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As rents climb, where are the most expensive, least expensive locations in NC?

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As rents climb, where are the most expensive, least expensive locations in NC?


In the past five years, Fair Market Rent for Asheville has skyrocketed. The estimated rent for a one-bedroom apartment has increased by 78% and has made the mountainous metropolitan area’s cost of housing as the highest in North Carolina.

Yet, Asheville is not the only North Carolina city facing steep rent increases, as well as the rapidly rising cost of homeownership. The Raleigh and Charlotte metros both saw increases of 54% in Fair Market Rent for a one-bedroom apartment, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Here’s a breakdown of where some of the most and least expensive areas to rent in North Carolina are.

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Most expensive areas to live in? Metros and tourist towns.

Perhaps a no-brainer, North Carolina metros and tourist towns are the most expensive to live in. Asheville’s Metropolitan Statistical Area tops that list in every metric — meaning the area is estimated to be the most expensive from those looking for efficiency apartments to those looking to rent a four-bedroom house.

Yet, there are other areas which are just as expensive in certain metrics. Here are the most expensive metros North Carolina if you are looking for a two-bedroom apartment:

  • Asheville (Asheville, Henderson, Madison counties): $1,680 a month.
  • Raleigh (Franklin, Johnston, Wake counties): $1,646 a month.
  • Durham-Chapel Hill (Chatham, Durham, Orange counties): $1,631 a month.
  • Charlotte (Cabarrus, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Union counties): $1,554 a month.
  • Wilmington (New Hanover County): $1,515

Least expensive counties for families?

As for those looking for a place that is more affordable, you may have to look outside of population centers — in some cases, a fair distance away from one. Of North Carolina’s 100 counties, 26 of them have the lowest estimate of $856 a month for a two bedroom.

For North Carolina families, a few counties halve the cost of Asheville’s FMR for three-bedroom units. Here are the 10 least expensive counties for those looking to rent three-bedrooms in North Carolina:

  • Columbus County: $1,035
  • Washington County: $1,035
  • Alleghany County: $1,041
  • Surry County: $1,053
  • Mitchell County: $1,053
  • McDowell County: $1,059
  • Halifax County: $1,070
  • Sampson County: $1,074
  • Robeson County: $1,081
  • Warren County: $1,089

Families moving to a new city? What do zip codes say?

Especially if you are moving for a new job or looking to relocate to work at one of the several major UNC System universities, you are likely to wind up searching for housing in a metro area.

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During that search, there is a high chance you may stumble across certain areas of major cities that are more expensive than others — you might even be able to tell a difference based on where you look.

A few of these areas include a major tourist beach town and an area just outside of Asheville that has some of Western North Carolina’s most expensive mountaintop mansions. According to HUD, the homes and apartments in the following areas are the most expensive to rent out in North Carolina:

  • 28480, near Wrightsville Beach: $3,000
  • 28075, near Harrisburg and just outside of Charlotte: $2,900
  • 28203, or in Charlotte’s South End Neighborhood: $2,900
  • 28803, or Biltmore Forest: $2,760
  • 28202, or Downtown Charlotte: $2,730

What is ‘Fair Market Rent?’

All of this data was sourced from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development website estimates for FMR for 2024.

Fair Market Rent, or FMR, estimates are produced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and local public housing authorities. The number indicates how much it costs to rent a moderately-priced dwelling unit and determine payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher program.

The number is calculated by taking the 40th percentile of gross rents for typical, non-substandard rental units occupied by recent movers, according to HUD. That means an area’s Fair Market Rent reflects that 40% of rental units cost as much or less than the estimated Fair Market Rent.

You can learn more about how Fair Market Rent is calculated at: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html.

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More: The historic Flat Iron building to reopen as boutique hotel, reservations now open

More: Global electronic musical instrument maker Moog changing Asheville offices; former CT site

Will Hofmann is the Growth and Development Reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Got a tip? Email him at WHofmann@citizentimes.com.



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North Carolina

North Carolina Legislature Reconvenes To Address Budget, Vouchers as Big Elections Approach – Chapelboro.com

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North Carolina Legislature Reconvenes To Address Budget, Vouchers as Big Elections Approach – Chapelboro.com


Written by GARY D. ROBERTSON


The North Carolina General Assembly begins its annual work session Wednesday with a little extra money to spend and limited pressing issues to address before key elections this fall and longtime state government leaders depart.

Following their landmark 2023 session that expanded Medicaid, restricted abortion, broadened gun rights, swelled private-school vouchers and weakened the governor, Republicans leading the House and Senate are talking about the traditionally “short” session to be just that — with a goal to finish by early summer.

“We dealt with a lot of weighty issues,” House Speaker Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, told reporters recently. “Are there still some things left to be done? Yes, we’re going to deal with those.”

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With all 170 legislative seats up for reelection in November and Republicans who approved last year’s agenda holding the narrowest of veto-proof majorities, party leaders will be careful to advance measures that won’t sway public opinion against their candidates in key districts. Legislation forcing local sheriffs to assist with federal immigration enforcement and locating more funds for the private-school scholarships could qualify.

The legislature’s chief duty in even-numbered years is to adjust the second year of the two-year government operating budget that’s already enacted.

A consensus forecast by the legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration says the state will collect an additional $1.4 billion through mid-2025 than previously anticipated. This compares to the $30.9 billion currently set to be spent in the fiscal year starting July 1.

As much as $400 million could be needed to make Medicaid spending adjustments because of a lower federal government match and the higher use of services by enrollees, Rep. Donny Lambeth of Forsyth County, a House budget writer, said this week.

And Moore and Senate Majority Leader Paul Newton said separately that GOP colleagues are prepared to set aside more money for the Opportunity Scholarship Program so that more families in higher-income brackets can receive grants this fall for their K-12 children to attend private or religious schools.

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The current budget law did away with the program’s income caps to qualify, leading to a six-fold increase in applications this year.

But the state authority running the program said there isn’t enough to assist all qualifying applicants, and no aid would go to groups of applicants with the highest incomes. It wasn’t clear whether Republicans would seek to fully fund the scholarships for the coming year, which Moore said could require $300 million more.

Still, “I think there’s a high probability that we’re going to make sure the parents who want choice get choice for their children,” said Newton, a Cabarrus County Republican.

Cooper, who is term-limited from running for reelection, also will present his last budget proposal Wednesday. Cooper is hoping GOP legislators will listen to his calls to stop spending on the Opportunity Scholarship program that he’s opposed for years until public schools are “fully funded,” and for teachers to receive sizeable pay raises.

“We need to invest in public schools,” Cooper told reporters recently. “We know that to sustain the workforce of the future for all these jobs we’re attracting, we’ve got to make sure that our public schools are strong.”

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On immigration, Newton said he suspects the Senate would take up a bill approved by the House last year that would force sheriffs to help federal agents interested in picking up jail inmates they believe are in the country illegally. Cooper successfully vetoed similar measures in 2019 and 2022, but that’s when GOP legislators lacked supermajorities.

State budget approval was nearly derailed last year when Senate Republicans sought to insert language that would have permitted construction of four more casinos in the state and the sanctioning and regulating video gambling machines statewide. But Republicans from both chambers have suggested discussions about sanctioning the gambling machines could resurface.

General Assembly staff estimated last year that revenue from the machines could generate over $400 million annually by later this decade. That could help make up for revenue losses now projected as approved individual and corporate income tax rates further decline. Republicans have downplayed talk of long-term shortfalls as hasty.

Democratic legislators seeking to halt what they consider bad GOP bills will face the same challenges that began last April when Rep. Tricia Cotham changed her registration to the Republican Party. Her switch secured the veto-proof majority in both chambers. All of Cooper’s vetoes last year were overridden.

“The numbers are what they are,” said House Minority Leader Robert Reives, a Chatham County Democrat. “I can still count and I know that the Republican caucus is going to vote 100% together.”

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This short session also marks the last one for Moore, who is likely on his way to Congress in 2025 after a record five two-year terms leading the chamber. He comfortably won his primary election for the Republican-leaning 14th Congressional District.

 

Featured photo via Associated Press/Chris Seward.

 

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North Carolina

North Carolina legislators return to adjust the budget and consider other issues

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North Carolina legislators return to adjust the budget and consider other issues


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly is returning to regular business six months after it wrapped up a landmark session in 2023.

The House and Senate planned to gavel in daily floor meetings at midday Wednesday. The last time most legislators were together in Raleigh was in late October, when redistricting maps were debated and enacted.

Odd-numbered-year sessions begin in January, but those in even-numbered years start in the spring. with lawmakers looking to end in the early summer.

The chief job for lawmakers will be to adjust the second year of the two-year state government budget approved last year. They’re expected to consider spending more on Medicaid and beefing up funds for scholarships for K-12 children to attend private schools. A forecast shows North Carolina could have $1.4 billion more in revenues than expected through mid-2025. Other issues will surface in the weeks ahead.

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Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will unveil his own proposed budget adjustments on Wednesday as well. Republicans hold narrow veto-proof majorities, which means they can choose to ignore his preferences if GOP legislators remain united.

Last year’s session was marked by Republicans accepting Medicaid expansion, restricting abortion, broadening gun rights and weakening the governor’s power.

Cooper couldn’t seek reelection this fall due to term limits, and state House Speaker Tim Moore won’t be back after this year because he’s running for Congress.





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North Carolina

NASA astronaut Christina Koch visits NC A&T State University

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NASA astronaut Christina Koch visits NC A&T State University


NASA astronaut and North Carolina native Christina Koch visited NC A&T State University on Tuesday.

This was part of an effort to attract more students to pursue careers in science through STEM education.
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Koch became an astronaut a decade ago and is scheduled to venture around the moon on Artemis Two, which is scheduled to launch in 2025.

On Tuesday, she spoke with A&T students about her career, which includes serving as a flight engineer on the International Space Station.

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However, much of her discussion at the university focused on her upcoming mission.

Read more at WXII12.com.



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