along South Boulevard, roughly halfway between uptown and the outerbelt.

In the Charlotte area, Starmount was ranked as the hottest neighborhood for 2015, followed by South End, Fourth Ward, Elizabeth and Center City/Uptown.

“Starmount is already getting a lot of buyer action, and the development is going to be on fire in 2015,” said Redfin Charlotte agent Valli Smith in a statement. “Buyers are targeting the area for townhomes and old bungalows with character, as well as tearing down older homes and building new ones.”

Sharpe said the expanding light rail and proximity to Dilworth and uptown make the neighborhood convenient and attractive to people as well.

In fact, the corridor along the lightrail is becoming increasingly popular in general, said Sharpe.

Last year, the Sedgefield community made the list of Redfin’s “10 Neighborhoods That Are Warming Up” because of its affordability and desirability, Redfin representatives said at the time.

Starmount, developed in the early 1960s, features mostly ranches and some bungalows. Sharpe said many homeowners have updated the houses over the years, though there haven’t been as many tear-downs as seen in nearby Sedgefield.

“But it wouldn’t surprise me if we get to that,” she said. “It’s like Myers Park. Any time you see a tear-down, it means that folks are so attracted to the location that they’re willing to take on a lot and tear down a home to rebuild it for something more suitable for them.”

She said homes in Starmount range from 1,400 to 2,000 square feet and mostly come with three and four bedrooms. Lots generally range from a quarter-acre to half-acre.

Sharpe said that in a recent 180-day period, 34 homes have sold in Starmount, with an average list-to-sales ratio of 97 percent. She said there are more than 1,200 homes in the Starmount community.

Also during that 180-day window, the average sales price per square foot in Starmount was $113, which Sharpe said was in line with the rest of the Charlotte market.

In the last quarter of 2014, Starmount’s median sales price was $170,500. Comparatively, the median sales price for Myers Park and Sedgefield in the same quarter were $610,000 and $294,000, respectively, according to Redfin data.

Put another way, the lowest quarterly median sales price over the last two years in Starmount was $130,000 in the first quarter of 2013. In comparison, the lowest quarterly median sales price in Sedgefield was $217,000 in fourth-quarter 2013.

Myers Park’s lowest quarterly median sale price over the last two years at $603,750, in the third quarter of 2013.