North Carolina renters may see some relief as signs point to rental market cool down

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Thursday, February 2, 2023
Rental market cool down could bring price drops to NC
Living in downtown Raleigh has its perks for Corbett Foster, but when it comes to rent, "affordable," isn't the first term that comes to mind.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Living in downtown Raleigh has its perks for Corbett Foster, but when it comes to rent, "affordable," isn't the first term that comes to mind.

"I think it's an issue for sure," Foster said.

Foster, who pays nearly $2,000 a month, is paying more than the typical rent price in Raleigh, which Zillow reports is $1,744.

However, Foster may see some relief thanks to what some experts call a "rent cooldown." That may come soon as more units become available and force the market to adapt to attract or retain renters with better deals.

"Rents started to decline on a month over month basis last fall," Dustin Engelken of the Triangle Apartment Association said. "In Raleigh, we've actually seen that trend more pronounced."

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New apartment complexes are going up around the Triangle, but many of the units are still out of financial reach for many people.

Engelken said the median rent in Raleigh is down about $50 to $60 from where it peaked last summer.

Nationwide, the year-over-year growth rate in December is the lowest growth rate in nearly two years, according to

"It's a very simple supply and demand dynamic," Engelken said. "We've made a pronounced effort over the last couple of years to build more housing for folks, knowing that demand was there and that we needed to combat price increases."

Engelken said for renters looking to renew, they're likely to get a better rental rate on that next lease.

"If you got locked in at a higher rate last summer, that's unfortunate because that was the peak of the market," Engelken said. " But the good thing with renting, is that leases tend to run a year, which means many of those folks are going to be coming up for lease renewals in the spring."

WATCH | Renters continue to get priced out with few affordable options: 'It's a struggle.'

Many advocates said one factor in the wait list for apartments--is fewer landlords are accepting government housing vouchers.

New renters also face a better chance for a better deal in the fall, according to Engelken.

"You're starting to see more concessions, which is ... get the first month free, or special perks that want to encourage folks to sign that lease," Engelken said.

While it's difficult to predict exactly how long the cool down will continue, Engelken said he's confident the continued increase in supply of rental spaces will help tamp down the seemingly endless rise in rental prices.

"We know these units are coming," Engelken said. "I would expect the trend to continue well into next year."