CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The price of living in an apartment around here has gone up, costing renters a lot of money.

"A few hundred dollars over the past two, two and a half years," one renter told us today.

In fact, the average rent in the Charlotte area rose 7% in 2011. It was the biggest jump in more than a decade.

The reason why is simple - supply verses demand.

"No one wants to buy a home right now," says renter Kemer Russell. "No one wants to do that."

Russell says the American Dream isn't about a house anymore. Not since that dream turned into a nightmare.

"Right now, everyone's jumping on renting," she says. "Everyone."

A long time renter herself, she's recently met a slew of new neighbors.

"People that you wouldn't have ever thought," she says, laughing.

Yes, the recession is over, but remnants are changing the way people think about apartment living.

The housing industry continues to struggle.

Mortgage loans are still hard to get.

Suddenly, renting just seems smart and easy.

But another thing the recession did is trample apartment construction.

Supply hasn't kept up with demand. And opportunists are watching.

The Vue is a high-rise uptown that couldn't sell units as condos. So a company swooped in, bought the building, and announced last week that they would transform it into apartments, with units priced between $1250 and $5,000.