Development

Rent increases are slowing, but Charlotte prices are still going up way faster than average

SkyHouse Apartments amenity deck and construction of phase two apartment tower.
SkyHouse Apartments amenity deck and construction of phase two apartment tower. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Nationally, skeptics are questioning how long the apartment boom can continue as rent gains slow and thousands of new luxury units hit local markets coast-to-coast.

But it still looks like there’s room to run in Charlotte, where rent gains last year outpaced the national average. The average price for a one-bedroom in Charlotte in December, rent-tracking service Zumper reported this week, was $1,110. That’s up a whopping 14.4 percent from the same month last year.

The average two-bedroom rent in Charlotte rose more slowly, climbing 9.3 percent year-over-year to $1,180 in December, Zumper reported.

Nationwide, the rents for a one- and two-bedroom apartment stood at $1,139 and $1,348 last month. The national median rent is up 2.6 percent last year, among listings tracked by Zumper. That means Charlotte, with a booming population and thousands of high-end apartments under construction, saw average rents increase about five times faster than the nation as a whole.

That doesn’t mean rent at every apartment building in Charlotte is up that much, of course. The average is likely being pushed higher by the new, luxury units targeting affluent tenants that are coming online. Or, as another report released this week put it:

“Almost all of today’s vacancies in most locales are found in the very expensive brand new completions moving through initial lease-up. It can be very tough to find available units in the middle-tier to lower-end price ranges.”

That’s from a research report by RealPage, a nationwide firm that also tracks rent. They found that rent in some of the nation’s biggest and priciest markets – including New York, San Francisco and Houston – actually fell in 2016 by more than 1 percent.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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