The Charlotte Commercial Real Estate Market

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Charlotte’s commercial real estate marketplace draws investors and tenants from across the country. The city’s steadily growing population and diverse, robust job market make Charlotte an attractive investment option for CRE professionals and developing businesses alike. Charlotte-based brokers and interested parties utilize Crexi’s robust suite of CRE technology tools to discover properties and close more deals.

Using Crexi’s powerful search tools, buyers and tenants in Charlotte and beyond can explore thousands of Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia MSA properties. Searchers can quickly narrow search results and reach out to the Charlotte broker in seconds upon finding the perfect property. Approximately 92% of Crexi’s digital traffic consists of actively seeking principals and tenants, many of whom are looking at Charlotte as an optimal commercial real estate investment.

Similarly, brokers harness Crexi’s powerful listing and lead management software to market and close deals across Charlotte and the surrounding cities. Thanks to Crexi’s simplified tools, it’s easier than ever for Charlotte commercial brokers to connect with high-quality leads.

As of this writing, CRE professionals have closed over $330 billion in property transactions and marketed more than 500,000 properties at a total valuation above $2 trillion. 

Crexi proudly serves Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord, Mooresville, Matthews, and the entirety of Mecklenburg County as the region’s fastest-growing digital commercial real estate marketplace.

The State of Commercial Real Estate in Charlotte

Located in southwestern North Carolina, the Charlotte commercial real estate market spans 15 counties and two states. 

Nicknamed the Queen City, this rapidly growing city in the Sunbelt region continues to witness a massive inbound migration of residents and businesses. Nearly 100 new people come to the Charlotte region each day, attracted by the area’s robust economy, lower cost of living, and business-friendly government. 

Charlotte is known as a global hub for business with thriving healthcare and financial service sectors and has been ranked as the #1 fastest-growing tech talent market for two years in a row. Charlotte is the 2nd largest banking center in the country after New York City and is home to Fortune 500 companies like Bank of America, Honeywell, Nucor, and Brighthouse Financial.

Of course, there’s a lot more to Charlotte than just business. 

Charlotte has been ranked as a Top 10 New Beer City with more than 60 breweries and distilleries in the region. The area is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, more than 200 parks, and miles of trails for biking and hiking. 

In Southwest Charlotte, the US National Whitewater Center hosts Olympic hopefuls and professional sports teams like the NFL Carolina Panthers, NBA Charlotte Hornets, and Major League Soccer’s Charlotte FC. Charlotte is also a major center of the motorsports industry and the home of NASCAR and the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Charlotte Regional Breakdown

The population of metropolitan Charlotte is projected to grow 50% by 2050, from about three million to five million people. According to a recent report from WCNC, people moving to Charlotte tend to be more educated, younger, and wealthier than residents that are already living in the region.

  • Charlotte is home to nearly 900,000 people and about 2.9 million residents in the metropolitan area.
  • The population of the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC metropolitan area grew by 2.63% last year.
  • Since 2010 the population of Charlotte has increased by over 15%.
  • Charlotte is the most populous city in North Carolina and the 2nd largest in the Southeast, just behind Jacksonville, FL.
  • The largest counties in the Charlotte metropolitan area include Mecklenburg (where Charlotte is located), along with York, Union, and Gaston counties.
  • The median age in Charlotte is 37.7 years, a little less than the figure for North Carolina.
  • Charlotte’s per capita income is $36,374, while its median household income is $66,399.
  • In Charlotte, median household income increased by nearly 7% last year, while property values grew by more than 8.5%.

Charlotte Job Market

Since the beginning of the year, more than 45,000 new jobs have been added to the metro area, a trend that is expected to continue as Charlotte leads the nation in economic development. According to Cushman & Wakefield, over 20% of the workforce hold jobs in the trade, transportation, and warehousing sectors, helping to keep the demand for commercial real estate in Charlotte solid and steady.

  • GDP of the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC MSA is over $178 billion and has grown by nearly 60% over the past decade.
  • Employment growth was nearly 3.8% last year, while median household incomes grew by almost 7.0% and property values rose by more than 8.5% over the same period.
  • The unemployment rate in the Charlotte metro area is down to 3.6%, with the leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, information, construction, and trade and transportation job sectors showing the most robust growth.
  • Target industries in Charlotte include advanced manufacturing, automotive, financial services, healthcare, and technology.
  • Since 2010, the number of tech workers in Charlotte has grown by 68% while growth in the 20-34 year old population has increased by over 17%.
  • University City, north of Downtown Charlotte, is home to University Research Park, one of the most extensive research facilities in the state.
  • The largest employers in Charlotte include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, Atrium Health, Novant Health, Amazon, software developer Passport, Lending Tree, and Lowe’s.
  • Some of the top universities and colleges in and around Charlotte include the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Johnson & Wales University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Central Piedmont Community College.
  • Nearly 90% of the residents of Charlotte have a high school degree or higher, while over 36% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.
  • Charlotte’s central location between the Northeastern and Southeastern US makes the metro area a key distribution hub.
  • The transportation infrastructure of metropolitan Charlotte includes four interstate highways, a rapid transit system, and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Charlotte Industrial Market

E-commerce and logistics firms continue to target Charlotte for expansion in the Southeast, with leasing activity in the Charlotte industrial market reaching 10,500,000 SF year-to-date, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Industrial vacancy has declined for five consecutive quarters, with only four spaces larger than 200,000 SF available in the entire area.

  • Total industrial inventory: 163,040,478 SF
  • Average asking rent: $56.78 per SF per year, net
  • Vacancy rate: 4.9%
  • Absorption: 5,391,740 SF (YTD)
  • New construction: 1,921,146 SF delivered year-to-date with 4,681,530 SF under construction
  • Key lease transactions: USPS 358,548 SF, Brothers Freight 262,359 SF, Big Rock Sports 256,052 SF
  • Largest industrial submarkets: Southwest, North, York County, West Airport

Learn more about Charlotte industrial property for lease.

Charlotte Office Market

Asking rents for office space in Charlotte have increased by an average of 4.4% since the beginning of the year, driven in part by employment growth in the metropolitan area. Over the past 12 months, more than 45,000 new jobs have been added as unemployment returns to pre-pandemic levels. 

While both the CBD and suburban markets have seen rents rise, additional rent increases are anticipated for the Charlotte suburban office submarkets as the flight to value increases, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

  • Total office inventory: 57,206,107 SF
  • Average asking rents: $30.67 per SF year, full service gross
  • Vacancy rate: 18.7%
  • Absorption: 414,145 SF YTD
  • New construction: 2,327,485 SF delivered YTD with 3,633,156 SF under construction
  • Largest office submarkets: CBD/Uptown, Airport, South/485, University

Learn more about Charlotte office property for lease. 

Charlotte Retail Market

The retail market in Charlotte is holding up well, with performance similar to the rest of the country. Vacancy rates have declined by 0.5% year-over-year, while cap rates on retail sales transactions in metropolitan Charlotte declined by 0.2% over the same period.

  • Total retail inventory: 149,630,675 SF
  • Average asking rent: $20.30 per SF per year, NNN
  • Vacancy rate: 4.1%
  • Absorption: 1,658,068 over the past 12 months
  • Leasing activity: 499,937 SF (Q3 2021)
  • New construction: 943,684 SF delivered over the past 12 months with 382,379 SF under construction
  • Sales activity: $218 million in retail transactions (Q3 2021) with an average sales price of $231 per SF and an average cap rate of 6.3%

Learn more about Charlotte retail property for lease.

Charlotte Multifamily Market

The Charlotte multifamily market is expected to remain one of the top performers in the nation. Vacancies are tight, and rents are on the rise, with rent gains breaking into double-digits year-over-year. The metro area’s accelerating economy and strong financial services sector are attracting investors to the multifamily market in Charlotte, with average unit sales prices reaching record highs.

  • Total housing units: 1,084,126
  • Renter occupied: 35%
  • Total multifamily units: 192,172
  • Average asking rent: $1,434 per month
  • Asking rent growth: 16.9% over the past 12 months
  • Vacancy rate: 6.4%
  • New construction: 10,511 units delivered over the past 12 months, with 10,790 units under construction
  • Sales activity: $155,400 median sales price per unit with cap rates averaging 3.8% year-to-date
  • Median household income: $66,399
  • Per capita income: $36,374

Learn more about Charlotte multifamily property for sale.

How Crexi Connects Buyers and Tenants to Charlotte Commercial Properties

Crexi’s marketplace allows tenants and buyers across the country to browse Charlotte and nearby listings across asset classes. As one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas, Charlotte represents a thriving financial and cultural center with exciting investment opportunities, attractive cap rates, and healthy performance across asset classes.

Interested parties seeking Charlotte properties for sale or lease harness Crexi’s free search tool to quickly find listings that suit their preferences. Principles can narrow their search by asset type and subtype, price or rate per square foot, square footage, cap rates, and even zip code.

Upon finding an attractive commercial property, buyers or tenants can directly reach out to the listing’s broker through the listing page. Crexi also allows searchers to download OMs and brochures and even submit a letter of intent (LOI) using its secure platform.

Intelligence Equips Investors with Data and Market Knowledge 

Charlotte investors and tenants alike seek to make the best CRE decisions possible when choosing their next property: enter Crexi Intelligence. 

Intelligence connects property seekers with a massive, third-party vetted database containing millions of sales comps and historical property data. The Insights tab, present on every property page, supplies seekers with detailed insights into area demographics and other key data points. 

Buyers and tenants use Intelligence to gain next-level access to Charlotte’s latest market trends and sales data pulled directly from Crexi’s listing database.

Intelligence is available to buyers, sellers, and tenants on a subscription basis.

How Charlotte Brokers Thrive with Crexi

Crexi’s marketplace contains nearly 300 Charlotte properties for sale and more than 1,000 listings for lease in the city alone. Industrial and office are among Mecklenburg County’s best-performing asset classes, attracting tenants and investors seeking favorable cap rates in a fast-growing job market.

Using Crexi, Queen City brokers can quickly list and manage properties across asset types, including:

  • Office buildings
  • Multifamily units
  • Land parcels
  • Retail buildings
  • Industrial units
  • Mixed-Use developments
  • Hospitality facilities
  • Non-traditional buildings such as data centers, medical offices, etc.

Crexi’s listing tools allow Charlotte commercial brokers to guide property transactions from list to close. Charlotte brokers can directly connect with interested leads in a few clicks, monitoring buyer and tenant behavior in real-time to gauge lead quality. Crexi’s secure file storage vault also allows brokers to collect, manage, and store due diligence paperwork online.

While Crexi’s free broker tools are powerful, Crexi’s technology’s full potential reveals itself with Sale PRO, Lease PRO, and All PRO. 

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Crexi’s All PRO Membership

Crexi Sale PRO and Lease PRO accelerate and simplify Charlotte brokers’ workflows, helping them close more deals faster. Robust lead management and marketing analytics allow PRO brokers to quickly engage with already-interested buyers and tenants, while branded lead reports allow for boosted collaboration and simplified processing. PRO listings receive automatic placement at the top of Crexi’s search result pages, viewed immediately by relevant buyers and tenants seeking Charlotte commercial property.

Crexi also sends out customized weekly email blasts to a database of thousands of leads nationwide, featuring relevant PRO listings curated based on each property seeker’s search history and website activity. This customization, powered by machine learning, wins these property emails a boosted engagement and average CTR (click-through rate) of 10-15%.

Crexi PRO members also can access Intelligence’s database at no additional cost, pulling market insights from over 40 million sales comps and detailed MSA market reports. 

Brokers — including those in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia MSA — utilize Crexi PRO to efficiently connect with over 178,000 leads interested in Charlotte commercial real estate and more than 3 million leads across the country added in 2020 alone. 

On average, PRO brokers earn 125% more leads and close six to eight times more deals than non-PRO subscribers.

Contact to learn more about All PRO.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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