CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Folks see them going up on nearly every corner across the Queen City. Charlotte is experiencing an apartment building boom, fueled by high demand.
Chief Business Correspondent Taylor Young explains what kind of impact this is having on renters in the area. Roughly 30,000 apartment units are under construction across Charlotte.
While it’s giving renters more options to choose from, the demand is shedding light on a housing market that continues to move out of reach for many.
From South End to Plaza Midwood and NoDa, a record amount of apartment buildings are taking form across the Charlotte region.
“Charlotte has always been a magnet, but that magnetism of Charlotte has grown,” Charlotte Center City Partners James Labar said.
Labar said right now, Charlotte is a top-five market for apartment construction, with more people moving to the city daily, apartment companies aren’t struggling to fill units.
“Charlotte’s absorption rate is very high to a really impressive piece,” he said.
While an influx of incomers is contributing to the high demand for rentals, so is the housing market. Economists said right now renting is more affordable than buying a home.
“For a lot of people, even if buying a home is a more expensive option, if you are going to stay in your home long enough, it can still be the better long-run financial choice, but the fact that the gap is so large right now, I think exemplifies the challenges buyers face in the housing market and is one of the reasons why families are choosing to rent instead of buy in this market,” Labar explained.
While renters have seen a near 25 percent increase in rental rates since 2019, during the last five months, there’s been a slight drop.
Economists said in Charlotte, rents have decreased by 2.2 percent since last year while monthly mortgages have skyrocketed due to interest rates.
“So, renters in the Charlotte market are benefiting from the fact that we’ve had this tremendous buildup of rental supply, and that is creating options, a little more flexibility that renters have seen in that market over the past few years.”
While Labar said Charlotte is in need of more homes, having a strong rental market is critical for a growing city.
“It is a critical component of the economic engine of Charlotte that we have the housing to support that talent, or those jobs will start to wither away,” Labar said.
South End is one of the most popular neighborhoods for apartment construction. Right now, there are 3,700 units being built, and 6,000 more in the pipeline.