Apr 19, 2023 - News

Raleigh asking rents rise despite national downturn

Illustration of apartment doorbells with an intercom shaped like a dollar sign.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Raleigh's asking rents keep rising — defying a national trend showing declines in many major markets.

Driving the news: Raleigh's median asking rent is up to a striking $2,080, a 16.6% increase year-over-year, per a Redfin analysis of the nation's 50 largest markets.

  • Of note: Asking rents are a reflection of the current costs of new leases signed in the past month — not the median cost of what all renters are paying. Durham's asking rents were not included in the analysis.
  • In fact, overall rents have showed signs of slowing. But many of the Triangle's newest apartments are delivered at premium prices.

Why it matters: Rising costs is one of the biggest challenges facing the Triangle — as cities grapple with how to accommodate a surging population.

Zoom out: The median U.S. asking rent fell 0.4% year over year to $1,937 in March.

  • It's the first annual decline since March 2020, as renters seemingly hit their price limits and supply of new apartments swells, Axios' Emily Peck writes.
  • However, rents overall are still expensive and at record highs across the country.

What we're watching: An increasing number of units hitting the market could pressure landlords to reduce asking rents.

  • More than 20,000 units are currently under construction across the Triangle — with 4,000 alone in downtown Raleigh, according to a report from Northmarq.
  • Raleigh’s vacancy rate grew to 6.4% at the end of 2022, while Durham’s vacancy rate ended last year at 7.91%.

What they're saying: Northmarq is projecting the Triangle's vacancy rate to continue climbing through the rest of 2023, moderating rent growth.

  • "[T]he market is forecast to record modest rent increases, with operating conditions buoyed by continued population expansion," the report states.

Meanwhile: Rising interest rates have made buying a home too expensive for many, keeping many would-be homebuyers in the rental market, Redfin wrote in its analysis.


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