Zillow: Charlotte rent prices among the fastest growing in the U.S.

It’s getting more expensive to rent nationwide, and new data show Charlotte’s rental market is one of the fastest growing in the U.S.

The median rent in Charlotte rose 6.1 percent year over year in January, compared to the national growth rate of 3.3 percent, according to a report released Friday from real estate data firm Zillow. The median rent in Charlotte is $1,235, compared with $1,350 nationally.

Demand for rental units has driven up prices across the U.S. and income growth generally has not been able to keep up. According to Zillow, Americans should expect to spend about 30 percent of their incomes on rent as opposed to the historic norms of around 25 percent.

Zillow reported that the other markets with the fastest growing rental markets include Denver, Kansas City, Nashville and Portland.

“More supply will help ease the crunch, both from new construction and as current renters transition into homeownership, creating more vacancies in existing developments,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “But neither will happen overnight.”

The thousands of apartment units popping up all over Charlotte have prompted many to wonder whether the city is headed toward a bubble. But the increased number of rentals likely will push vacancy rates up eventually, some experts say, slowing rent growth.

As is the case nationwide, home values in Charlotte rose at a slower rate than rents. In the U.S., home price growth slowed for a ninth straight month in January to 5.4 percent, Zillow reported, and Charlotte’s home value growth rate matched the national rate.

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