Local News

Apartment Glut Makes Finding a Bargain Easier

Posted August 19, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— A few years ago, there were not enough apartments in the Triangle -- demand exceeded supply. Now the opposite situation could mean big savings for you.

Developers have been building to fill demand for several years. There are nearly 6,000 new apartments under construction currently, and another 8,500 are on the drawing board.

But some existing complexes are having a hard time filling the vacancies they have, which is why experts are calling this a "renter's market."

August is usually the busiest time of year for apartment rentals, but that is not the case this August. The vacancy rate is 7.3 percent, in part because of new construction which is up from last year.

More vacancies than usual mean more bargains. Complexes are trying to fill their units by offering incentives, like free electricity.

"If you're willing to do a six-month lease or longer, you can get a special or concession of some sort, whether it's a month's free rent that can be prorated over the lease term, or a free washer and dryer with your lease term or something like that," says Jennifer Fletcher of A Rental Solution.

Four Seasons Apartments' Angela Callison agrees. "If you were to sign for a year, you'd get a month free. If you sign for six to eleven months, you get half a month free," she says.

Insiders say both new and older apartment complexes have to offer incentives to stay competitive.

Apartment hunters who are looking for a deal will also find bargains that are not advertised. "Everybody is offering incentives right now," Callison says. "When you do a market survey, they might not tell you they are. But you do hear from everybody that's looking that they are offering specials of some sort."

Deals are expected to last through the new year, since the time between August and the winter holidays is typically a slow one for apartment complexes.

But you will not find bargains at every apartment complex. Analysts say new communities near RTP do not have to offer deals because their location is in such high demand.