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Charlotte Apartments | Renting in an affluent city

The country may be in a recession, and that is certainly bad news for the real estate market. But North Carolina has proved to be a resilient state, and Charlotte in particular is showing signs of rejuvenation. If you are considering a move to Charlotte, now is a perfect time. Many apartments are available, and most of them are affordable, in ideal locations, and can be secured quickly.

For the fourth year in a row, North Carolina was named the state with the best business climate by Site Selection, an economic development magazine.

The magazine bases the rankings on surveys and on quantitative and qualitative factors that companies consider when deciding where to expand or relocate. Mark Arend, the magazine's editor in chief, said North Carolina's incentives, low taxes and economic development team impressed readers. “I would add to that list the governor's commitment to retooling the state's workforce, which companies in some key industry sectors took advantage of this year,” Arend said.

Those companies include Spirit AeroSystems, which announced this spring that it plans to open a manufacturing plant at the N.C. Global TransPark in Kinston; GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, which announced in April that it plans to add 900 jobs over the next five years as it expands its 1,600-acre Wilmington campus; and Tessera Technologies., which announced plans in March to expand its Charlotte facilities, investing $30.6 million and creating 185 jobs.

Most of the nation is singing the housing blues. But home sellers are singing a different tune in Charlotte, N.C., where prices rose in March, for the third month in a row, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Indexes.

What makes the North Carolina city so strong? “We never had a housing bubble,” says Mark Baldwin, executive vice president of Home Builders Association of Charlotte. “Home prices here have never been artificially inflated, and we never had the investor market that other areas in the country had.” Indeed, prices in the Charlotte metro area are up since the national housing market peaked in Q04 2005, according to data published on

The builders group is trying to spread the “truth about Charlotte” through a recently started Web site,, that tries to draw distinctions between the local real estate market and the national market.

According to the Web site, investors accounted for 14% of sales in Charlotte compared to the national average of about 25% in 2006. And, inventory levels in Charlotte for new homes average a seven months of supply compared to an average of 10 to 12 months in some markets.

Meanwhile, jobs in Charlotte's financial sector and other large employers, such as NASCAR, are drawing new residents. The area also benefits from an influx of “half-backs,'' or snowbirds who moved to Florida from the Northeast and are now relocating Charlotte and other parts of the Carolinas to avoid the traffic and insurance costs in the Sunshine StateArticle Search, Mr. Baldwin says.

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Michael Russell writes about a variety of subjects. This article discusses moving to Charlotte. For more information about Charlotte apartments, visit Apartment Finder.†

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