Local News

Apartment Boom Is a Renter's Boon

Posted July 31, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— If you are in the market for an apartment, now is a good time to get picky. Apartment complexes are going up faster than developers can fill them, and that gives renters more room to negotiate.

According toKarnes Research, the Triangle's apartment vacancy rate has hit more than 8 percent -- the highest level in nine years. Researchers believe the vacancy rate will continue to rise.

"It's over the winter months that we're expecting vacancy rates to go up, and again, that's where you see a high rate of development," says Michael Williams with Karnes Research. "But demand goes down over the wintertime, because you generally have less people moving into the market."

Many communities like Crossroads Commons on Jones Franklin Road have offered a rent-free month, free travel and free furniture to get people inside their gates. Those special premiums do attract new tenants, says Crossroads Commons' Jennifer Curry.

"That's exactly why we run them, because we know there is so much competition here in the area in Cary and Raleigh. That is a way to get people to be enticed in our community," she says.

Another complex is under construction behind Crossroads.

The latest statistics show more than 7,900 new rental units are now being built in the Triangle, and another 8,659 are on the drawing board.

Compare that with an average of about 3,000 new renters each year, and you can see how the numbers add up nicely for people who are looking to rent.

The high vacancy rate may keep rental rates steady for awhile, but do not expect the prices to drop. The Triangle is still one of the most expensive rental areas in the South.

The average two-bedroom apartment goes for $760 a month. The same apartment in a new complex costs an average $916 a month.