Development

Rush of new apartment openings will test Charlotte market in 2016

Construction continues at the Asbury Flats apartments west of uptown Charlotte Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015.
Construction continues at the Asbury Flats apartments west of uptown Charlotte Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

A flood of new apartment buildings opening next year will add thousands of high-end units, testing whether the trend of fast-rising rent can continue or whether landlords will have to offer concessions and lower rent to fill buildings.

So far, developers are optimistic. They’re building 12,300 apartments in Charlotte and preparing to start construction on even more. And the latest forecasts have been rosy as well. Commercial brokerage CBRE recently predicted that demand will outpace supply for at least two years in Charlotte.

Still, it’s hard not to be a bit wary when you see the sheer number of new apartments that have just opened or are opening in 2016. Check out the map below.

Keep in mind, this is just projects that are opening – it doesn’t include apartments that opened earlier in 2015 or that are set for completion in 2017 (If you see I missed a project, send me an email and I’ll add it).

Average rent in Charlotte has been going up fast, driven both by new people moving to the city and people relocating within Charlotte to popular, close-in, urban areas. Older buildings are also being torn down and replaced with new, luxury apartments (The Colony in SouthPark, for example).

As a result, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Charlotte hit $1,100 this year, up 8 percent from a year ago, according to a study by ApartmentList.com.

So, what do you think? Do you believe the forecasts that demand will keep increasing and push rent higher, or do you think we’re getting close to the top of the apartment boom?

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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