Local News

Everywhere You Turn, An Apartment's on the Rise

Posted July 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But with every new apartment complex, the apartment vacancy roller coaster rises just a little more. Karnes believes that effect is part of a normal cycle 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 in mind:

  • 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 make a 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.