Rent in Charlotte is still going up – but not quite as fast

The Gibson under construction at Central and Louise Avenue in 2015.
The Gibson under construction at Central and Louise Avenue in 2015.

There’s good news and bad news if you’re a renter in Charlotte.

The good news: Rent isn’t going up as quickly as last year, according to the latest numbers from Axiometrics, an apartment-tracking firm.

The bad news: Rent is still going up, a trend that’s likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The average rent for an apartment in the Charlotte market totaled $1,031 in July, according to Axiometrics. That’s up 4.4 percent from the same month a year ago.

Despite the total increase, the rate of growth has slowed. In July 2015, rents were going up at an annual rate of 5.9 percent. One reason for the slowdown is that developers are continuing to build a record number of new apartments, almost all of them high-end units in desirable, dense neighborhoods. Developers are expected to add about 9,200 new apartments in the Charlotte market this year and 6,300 next year.

Still, the vacancy rate remains low, and almost all apartments in Charlotte are full. The occupancy rate for July was 95.7 percent, up from 95.5 percent a year ago despite added supply, and above the national average occupancy rate of 95.1 percent. With Charlotte employers adding 29,400 new jobs in the 12-month period leading up to June 2015, Axiometrics said Charlotte is adding more population to drive the apartment market.

“Charlotte remains a very strong apartment market,” said Stephanie McCleskey, vice president of research at the firm.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo