Sigh of Relief… as Charlotte Area Rents Give Renters a Break

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A thriving financial, banking and energy center, Charlotte has managed to maintain a certain level of affordability along with its growing popularity. Charlotte apartments for rent cost less than the national average rent, making it an attractive city for young professionals.

After getting hit with a gut-wrenching 9% rent increase in 2015, the Charlotte metro area rents increased by a moderate 4% in 2016. An infusion of about 8,200 new apartments to the market last year helped curb the alarming ascend, giving renters a little break. In spite of the steady growth experienced over the past few years, the average monthly rent in the metropolitan area is sitting at a somewhat reasonable level ($1,071) compared to other cities of similar size, and slightly down from its October 2016 peak.


Suburbs lead the Charlotte metro area in rent growth

With names like Lowe’s, Nucor and Duke Energy as the lifeline for suburban residents, the real estate market in the metro area draws its strength from a healthy local economy. Most suburban markets registered moderate rent price increases in 2016. Two suburbs stand out: Belmont and Gastonia.


A small rental market, Belmont is about to change its motto to: “Welcome to Belmont, NC, where Southern charm rent prices blossom.” The average rent prices went up 11% last year, reaching and exceeding the $1,000/month milestone ($1,007), to become the only town in the Charlotte area to post a double-digit growth in 2016. The city has added only a couple of hundred of new apartments in the past year.

The Western suburb of Gastonia is one of the area’s larger apartment markets, with an average rent of $783 as of the end of December 2016. Rent prices in Gastonia went up 8% in 2016 as compared to 2015. No new large apartment developments were completed in 2016.

These are the most and least expensive rental markets around Charlotte


Southwestern Charlotte rentals had the steepest rent increases

Prices for apartments in the city of Charlotte grew by 4% y-o-y, a visible slowdown after the previous year when prices had climbed approximately 10% in the Queen City. An impressive inventory of approximately 5,800 new apartments opened within the city limits in 2016 in response to the city’s need for more rental housing, which has helped keep rents in check. City renters were paying on average $1,108/month as of the end of December 2016.

The steepest rent increases took place in southwestern 28278 (Steele Creek) by 9.3%, followed by the Eastern zip code 28227 (Wildwoods, Mint Hill, Allen) by 8.8%.  Rents in zip codes 28270 and 28226 (South Charlotte) decreased by -0.7% and -2.5%, respectively. Rents also declined by -3.4% in the centrally-located 28204.

Look up rents in your city in the interactive table below:

CityAverage Rent 2016Average Rent 2015Change Y-o-YUnits Delivered
Rock Hill9058566%370
Lake Wylie10289805%-
Fort Mill113811410%650

Source: Rent prices are actual rents in multi-family properties of 50 or more units, from Yardi Matrix, a RentCafe sister company.

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Nadia Balint is a senior creative writer for RENTCafé. She covers news and trends in residential and commercial real estate and their impact on our everyday life, including rental housing, for-sale housing, real estate development, homeownership, market reports, insurance, landlord-tenant laws, personal finance, urban development, economy, sustainability, and social issues. Nadia holds a B.S. in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. You can connect with Nadia via email.

Nadia’s work and expertise have been quoted by major national and local media outlets, including CNN, CNBC, CBS News, Curbed, The NY Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post as well as industry publications, such as GlobeSt, Bisnow, Inman News, Multifamily Executive, and The Commercial Real Estate Show. Nadia also wrote for Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive, HubSpot, and more. Prior to entering the real estate industry, Nadia worked in the legal field, where she gained over 10 years of experience in business, corporate, and real estate law.

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