Officials: Most homes bought so far by people moving into county
Monday, September 10, 2007
The Exponent Telegram
Jim Fisher, Metro Editor
Roughly 85 percent of Charles Pointe’s new homes are being sold to people moving here from other areas, development officials said.
That ratio may start to slide back the other way once S&A Homes begins work on single-family houses in the near future. But for now the vast majority of the growth is not the result of families relocating from other parts of the county.
“We’re getting a lot of people moving here from D.C. or even buying second homes. We’re seeing people from Pittsburgh, Maryland, northern Virginia and the North Carolina area,” said Bill Coy of S&A Homes, the exclusive home builder at Charles Pointe.
So far, S&A has 62 homes either built or under construction, including 48 last year and 12 in 2005, making Charles Pointe the fastest-growing area of the county.
For comparison, there have been five building permits approved for new home construction so far this year in Clarksburg, seven in 2005-06 combined and five in 2004.
Shinnston City Manager Debra Herndon said she could only remember one new home being constructed in recent years. But once the development where that house was built begins selling lots, there should be more new homes going up, she said.
The biggest impact on Shinnston’s housing market has been the construction of a new 48-unit apartment complex, Herndon said, which already has 30 apartments rented.
Karen Lee, administrative assistant in Bridgeport’s Community Development Office, said there have been 26 building permits this year, 46 in 2006 and 39 in 2005.
Coy, who has worked in 12 of S&A Homes’ 18 offices, said the company has been pleasantly surprised by the rapid growth of the housing market at Charles Pointe.
Usually the company goes into an area, builds 50-100 homes and is finished.
“But this is a 15-year project, so we’re going to be here a while,” Coy said. “This has been a very fast-moving development for us."
Despite the fact that most of the homes are averaging around $300,000, officials with Charles Pointe developer Genesis Partners said early studies showed there was a good market for such upscale housing.
“We know that there is the demand for quality housing,” said Rob Stuart, development director for Genesis. “What we’ve experienced so far is that people are willing to pay that for the quality of life that exists here."
Since Charles Pointe is a planned community, practically every detail was mapped out years ago, long before the first shovel of dirt was turned. And that includes the different levels of housing – from duplexes to single-family homes ranging in price from the low six figures to more than a million.
“It’s really exceeding our expectations, to be honest with you,” said Jamie Corton, managing partner of Genesis. “We’ve got probably four different developments right now, and I can’t wait to get into the single-family homes.”
Stuart said there are plans for about 300 single-family houses, mostly in the South Land Bay.
“I think when we get into that … we will experience some relocation (of county residents),” he said. “I don’t think we’ll see the 85 percent when we get to the single-family homes.
“The pace right now is a little surprising,” he said. “Of course, the market can always change … but it’s pretty dag-gone strong right now.”