At Least 15 Apartment Communities in Forsyth County Have Been Sold in 12 Months

The Winston-Salem Journal ran a story in its June 8 edition highlighting the sale of 15 apartment communities in Forsyth County, and just today (June 20) another two were announced. The June 8 article does a nice job summarizing the many factors that contribute to the spike in transactions – demographics, lifestyle, costs – but one facet of the transactions that they pick up on is something that has been observed over the last year by apartment industry observers: a significant increase in out-of-town buyers of apartments. From the June 8 article:

Yet, there have been six apartment-complex purchases in Forsyth over the past three months, all by out-of-region and out-of-state buyers.

“Investors are trying to find what few pockets of value there are left in the apartment market,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist for Wells Fargo Securities.

“Prices have been bid up so much in larger markets, such as Charlotte, Raleigh and Nashville, that investors are increasingly looking to markets that have been overlooked and show great potential for growth.

“Winston-Salem and Greensboro are at the top of the list of overlooked markets.”

If you’re wondering what the price points were for the transactions, we did a little “back of the napkin” calculating using the information from the article and some data we have in our membership files and found the following;

Those 15 communities have a total of 2,349 units and the combined total of sales prices was $136,640,000, or $58,169 per unit.

Carolina Woods Latest in a String of Winston-Salem Apartment Transactions

The Winston-Salem Journal ran a fairly in-depth article on the sale of Carolina Woods and the plans the new owner has for the community. Here’s a taste:

The Carolina Woods apartment community near Bethabara Park will go through a major renovation initiative as part of its new owner’s push into the North Carolina and Southeast metro markets…

Weiss owns and manages more than 600 multifamily units, more than 20,000 square feet of commercial space, and an 89-room boutique hotel, banquet hall and restaurant.

However, until it closed on the Carolina Woods community, all of its investments were in New Jersey and New York.”

The article also had an interesting bit of info about all of the apartment transactions in Winston-Salem over the last six months:

“The others include: 213-unit Loxley Chase in Winston-Salem selling for $16.25 million; 234-unit Morgan Place in Clemmons for $14.3 million; 204-unit Twin City Townhomes in Winston-Salem for $10.15 million; 144-unit Salem Crest in Winston-Salem for $7.5 million; 96-unit Woodlawn in Winston-Salem for $3.5 million; and the 49-unit apartment complex at 1976 Maryland Ave. in Winston-Salem for $1.45 million. “

Kernersville #12, Rural Hall #18 in SatisFacts’ Top 25 Recommended Cities

Source SatisFacts

Satisfacts released a list of the Top 25 Recommended Cities and three North Carolina cities were included: Holly Springs (#7), Kernersville (#12) and Holly Springs (#18). Here’s how SatisFacts described their process in creating the list:

The top two factors that heavily influence the overall experience and willingness to recommend a community is the Office Staff and Maintenance. With the average for the top cities being 4.53 out of 5 vs. the national average score of 3.23 out of 5. In addition, maintenance was the second factor that set these communities apart. With the top 25 cities averaging a  score of 4.55 out of 5 vs. the national average of 3.33 out of 5. 


To calculate results, we used the lower bound of the “Wilson Score” confidence interval rather than the “average” to calculate recommend scores. For cities with fewer reviews, we determined, with 95% confidence, that the number of reviews was significant enough to represent the percentage the city was recommended. 

Hawthorne at the Grove Sold to St. Louis Firm

Hawthorne at the Grove, located in Kernersville, has been sold to St. Louis-based Thiemann Real Estate for $28.1 million, or $130,000 a door. From the Triad Business Journal:

Hawthorne at the Grove, which is located at 1014 Grays Land Road, was built in 2016.

The community consists of 216 apartments on 21 acres. The average square foot per unit is 1,109.

NIMBYism in Clemmons

The Clemmons planning board voted to recommend against a proposed 108-unit apartment community, and their meeting was overflowing with residents opposed to the project. The board cited the developer’s refusal to improve the right-of-way or to add more integrated uses to its plans as the reason for voting against the rezoning, but neighbors cited their own concerns about the nature of the apartments in and of themselves when they spoke against the project. From the Winston-Salem Journal:

Tony Smith, acting on behalf of his family, said he would like to sell the land for the apartments to Mills Construction of Raleigh, which manages about 38 properties, mostly in eastern North Carolina…

The apartments, Smith said, would help meet a need for more affordable housing in Clemmons…

Paul Whitener, representing 300 houses in the Old Meadowbrook Homeowners Association, said his group would not support apartments for that property, saying they are concerned about trespassing and the impact on local schools.

“There are several things we could support,” he said, naming such things as single-family homes, a small-scale retirement community and a small-scale mixed-use development that would combine businesses and residences.

Smith said after the meeting he plans to present information to the council that shows the lack of affordable housing in Clemmons.

“People think this is subsidized housing, and it’s not,” Smith said.

Kernersville Multi-Use Development Will Have 500 Apartments

Welden Village, a 385-acre, mixed-used development proposed in Kernersville that is a “traditional” neighborhood development (TND), will include 500 apartments, 306 of which are being built by Parr Construction later this year. Here’s a description of the project from an article in the Triad Business Journal:

Instead of a development based on “pods” of similar homes, Arden plans to create one integrated walkable community with well-connected streets where residents can make short walks to parks, open spaces, civic amenities and new retail spaces. Traditional neighborhood development, sometimes referred to as neotraditional design or New Urbanism, harkens back to how neighborhoods were developed prior to World War II – before automobiles changed the dynamics…

The plans for Welden include three single-family areas with about 1,400 homes as well as about 200 townhomes and 500 apartment units. Rhodes said about 30 acres would be used for a commercial village…

Next up is Welden Park Apartments, a 306-unit complex adjacent to the village center, built by Triad-based Parr Construction. Kernersville approved a site plan in March, and construction is scheduled to begin late this summer, according to Rhodes.

Madison Hall Apartments (Clemmons) Sells for $9.5 Million

Colorado-based Interurban Companies recently closed on its purchase of Madison Hall Apartments in Clemmons from Ginkgo Investment Co. The 128-unit community sold for $9.5 million ($74,218 a door) and Interurban is in the process of making some upgrades to the property.

Interurban Companies of Centennial, Colo., closed on its $9.5 million acquistion of Madison Hall Apartments in Clemmons on Jan. 11, and began what CEO Bill Doogan termed “light upgrades” to the exterior of buildings, landscaping and amenities…

Interurban came into the Triad for the first time in January 2016 when it purchased Stadler Place, a 144-unit complex in Greensboro.

Key Takeaway From This Morning’s Industry Forecast Breakfast

This morning PTAA held its Industry Forecast Breakfast featuring a presentation by Real Data’s Charles Dalton. He shared lots of data, but probably the most important takeaway is this: demand will exceed supply for at least the next 12-18 months. That means, unless something unforeseen happens, we’ll likely see rents continue to rise and vacancy rates continue to fall.

You can get a copy of Real Data’s latest market report at

You can also read our blog post about the report here.

Forsyth County Housing Still Considered Affordable

A recent RealtyTrac report finds that housing in Forsyth County is still affordable. From the Winston-Salem Journal:

RealtyTrac, a national real-estate research company, said average homeowners in Forsyth needed to put 22.9 percent of their monthly household wages toward their mortgage during the first quarter. The data is available only by county.

The affordability range was based on a wage of $883 a week for an $111,994 house with a 3 percent mortgage interest rate. Historically, the average homeowner spent 25.6 percent of household wages for the mortgage.

RealtyTrac has maintained a “buy” recommendation for the Forsyth housing market, based on a $1,059 monthly rent-to-own payment requiring nearly 30 percent of the average household income.

Here are numbers for other urban counties in the state:

For Guilford County, the RealtyTrac report determined 24.2 percent of weekly wages was required to buy a $144,500 home, the median sales price in the market.

For Mecklenburg County, the report determined 25.5 percent of weekly wages was required for a $208,000 home, the median sales price in the market.

For Mecklenburg County, the report determined 25.5 percent of weekly wages was required for a $208,000 home, the median sales price in the market.

Forsyth County Approves Plans for 66-Unit Community

County commissioners in Forsyth County approved plans for a 66-unit apartment community near the Davidson County line:

Gardner Capital Development plans to build The Reserve at Hickory Commons on a 5.36-acre plot of undeveloped land at 1295 Hartman Plaza Drive, south of Fishel Road.

The plans include four two- and three-story apartment buildings and a clubhouse.