CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Rising rents across Charlotte are forcing younger millennials into the housing market. Now some are paying less per month for a new townhome compared to their previous apartment.  

“The primary reason was the rent,” Sumant Gupta said.  

For two years, Gupta and his wife lived in an apartment in uptown paying close to $2,000 a month for rent.  

“The is just money going down the drain,” he said.  

The average rent for a one-bedroom in Charlotte is around $1,600. Nationally, rent has risen 32 percent since 2017, outpacing some monthly mortgages.  

“If I do a 1-mile radius, there are 15 new communities,” broker and owner of Queen City House Hunters Shawn Gerald said.  

Out of the 80 homes he sold last year, Gerald says 35 of them were townhomes. The previous year he said he sold five such properties.  

“Townhomes really became a viable option for first-time home buyers,” he said. “Now, a lot of them didn’t think they wanted townhomes. They all wanted space, but then when you walk into one, now all of a sudden it feels like a home.” 

Homebuilder Tri Pointe Homes has a townhome community under construction in north Charlotte. The company came to the Charlotte market in 2019 and expects to build more than 400 townhomes by the end of the year.  

“The millennial first-time buyer doesn’t have a home and an existing mortgage at 3 percent,” division president Gray Shell said. “They are comparing their monthly mortgage to their rent payment and a 6.5 percent mortgage rate actually works for them.” 

One of those millennials is Gupta. He purchased his townhome in January, paying less now monthly than he did while living in his apartment.  

“It kind of made no sense after we saw this house and compared the mortgages, it made no sense for us to move our lease and we decided to get out,” Gupta said.  

The high end of those Tri Pointe townhomes in north Charlotte are listed around $310,000.