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CHARLOTTE, NC-Developers of multifamily product are certainly busy throughout the region. As of the beginning of this month, there were nearly 20,000 apartment units currently under way or proposed in the metro market, according to Real Data.

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

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

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