Pre-Pandemic, Charlotte’s Demand Was Remarkably Consistent
With one of the nation’s largest stock of lease-up units, Charlotte is particularly vulnerable moving ahead, but the market’s pre-pandemic demand performance was encouraging. Throughout the economic cycle, Charlotte rose to the challenge of absorbing unprecedented levels of new apartment supply. This has been one of the fastest-growing markets in the nation, and demand has maintained a remarkably consistent range, especially in the last five years. During that time, average annual demand topped 7,000 units with a peak just topping 8,000 units in 2018. Even though demand has come down a bit recently, hitting a five-year low of about 6,300 units in the year-ending 1st quarter 2020, that mark was still notably ahead of long-term averages. Supply volumes have also come down recently, dipping to about 5,800 units in the year-ending 1st quarter 2020, but that volume also remains notably ahead of the market’s long-term norm. Recent data was gathered before the bulk of COVID-19 challenges were realized, and the market is likely facing more of a demand downturn in the months ahead.