The Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina has been booming in population growth since the 1970s. Mecklenburg County now has over a million residents, and individually accounts for roughly 10 percent of the entire state’s population.
For a long time, the county was able to absorb this growth through construction on undeveloped and open lots of land. A lot of the county was once agricultural, even rural, until the late 1980s. While there are still a few farms in remote pockets of the county, the suburbs around the city have also swelled in population size, as former hamlets like Gastonia or Monroe turned into cities of their own right.
Space is further constricted by the fact that large tracts of land are taken up Charlotte-Douglas International Aiport and several major lakes in the region.
People keep moving here, and they need places to live, but without being able to build out anymore, it’s necessary to build up. The level of apartment construction across the city is happening at a very high rate, with tens of thousands of units on the drawing board or with ground already broken.
The problem is that the demand for Charlotte North Carolina housing isn’t diminishing. Even with all the inventory slated to enter the market over the next year or so, the average rent for an apartment has crossed the mark of a thousand dollars a month and is continuing to rise. Given local incomes and standards of living, that level of rent is quite high, and simply unattainable for many citizens.
The local government has gotten quite concerned about it, and is looking at ways to increase affordable housing, but as much as there is desire for such solutions, as of yet, there is nothing serious on the table.