The Charlotte market has been on a steady slope for years now. However, more recently, Charlotte natives and newcomers have noticed that their rent has reflected the city’s rapid development.
According to a report According to Apartment List, an online marketplace for rental listings, Charlotte’s year-over-year rent increase of 17.2% tops the national average of 15.3%.
Last month, the average rent for a studio apartment in Charlotte was $1,607, while a one-bedroom apartment was $1,617. The average for two bedrooms was $1,963 and the average price for a 3-bedroom apartment was $2,201, Apartment List reported.
Although Charlotte’s rental market has recently softened, there’s no denying that the average rent is still relatively high.
The driver behind Charlotte’s rent hike
Matt Stone, broker and managing partner at Matt Stone Real Estate in Charlotte, says the dramatic increase in rents over the past year is nothing out of the ordinary compared to other metropolitan cities.
“Rent in Charlotte has followed similar percentage increases to other metros our size,” Stone told the Charlotte Observer.
However, despite the similarities, Charlotte’s housing stock hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand driven by the rapid growth the city has experienced over the past decade, Stone said.
“The available housing stock has not kept pace with population growth since the crash of 2008,” Stone said. “We believe this is the main driver of the imbalance between supply and demand.”
A fast growing product
According most recent projections by the United States Census Bureau, Charlotte currently averages more than 2,400 people per square mile. Since 2010, Charlotte’s population has grown by more than 148,000 people.
Last year, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute published a report which revealed that low-cost rental options in the area were steadily dwindling. In 2011, 45% of the market consisted of rentals under $800 per month. By 2019, that percentage had dropped to 22%.
“Meanwhile, the demand for affordable housing has not diminished,” the report said. “The population of Mecklenburg County has increased by 20% between 2010 and 2019. As a result, households are forced to ‘rent’, spending more on housing costs than is considered affordable. »
According to the report, if a household’s monthly housing costs exceed 30% of their gross monthly income, the tenant is considered “cost-burdened.” The most recent data shows that in 2019, more than 83,000 tenants in the county of Mecklenburg, or around 44%, fell into this category.