Development

Your rent is probably still going up in Charlotte

The Gibson. This is under construction at Central and Louise Avenue.
The Gibson. This is under construction at Central and Louise Avenue. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

If you’re a Charlotte renter, you’ve probably been hoping all these new apartments under construction around town will provide some relief from rising rents. If so, bad news: New data from research firm Axiometrics shows that’s not likely.

Here are the numbers:

▪ Annual rent growth was 5.9 percent in July – well ahead of inflation and wages.

▪ Charlotte rents averaged $972 a month, up $54 from the July 2014 average of $918.

▪ Apartments were, on average, 95.5 percent full in July, up slightly from last year. Axiometrics considers a market “essentially full” at 95 percent or above, so we’re full. Translation: “Vacant apartments are at a premium, allowing landlords to push rents.”

▪ “Charlotte’s diverse employment base experienced 3.3% job growth in June,” said Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics vice president of research, in a statement. “More than 35,000 jobs were added ... over the past 12 months, which increases apartment demand. Axiometrics’ proprietary Supply/Demand Model shows Charlotte supply and demand almost in equilibrium, which means that the new supply is being absorbed.”

And it’s all coming at a time when affordable rental units are getting harder to find in Charlotte, especially as older buildings are torn down to make way for new, upscale apartments.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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