Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Story: 'The town Bank of America took down'

The Globe and Mail, considered Canada's national newspaper, is the latest publication to weigh in on Charlotte's change of fortune after the banking meltdown.

Click here to read the story.

Like an October story in the Washington Post, it contrasts the city's rapid growth and heady optimism with current struggles after the boom.

One anecdote describes Realtor Suzanne Moorfield, shown in this Associated Press photo in a Ballantyne Country Club home she is trying to sell.

Reporter Barrie McKenna writes:

“There was a little bit of arrogance,” agreed Suzanne Moorfield, a real estate agent with Allen Tate Realtors who for nine years has helped dozens of bankers buy in, and buy up. “It seemed like we would do nothing but boom and boom.”


And then last fall, it all came to abrupt halt, like a golf ball landing in a sand trap.

Now, Ms. Moorfield is helping some of those same bankers downsize. She's also helping banks rid themselves of repossessed mansions.

Where buyers once lined up to buy $1-million (U.S.) and $2-million homes, many are now in over their heads, living in homes that are now worth less than what they owe. This year, nearly a quarter of the 35 homes Ms. Moorfield sold were bank-owned.

She points to lavish custom-built homes located on a rise on the edge of the lush and manicured Ballantyne golf course. Built for more than $1-million, Ms. Moorefield has listed the home at a fire-sale price of $709,000.

- Doug Miller

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I welcome it. Because of the meltdown, I can now afford to relocate the family to the Raintree area of Charlotte for significantly better schools. Houses that were once WAY out of range are suddenly within reach. I can *almost* afford Myers Park now...

Anonymous said...

Who proofs these headlines?

Anonymous said...

What's funny about that article is that it has a lot of incorrect information. For instance, 16% office vacancy? It's more like 8-9%. It will be higher once the new Duke Energy Center and BofA building finishes, but those buildings are 90% and 60-70% leased already. 2,000 jobs lost? Last I checked there's been about a couple hundred net jobs losses b/c of the Wells/Wachovia merger. Wells is now hiring here as well. They barely make mention of the other fortune 500 companies here or CMC which is the city's largest employer. Also gotta love the anti-American sentiment that Canadians have in the comments.

Anonymous said...

and now conditions in the Toronto area are eerily similar to the Charlotte real estate market in 2007.

An article from today's Globe is calling for a significant real estate crash:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/commentary/housing-market-has-big-cracks/article1400535/

As is another from yesterday:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/merrill-warns-of-housing-bubble/article1400028/

late to peak, late to pop....

Anonymous said...

Another bizarre and inaccurate article. In the big picture, not many financial jobs have actually been lost, at least yet. And I'm not sure how Bank of America has much if anything to do with that. I mean, whether or not money is dropped at the Capital Grille is less about personal income and more about corporate financial controls, not at all the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh please!!! Like we have been ruined and the rest of the country is thriving!

Anonymous said...

hey, it could be worse. WE could live in CANADA. ugh.

Anonymous said...

"There was a little bit of arrogance..."

Yep, sounds like Charlotte alright.

Anonymous said...

What a BS article. Charlotte is much more than a Banking town. Jobs have been lost but not 2000.
BTW I live downtown and you are lucky to get seated at Capital Grille, Morton's,Chima,Bentley's without a reservation.

Anonymous said...

As a Charlotte native, I am almost glad this happened. It will most likely slow and/or stop the unending flow of Northerners to Charlotte that have been overburdening our schools and roads and overpricing our housing. We are surviving because we live a modest lifestyle in a house less than 2,000 square feet. No one needs a McMansion and I'm glad they are being downsized. Ballantyne isn't really Charlotte; it's a mini New Yawk City (yuk). Stay where you are Yanks! Your gravy train has broken down. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

It boils down to living within your means. Too many people feel entitled to live in a $1 million dollar how their Realtor (and everyone else) says they can afford... when they really can't. But then, the buyer is always right...

Anonymous said...

Those posted jobs are a smoke screen so they can get Gov money if not posting new jobs but they are not filling the postions. Those of us who have been looking for jobs can tell you first hand how hard white collar jobs are to obtain. If you want to work for pennies even with 12 or more years experience there are many jobs but if you have a family to support then we go hungry or look else where for jobs.
Talk to the recuriter in Charlotte and they can tell you the facts. Until banking stablised Charlotte jobs are tough to get expecially in IT and Banking.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how another newspaper's story about Charlotte is considered news to the Charlotte Observer?

Typical Charlotte - it's all about PR.

Anonymous said...

"Ballantyne isn't really Charlotte; it's a mini New Yawk City (yuk)." - as an ex-noo yawka, i can tell you dere ain' nuthin' in noo yawk that remotely resembles ballantyne. ballantyne is too new and too nice. pricewise, yes, there are mansion prices there, but not for mansions. they are apartments - sold as co-ops and condos, many in old buildings converted from rentals, many small, many roach (and otherwise) infested, and all too ridiculously overpriced. it is much nicer here, but the good news is, charlotte is still a relative secret (or big yawn) up there. atlanta and florida are still the big names and relocation magnets. maybe not what they once were, but much more so than charlotte. thankfully.

Anonymous said...

Oh, those wacky Canadians. Everyone knows finance can only take place on Wall Street.

And 3:54, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Are you really this provincial and insecure? I'm a Charlotte native and I welcome all the newcomers who like Charlotte, will hopefully grow to love it and contribute to its future success.

I've lived in New York, LA, SF and Atlanta, all great cities in their own right and I love them all. I love my hometown, too.

Everyone stop complaining and pitch in. We have a bright future.

Anonymous said...

Moved from Charlotte, NC to Canada in 2008. I am sad to see such an overall decline in the city I once enjoyed. But overall, the markets needed to correct and the bubble needed to burst to remain on par with historical norms. Unfortunately the same "reset" is likely to happen here with the Canadian housing market, which, contrary those thinned skinned posters who cannot take criticism (especially from Canada), was the point of the informative article, to serve as a warning. One major difference here (besides my free health care) is that mortgage rates reset every 3-5 years. 0 down is also illegal. This tends to make many people think twice before taking on a jumbo mortgage....a la Ballantyne. But Mark Carney of the central bank of Canada has not learned from Greenspan's mistakes. Near zero interest rates and we are neck deep in a real estate bubble.......about to burst. Sound familiar? BTW Anybody want to buy my house is Charlotte? 40% off!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:54, wow. That is some backwards thinking. Everyone (aside from the Native Americans) moved from somewhere. Would you propose a fence-like border around the QC so northerners won't drive on your roads? And, just because someone comes from the north does not mean they want a mansion. That hardly makes sense. I have never seen larger homes than when I moved to Charlotte, I can't imagine that they are solely occupied by Northerners. I would think in the year 2009 I wouldn't find people willing to disparage others based solely on their origin. I thought wrong. What ever happened to the golden rule?

Anonymous said...

I hate ignorant Charlotte natives like Anonymous 3:54. Such a bitter person. I hate to burst your bubble, but Charlotte is not going to stop growing. Should I cry for you now or later?

Anonymous said...

I don't see the sense between the headline and the subject of the article either. Where did I miss the connection?

At any rate, I've only lived in this area for a couple of years and I love it here. Came from the North too but only as far as KY. LOL

I hope the Charlotte are continues to do well. There are a lot of good reasons to live here and I'd say the people are number one. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year.

Anonymous said...

Really? The people? I think they are the worst thing about here, especially the Charlotte native who posted at 3:54pm who said:

"It will most likely slow and/or stop the unending flow of Northerners to Charlotte that have been overburdening our schools and roads and overpricing our housing. Ballantyne isn't really Charlotte; it's a mini New Yawk City (yuk). Stay where you are Yanks! Your gravy train has broken down. Thank God."

What a miserable person!

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