RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It seems like everywhere you look in Raleigh new apartments are being built, but that doesn’t mean it was easy for Stephen Buchenberger to find the one he started renting last month.
“It was tougher in the aspect of something within budget, I would’ve preferred something a little cheaper, but just those places are also going up in price,” Buchenberger said.
According to the City of Raleigh, there were about 77,600 apartment units in Raleigh as of 2019. Triangle Apartments Association Government Affairs Director said the supply is not enough– even with a great year for building.
“We’ve been doing a great job of building, in fact last year was the best year for new construction we’ve had since before the Great Recession, so we’re starting to really see some progress,” Engelken said. “But by any estimate I think we’re way behind what we need in terms of the housing stock to support the growing population here.”
He said about 3,800 apartments were built in Raleigh over the past 12 months.
“But almost all those units are on the luxury end, and so if you’re on again that more affordable market side, there really hasn’t been anything coming on line and there really isn’t anything empty for you,” Engelken said.
Citywide, Engelken estimates the apartment vacancy rate is six percent, but on the lower price end it’s around one percent. He said an eight percent to ten percent apartment vacancy rate is a sweet spot to help keep rent stable.
Redfin’s Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said more apartments could help slow increasing rent prices.
“I think the more you build at least the slower rents go up, and there is the potential during a slow economic time that rents could fall if supply is in abundance,” Fairweather said.
According to RentCafe, the average rent in Raleigh is $1,631 a month.
Fairweather said inflation and people moving here from more expensive cities also drives up prices.
“It’s really difficult to find an affordable rental, especially in a place like Raleigh where a lot of people are moving to,” she said.
That’s why Buchenberger packed up and found a roommate after living alone in Brier Creek.
“You have to make a decent amount of money to live alone, and I thought I made a decent amount of money, no longer,” Buchenberger said.
Engelken said there are about 10,000 units in some stage of the planning process right now.