Most of the new product is located in the southern portions ofMecklenburg County and York County. And many of the units that arein the planning stages sit along the newly opened Lynx Blue Line.There are now almost 3,000 new apartment units in various stages ofdevelopment along the light rail line. The first of theseresidences, the firm says, should be available for rent as early asnext spring.

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All of the new construction, however, has impacted local vacancyfigures. The average vacancy in the Charlotte metro area is 9.2%,up 20 basis points over the same time a year ago. The rate isexpected to remain in the 9% to 11% range over the next 18months.The uptick in vacancy, meanwhile, caused rent growth toabate, following a strong 2007. The average rent is currently $735per month, or 78 cents per sf. - Sule Aygoren Carranza

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