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Charlotte fastest growing city over last 10 years

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte was the fastest growing city in the last decade. New numbers from the Census Bureau show the urban area grew 65 percent from 2000 to 2010. The next fastest growing urban area was Austin, Texas at 51 percent.Las Vegas came in third at 43 percent. To put that in perspective, the country’s entire urban population grew 12 percent during the same time. The state of North Carolina ranks second in the nation for largest rural populations with 3,233,727. Texas came in first with 3,847,522 people and Pennsylvania came in third with 2,711,092 residents.

Talley Properties Announces Opening of New Facility

Charlotte—Talley Properties Inc., a property management firm serving the Charlotte area real estate market has announced their move to a new facility 2716 Westport Road. The move will be official March 23rd.
The brick, 2-story 7300 square foot building is situated on an acre plot and includes 5000 sq feet of office space and a 2300 sq. foot warehouse. It was built in 1998 and served as a corporate office for a local builder.

According to owner and President Tony Moore, "Talley Properties has experienced tremendous growth since 2004. We feel this new office will provide us with a stable location to continue to serve our existing clients while giving us room to continue to grow and expand our services." Moore received his BS in Management and Production Sciences from UNC Wilmington. A native of Lincolnton, he now resides in Gastonia with wife Cathy and their children, Melissa and MaKenzie.

Talley Properties has specialized in midrange to high end residential and commercial property management since 1980. Their mission is to provide full service management to a diverse group of investors. With the goal to achieve long-term relationships with their investors, they are on call 24-hours a day, and provide quick, efficient same day service. Visit Talley Properties at www.talleyproperties.com or call 704-332-2206.

Rental Prices Soaring as Home Values Stay Low

Foreclosure Deals, a leading provider of foreclosure listings, news and information, has released new research on home prices and rent values across the nation. Drawn on data collected from regional and local real estate markets, the numbers demonstrate the relationship between the average cost of rent and the average cost of a home purchase in each state, which can help homebuyers choose the best markets in which to invest.

"Foreclosures have had a huge impact on home values," remarked John Evan Miller, a real estate analyst with Foreclosure Deals. "In almost every market, prices are well below their 2008 values, simply because there are so many homes available."

Foreclosure Deals presents the new data compared with values recorded in 2008 using an infographic available on their web site, and the impact of the foreclosure wave is clear. In many areas, home prices are extremely low, while rent prices are notably higher.

"Rents are up, and they're going to stay up," said Miller. "Even though it's the best market for homebuyers we've seen in over a decade, the recession made a lot of people reconsider spending at the time, so they rented. This drove up demand, and prices, for rental properties."

Despite the sluggish economy, Miller points out that this is the perfect market for real estate investment. He adds that mortgage interest rates are also at historic lows, creating other opportunities for value investing.

"Not only do you have rock bottom prices, you've got a terrific market to rent out your property while you wait for prices to rise. And they will rise. Home values will come back, but the days of 3.5% and 4% mortgages aren't going to be around forever. Once home values rise, those interest rates will rise too."

Experts currently predict average rental costs to be 4.5% higher than by the end of 2011 than their value last year, and up another 3% in 2012. In contrast, foreclosure homes currently offer savings of anywhere from 10% to 50% off market value. As buyers who put off buying a home during the recession look to start buying again once the economy improves, it will create the opportunity for big profits for foreclosure investors.

"In a great many cases, you're going to end up paying less on a monthly mortgage payment if you buy a home than you would in rent on the same property," said Miller. "Could there be a better reason to buy than that?"

In shaky economy, renting increasingly tops owning

It's an ideal time to buy a home, but many potential buyers in Sioux Falls are forgoing home ownership and the American dream.

Instead, despite historically low interest rates, a drop in home prices and an ample inventory of houses to chose from, many are opting for short-term rental agreements.

Some question whether there's still value in owning a home .

Others say the popularity of renting is a trend that will be a short-lived function of economic uncertainty. Many potential first-time homebuyers don't want to be tied down to a home. They don't know whether the future will bring a pay raise or a layoff. So they opt for an apartment or town home.

The trend of renting will turn around eventually, but it's going to be slow, said Michael Roach, assistant professor of economics at the University Center and Dakota State University.

"That's a short-lived phenomenon we're experiencing simply because of where the housing market has gone for a couple of years," he said. "(Homeownership) is still the American dream; people still want homes. People still want to own their own home, but they want to do it in an environment that makes economic sense."

As the local economy grows and adds jobs, and as new businesses pop up, Roach said home ownership will pick up.

"Especially for younger people, younger families, nobody likes uncertainty when they're dealing with that amount of money. It's the biggest investment most people will make in their lives," he said. "People are gun-shy still, and it's going to take a little while to get over that."

Fear is the No. 1 reason for the shift from home ownership to renting, said Tony Ratchford of the Ratchford Group with Hegg Realtors.

He said although home inventory has dropped in Sioux Falls, and business is better than last year, it's not as good as he had hoped. He's had clients who sold homes and moved into rental properties to get out from under some debt. He also owns five rental properties that he said he gets calls about weekly.

"It's just been absolute fear. ... They just don't have confidence in the economy," he said. "People were careful with their money. They realized the cost of gas, cost of food and have a fear of the economics of the world that brought them to the realization to pay off debt, pay off credit cards and just hunker down a little and make life cheaper."
Ratchford said he thinks Sioux Falls has hit bottom and predicts things will pick up by summer. At that time, he said the market will be more balanced, home values will increase, rentals will be mostly full and prices will be up. People will realize it's cheaper to buy than rent.

"The American dream of owning your own home, it's such a great investment, but the last three or four years we haven't seen that," he said. "Some people are questioning whether or not there's any value in owning a house anymore. I know there is, and long term it's going to be a big deal. It's part of the cycle of what happens when you have a down dip."

Kayla Pederson, 27, never has owned a home, and said financially, she can't buy a house now. This month, she moved into a two-bedroom apartment with her 4-year-old son after living with a friend and saving money.

"These days, it's more common. I'm hearing friends and acquaintances move in with friends or parents to catch up until they're ready to get out on their own," she said.

Pederson recently moved back to Sioux Falls from Colorado. Although she has a degree in business management, she was unemployed for more than two months before she was hired as an IT support technician in June. She plans to own a home someday but said renting is the best option now.

Pederson passed on buying a foreclosed home in the Denver area. She's glad she did.

"With the economy, you could get more bang for your buck, but when we had time to think about it, we decided renting was a better option," she said. "I knew eventually I was going to be moving back home."

Matt Larson, president of the Realtors Association of the Sioux Empire, said pending home sales were up 16 percent in October compared with last October. Pending sales this year are up 0.9 percent. New listings and inventory are down.

Larson said people remain cautious.

"It should start improving in 2012, and I think we're going to lead the country out of it in the Midwest, because we didn't have the terrible downside," he said. "I think we're going to outperform most markets."
Rental vacancies in Sioux Falls are at an all-time low of 4.58 percent, said Dan Siefken, executive director of the South Dakota Multi-Housing Association. That's the lowest the organization has seen since it began the vacancy survey in 1996, he said.

It's also down substantially from a record-high of 13.28 percent in January 2010.

"I think (apartment living) is back in vogue," he said. "People went through a period of time where they were sold on the fact that home ownership was for everybody and that you were throwing your money away if you rented. Now they're realizing that renting is a good bargain."

Siefken said the high vacancy rates of 2010 can be attributed largely to the first-time homebuyer tax credit perks. Now, he said, renters are finding a savings in renting when they don't have to pay property tax, maintenance, insurance, lawn care and snow removal and other costs.

Today's renters don't want homeowner costs, but they do want more than a couple bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen. They want units with dishwashers and a washer and dryer. They want complexes with heated garages or underground parking, fitness facilities, pools and Jacuzzis, Siefken said.

"They're pretty much must-haves," he said. "Those apartments are getting harder and harder to find; those complexes have almost zero vacancy."

Angie Stingley, manager for Boulder Creek and Boulder Pointe Townhomes, said she has 184 units and expects one vacancy this month. She said if there is a vacancy, it doesn't last long.

The Dunham Co. will start construction next spring on a 262-unit apartment complex on South Grange Avenue. CEO Don Dunham expects it to be ready for tenants next fall.

"The old days of Section 8 housing and 4-plexes, that's not good enough for young professionals today," he said. "If you make enough money, you want to live someplace nice, but that doesn't mean you want to buy a house."

That's why Dunham hasn't built any single-family homes in more than two years. There's no demand.

He said the company used to have 40 to 50 spec homes for sale at all times throughout the area that includes Sioux Falls, Dakota Dunes, Yankton and Elk Point. Dunham said the company has about 150 lots fully developed and ready for single-family homes, but there's no plans for buildings.

"We're just trying to liquidate what we still have," Dunham said. "There is no demand. People are seeing that a home is not the deal it used to be anyway."