Crescent Communities, among the best-known developers in the area, and Pretium announced a plan to spend $1 billion building more than 3,000 homes for rent in markets across the Sunbelt, including Charlotte.
Details: The properties, under an umbrella brand called Harmon, will include three- and four-bedroom townhomes (1,500–2,200 square feet), plus detached single-family houses, Crescent said in a statement.
- Each community will have features such as walking trails, pocket parks, fenced-in backyards and private garages.
In Charlotte, Crescent is planning about 300 rental townhomes across four areas: Ballantyne, north Charlotte and two in Gastonia. Construction will begin sometime next year, says Tony Chen, managing director of single-family build-to-rent at Crescent.
- Rents will be comparable to what you'd pay at a typical new apartment building in Charlotte, Chen says.
- Crescent's goal is to "professionalize" the single-family rental experience and eliminate pain points of homeownership, he adds. Tenants can put in a work order online for plumbing issues, for instance, instead of calling a plumber themselves.
Why it matters: The supply of available housing is already tight in fast-growing markets like Charlotte. Real estate firms like Crescent see build-to-rent homes as a way to alleviate the problem — plus give renters an option that's different from a typical apartment community.
In a recent Forbes article, housing market economist Brad Hunter called built-for-rent communities "the hottest thing in residential development."
- The trend is driven by a number of key factors, Hunter wrote, including the fact that millennials are having kids and want more space to raise them. And the soaring price of homes, he adds, makes homeownership out of reach for many young people.
What's more, adds Chen, this is an alternative option for renters who are transient.
"You don't have the down payment and you don't need to commit to living there forever," Chen says.
Full story: Prominent developer plans about 300 rental townhomes in Charlotte