Apartment construction is on the rise nationwide, and Charlotte is one of the most active markets in the country. Multi-million dollar apartment complexes are springing up as never before to the tune of more than 10,000 apartment units under construction and 10,000 others in the pipeline, primarily in the uptown area, according to Real Data, which tracks apartment markets in portions of the southeast.
David Ravin CEO of Northwood Ravin, has developed uptown apartment complexes. In an appearance on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks, he said developers are simply responding to more residents wanting to live downtown as the economy continues to improve.
"There was a slowdown during the recession so there was pent up demand, so I think it’s a perfect storm in that they’re all entering the market and developers have rushed to meet that demand," Ravin said.
The new rental units tout luxury amenities and many are accessible to the local rail as well as shopping and entertainment centers. All things newcomers and younger professionals are demanding. But those things don’t come cheap. The Charlotte Observer reports rents overall are up by 3 percent from last year and are averaging around $1,600 in the downtown area.
Additionally, with so many new units available in Charlotte, vacancy rates are up by more than one percent. Real Data predicts the city’s current 6.7 percent apartment vacancy rate may increase to 8 percent by next year.
The Census Bureau shows nationally, rental vacancy rates are going down as homeownership has dropped by a little more than one percent in the past year.