Nestled between the Atlantic coast and the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina is a prime destination for real estate investments. Fueled by rising demand for rental and investment properties, robust population growth, and a thriving economy, the Tar Heel State has gained global prominence among investors. This guide explores crucial details for investors, covering location considerations, financing options, and essential support factors, making investing in North Carolina property a compelling and worthwhile venture.
Why Invest in North Carolina Real Estate?
Whether you’re exploring Airbnb ventures, contemplating multi-family apartments, or considering a single-family rental home, there are plenty of North Carolina investment property options for a wide range of real estate investments. Here’s why:
1. Booming Economy
North Carolina’s diverse economy, driven by technology, banking, healthcare, and education, attracts real estate investors seeking stability and growth potential. It’s the home of the largest research park in the US, The Research Triangle Park, which significantly contributes to the local economy and enhances the state’s appeal to investors.
2. Job Growth
Rapid job growth, especially in sectors like technology and healthcare in cities such as Raleigh and Charlotte, continuously fuels demand for rental properties. What’s more, North Carolina’s steady job growth attracts new residents in search of opportunities, boosting the overall appeal of its real estate market.
3. Population Growth
Over the past decade, North Carolina’s population has steadily grown, driven by a thriving economy and ample job opportunities. In 2023, North Carolina was among the ten most populous states in the US and was ranked third in numeric growth.
Affordable cost of living and high quality of life make the state attractive to newcomers, increasing the demand for housing and rental properties.
4. High Renter Population
North Carolina boasts many renters, particularly in major cities like Raleigh and Charlotte, due to an influx of young professionals and students. A substantial renter population ensures a consistent demand for rental properties, providing a favourable environment for real estate investors.
5. Affordable Housing
Housing in North Carolina is 15% lower than the national average, so the state continues attracting diverse residents– from young professionals to retirees. Moreover, the state’s affordable housing market allows for lower initial investment costs and potential high returns, which can be favorable for anyone new to investing.
Top Cities for Real Estate Investment in North Carolina
With just under a million people and a population growth of 3.7%, Charlotte, North Carolina, known as Queen City, is also the second most populous city in the southeastern US. Charlotte is also ranked 15th among the nation’s fastest-growing cities.
In addition to its robust population growth, Queen City claims the top spot on the list of prime locations for investing in rental properties, boasting an impressive 11.9% surge in home values and a substantial employment increase of 2.7%. Additionally, the city demonstrates strong leads and days on the market, with figures standing at 24 and 10, respectively.
Charlotte’s recognition as an up-and-coming city, with family-friendly amenities and steady growth, suggests continued appreciation of real estate values, especially in neighborhoods like The Second Ward and Dilworth. So, no matter whether you choose to go with a traditional or private money lender, one thing is sure–Charlotte is an attractive investment opportunity.
Raleigh, the second most populous and fastest-growing city in North Carolina, has seen a 23% population increase over the past decade. Despite a relatively moderate median home value of $269k, the city is promising for real estate investors. Home values in Raleigh have increased 5.2% yearly and a remarkable 98.5% since 2015.
The city’s rental market thrives, with 49% of residents opting to rent, making it an attractive hub for rental property investors. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment stands at $1,180.
Raleigh’s family-friendly environment, ample developable land, job growth, and recreational attractions contribute to its anticipated expansion, as reflected in its nickname, the “Smithsonian of the South.”
Currently the third most populous city in North Carolina, Greensboro emerges as an enticing real estate market. The city offers a vibrant lifestyle with over 500 restaurants, 135 attractions, 88 accommodations, and eight craft breweries.
Greensboro showcases impressive growth statistics, with a 7.8% increase in home values, 1.7% population growth, and 1% employment growth year over year. The city stands out with its highest average leads at 58 and the shortest days on the market, only 9.
Despite its smaller population than Charlotte and Raleigh, Greensboro exhibits steady growth fueled by its central location. With a median home value of $170k and an average rent of $853, Greensboro presents an affordable market with significant investment potential.
North Carolina’s fourth most populous city, Durham, is poised for substantial growth, with projections indicating a doubling of its population over the next 25 years. Boasting a thriving business landscape, the city has attracted over 300 new businesses and two million square feet of office space since 2001.
The city’s core position in the Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Area, a flourishing startup scene, an impressive 4.2% population growth, and 1.4% employment growth solidify its spot as a promising destination for rental investment. Moreover, Apple’s plan to build a $1 billion campus in Research Triangle Park further underscores Durham’s appeal.
Home to Duke University, Durham enjoys a consistent demand for rental properties from students, constituting 39% of residents who rent at an average of $1,163 for a two-bedroom apartment. With an average home value of $271k and a remarkable 11.7% year-over-year increase, this city offers an enticing real estate market.