May 3, 2023 - Real Estate

How Charlotte rent grew from $400 to $1,400 in 20 years

Uptown skyline

Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

Rent prices have surged in Charlotte. We recently asked readers about how much they spent on their first apartment in Charlotte.

Spoiler alert: It was way less than what they’re spending today.

What’s happening: As Charlotte’s population has exploded over the years, so too has the cost of living here.

  • Depending on when you moved here, you might’ve experienced what current renters might consider the unimaginable — relatively cheap rent.

Why it matters: The median rent in the city is $1,493 and prices are now up 2.9% year-over-year, according to Apartment List

  • Yes, but: Rental rates weren’t always this high.
  • Some readers took us down a trip through memory lane to remind us how affordable it used to be to live in Charlotte.

Some of these responses have been edited for clarity.

1995/1996

“I moved to Charlotte in 1995 and rented a room in Dilworth for $300. In 1996, I moved to uptown and paid $600 flat for a huge two-bedroom overlooking 4th Ward Park. It came with a pool, a balcony and super fun neighbors.” — Elizabeth K. 

1998/1999

“My first apartment here was definitely less than $1000 and it was three bedrooms … that was 1998/1999.” — Elizabeth R.

2002

“I moved into a one-bedroom apartment off Sharon Road West in 2002, and my rent was $450/month. I moved to Dilworth one year later, and my same-sized apartment was $725/month. It got bulldozed one year later to make room for the new Lowe’s.” — Kellie L.

2007

“I moved to Charlotte in 2007. At that time in Ballantyne, a one-bedroom apartment with 1,000 square feet cost me $815!” — Jess H.

2009

“My first real apartment was in 2009 and it $609/month. My last apartment was Uptown at $1,850 and now I’m in a house.” — Von C.

2010

“I moved to Charlotte Halloween weekend of 2010 and paid $1,717 a month for a two bed, two bath on the top floor of the Ashton (back when it had a view and South End was unrecognizable from what it is now). I would be so curious to know what that unit is going for now. Astronomical, I’m sure!” — Beck W.

2012

“I paid $400 for a one bedroom/one bath apartment which included water and basic cable at Village Lake Apartments in 2012 now called The Park at Ferentino.” — Stephanie L.

2015

“I first moved in February 2015. I paid $1,254 per month for a 1 bedroom at Colonial Reserve in South End.” — Katrine H.

2021

“I moved into Bradham at New Bern in July of 2021 and was paying a base rent of $1,651. I have since renewed my rent and that price was hiked up to a base rent of $1,919, and that was after negotiating. With the added fees, such as parking, pest control, valet trash, and a pet fee, I pay $2,006 per month before utilities. That is for a 737 sq ft “studio” apartment (A2 floorplan). I am also supposed to get another rent renewal letter in the coming days, and I have ever reason to believe that the base rent will be pushing $2,000” — Pitts P.

Zoom in: In recent years, some renters having been spending more than they’d like to admit.

Bottom line: Lower rents once existed in Charlotte — but you just had to be here to experience them. 

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found

Charlottepostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more