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Everywhere You Turn, An Apartment's on the Rise

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CARY — If you're apartment hunting, you may be in luck. A new study releasedthis week suggests the Triangle's apartment market is taking a turn inyour favor.

It's just a matter of numbers. While the Triangle continues to grow andgrow fast, so does the number of developers trying to cash in on thatgrowth. According to a new independent study, the developers are leadingthe race, and that means, at least for now, renters win.

No matter where you turn, there's another one going up -- another hugeapartment complex. In fact, right now there are 3,500 apartment unitsunder construction and developers have plans to start construction onanother 5,000 units in the next few months.

Eric Karnes has studied the Triangle's rental market for months puttingtogether a study for the Triangle Apartment Association. Karnes says thecurrent vacancy rate is 5.2%. He expects it to rise to a 10% vacancy rateover the next 12 to 18 months.

Karnes says what used to be a landlord's market is now becomingsomething of a tenant's market. In other words, it's a good time tobe renting an apartment.

Rental rates could drop, but Karnes predicts there will probably bemore specials instead, and more concessions for tenants. If you pick upan Apartment Guide you can see the competition. But not all landlords areworried.

At Deerwood at Preston Apartments in Cary, they're still seeing a lot ofpotential renters coming in. One rental agent says an average of 35 to 40people comethrough every week, many of them looking to move in this fall.

But with every new apartment complex, the apartment vacancy roller coasterrises just a little more. Karnes believes that effect is part of a normalcycle that happens over a long period of years.

Karnes expects the vacancy rate to top out in the spring of next year.Then, the developers will probably return and availability will drop again.

If you're apartment hunting, here are some tips to keep inmind:

  • Don't put down any money unless you are sure you want the apartment.
  • Find out how much you'll be paying in utilities each month, then makea budget. You must be able to afford both rent and the utilities!
  • Don't rent based on the apartment model. Check out the actual apartment you'll be renting.
  • If repairs need to be made, put the request in writing.
  • Don't move in until the apartment is repaired to your satisfaction.
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