Development

Renting in Charlotte? Bad news - our costs are going up faster than the national average

A rendering of Lennar Multifamily’s planned new apartments at the former Pepsi Bottling Ventures plant on South Boulevard.
A rendering of Lennar Multifamily’s planned new apartments at the former Pepsi Bottling Ventures plant on South Boulevard.

If you’re looking for a new apartment to rent in Charlotte, the experts at Axiometrics have some bad news: Rents in the region are still increasing faster than the national average.

The average rent for a Charlotte apartment rose 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s well above the nationwide increase of 2.3 percent.

But the rate of increase seems to be slowing. Nationwide, rents in the fourth quarter 2015 were increasing at an annual rate of 4.6 percent – twice as fast as they are now. Still, experts aren’t predicting rents will actually fall anytime soon.

“Though the market has moderated, it’s important to stress that we’ve seen a very strong market for more than six years,” said Jay Denton, Axiometrics senior vice president of analytics, in a statement. “Axiometrics had predicted this moderation, since the market could not sustain the peak of 2014 and 2015. Now, we’re forecasting that though rent growth may fall below the long-term average for periods in 2017, it will remain positive, with a rebound expected in 2018 and 2019.”

In October, the annual rate of increase for Charlotte rents was 4.3 percent, according to Axiometrics, so the 3.6 percent figure represents a moderation.

The percentage of apartments occupied in the Charlotte region is also higher than the national average: A total of 95.3 percent of local apartments were filled in the fourth quarter. That’s compared to 94.7 percent nationwide.

Oh, and if you’re thinking of buying? Charlotte home prices are rising faster than the national average as well.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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