I would love to see a story on the demographics of who is purchasing in the Woodlands of Charlottesville, a new condo development about a mile from the University’s of Virginia’ Main Grounds. This story in the WSJ notes broadly that they may not be getting the buyers the expected.
Developers across the country are appealing to young buyers — many of them single, almost all without children — with buildings that promise not just an affordable first home but also a great social life. The amenities tell the story: videogame lounges and outdoor fire pits, rooftop soaking tubs, on-site bars and poolside drinks.
But it’s not so easy to control demographics in the open market. Some of the buildings are drawing unexpected buyers: people old enough to be the parents of the kids down the hall. And that’s leading to territorial conflicts, social snubs — even planned boardroom coups.
Much of the story strikes me as being potential fair housing violations – see this graphic for example:
I have been trained (and raised) not to target the people, but the property, even though it seems to be human nature to want to live with “people like us.” Couldn’t the targeting of singles be construed as discriminating based on familial status?
This targeting of developments to this younger, hipper demographic is the same as families wanting to be in neighborhoods with other families – perhaps one of the most common, innocuous requests that I am asked – yet as a Realtor cannot answer.
(Note: I think the Woodlands are going to be a great community, despite the fact that they clear-cut the woods to build the ironically-named development)