Although typically a smaller segment of the housing market than single-family homes, plans for townhomes and other attached housing types have been on the rise in the Wilmington area as land prices increase and some portions of the population seek them out.
"I definitely think that there's a strong market for lower-maintenance, smaller residences," said Tony Harrington, of the Property Shop International Realty and president of Cape Fear Realtors. "I think that we're seeing an uptick of people downsizing."
One of the latest plans involves a 22-unit townhome development on property at 4725 S. College Road, according to a community meeting notice
posted on the county's website this week.
"This proposal would require a Conditional Zoning District approval from New Hanover County," wrote Cindee Wolf of Design Solutions in the notice. "A Conditional Zoning District allows particular uses to be established only in accordance with specific standards and conditions pertaining to each individual development project."
The notice did not name the developer involved in the proposal. The community meeting is scheduled to be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Arab Shrine Club, 4510 S. College Road.
Housing that makes the most of smaller pieces of land and capitalizes on the preference shown by some baby boomers as they retire and other segments, including some millennials.
The sizes and prices of townhouses and condos vary widely, Harrington said. Certain townhomes can cost as much or more as a single-family house while others are suitable for entry-level buyers.
"It can be a very wide range," Harrington said. "But I think most that move into a townhouse, condo or duplex like to have less maintenance that they're having to keep up with."
Such housing types have been more common in some recent plans.
"We are seeing a lot of developers now seeking to do some form of attached housing, whether it be duplex or townhome or even multifamily in the county," said Brad Schuler, senior planner with New Hanover. "Folks are trying to diversify the housing type that they have in subdivisions."