Developers say now is the right time for more rentals

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Anyone in the market for an apartment in Charlotte can tell you, it's not so easy to find one.

Monthly rent payments are on the rise and many complexes have filled up.

However, there are some signs that could change.

Stuart Proffitt and Wyatt Dixon say they're tapping into the convenience factor with the new, 208 unit, luxury, green certified apartment complex they're building.  It's lobby will be steps away from the New Bern light rail station.

"Maybe the most exciting part is the transit lobby.  It's a lounge 50 feet from the station platform," Proffitt said.

There will be a coffee bar, flat screens broadcasting the day's news, newspapers to read and a closed circuit monitor that will show the train coming down the tracks so riders can run out at the last minute and hop on.

The two say this is the right time to jump back into the market.

"The numbers tell us this is the signal for the development community to step in," Dixon said.

According to data provided to the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association by a company called Real Data, Charlotte gained only a staggeringly low 500 new apartment units in the first half of 2011.

In 2012 there is the potential for the apartment occupancy rate in the Queen City to sit at 95 percent.  That means fewer deals and higher rents.  It's believed the average apartment rental rate could jump as much as 6% this year.

Proffitt Dixon's new complex, The Fountains at New Bern Station, is expected to open in the Spring of 2013.

Those we spoke with in the industry say they believe the rental market will stay tight until there's some confidence the housing market is stable.

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