The Charlotte Observer reports a growing phenomenon in the downtown housing industry may be tapping out. Tired of waiting in traffic, professionals are increasingly demanding homes closer-in. The only problem is, there is not much real estate left unbuilt in downtown Charlotte. So, people are buying up old homes to demolish them and build new, 3,000-4,000 square feet homes with modern features like energy efficiency, vaulted ceilings, open floor plans, and granite and stainless-steel kitchens. The phenomenon was hot, with hundreds of permits for single-family residential teardowns being pulled in some neighborhoods. Developers could build on spec and be assured of a sale before construction was complete. But demand has been so great that some old houses now cost $500,000 as-is, making it difficult to turn a profit on new construction. One response has been to subdivide lots, which has given neighbors, concerned about the disruptive nature of nonconforming structures, even more ammunition for complaint.