The real estate scene in Lexington sure is changing. Guess it always has, but this years it seems to be doing it quicker.
What’s hot and what’s not has been pretty static around here for a long time. Other than Kenwick getting trendy and all the flopped new downtown condo projects, this town has always been about the middle of the road, safe and predictable neighborhoods in decent school districts. People who wanted older houses wanted in 40502 or the older neighborhoods on the south end of town that were inside New Circle. People who wanted newer homes looked around Man O War. There was always plenty of new construction going on all over town.
Now it seems that new construction has slowed down. You’d think since we are running out of room inside of Fayette County, that new construction would be on fire right now. Especially after all the slow years of the bad market. It did bounce back strong in 2013, but has slowed since. All the national news I read about it indicates the same is happening everywhere.
I am seeing more and more people wanting older houses. They are rejecting the cookie cutter neighborhoods. Many are considering neighborhoods on the north end of town.
All this is pretty interesting to me, both professionally and personally. I have to keep up with it so I can give my clients the good advice they deserve. I also like to think about why we are seeing this shift?
I think a lot of this has to do with shows like Property Brothers and sites like Houzz.com. People want a house with character more than ever now. After several years of a bad economy, people now feel safe to renovate their houses. I think people are spending more time at home due to being so connected online. It only makes sense that people want to create their own oasis to be in while they spend all their time connecting with the world through their phones.
I once had an out of town client tell me that the Lexington market is very broad but not deep. We tend to have the same 10 floor plans build by the same builder throughout all of Lexington. It is almost like 3 easy step: 1) Pick your floor plan. 2) Pick which part of town you want to be in. 3) Pick if you want that house to have been build in the 90s or 2000s. I had another client from New York tell me he wanted a contemporary or modern house. He didn’t get one because we have so few. People today are just not excited about living in a modern day Levittown. (Google that if you don’t know what I mean.)
Lexington doesn’t have the sprawl like a real city does. We keep adding people but we don’t expand the geographic boundaries of the town. That means more density, which means more traffic. People are wanting more than ever to be closer to amenities they frequently use. That is one reason the older neighborhoods are doing so well right now.
As prices have returned to 2005 levels but wages have not, you don’t get as much for your money. That is why we are seeing some people look on the north end of town. You get more for your money there. This is especially true for many first time buyers. An older house on the north end of town is a real bargain today. Also, the north end of Lexington is a great spot for younger buyers who want to be close to all the new spots along North Limestone.
Well, I’m over 600 words now. I could go on and on. Bottom line is that buyer tastes are shifting in this town and it is kind of exciting to me.