The Face of Asheville’s Rental Market

When most folks move here, they look for rental property to live in to get a feel for the area before they invest in a home. It’s important to know whether or not your career, home life, and social life will flourish before setting permanent roots here. However, we have seen that getting rental property can be much harder than assumed at first glance. Here is the real truth on what the rental market looks like in Asheville and all of Buncombe county.

Reports have focused on multi-family units, meaning apartment buildings and duplexes and show that there is a 96% occupation rate as of 2016. This has actually dropped from 98% in 2014. Vacancies in 2014 were at 99 units and in 2016, that number rose to 336. However, we also have seen growth in the number of available units with new complexes built all over the county within those 2 years. When it comes to affordable housing, government subsidized and income based rentals, have seen 100% occupation rate and a growing waiting list of well over 500 families. The new complexes that have come into the area have been high-end market units with very little growth in the affordable housing sector. That growth involved 2 complexes that were filled immediately and the waiting list added to as families are increasingly needing assistance.

Rental increases were above national average as well over the past two years. National average hovered around 3% and in Asheville, average rents were raised 4.4%. Interestingly enough, the rise for 2 bedroom units rose the most at 5.2%, 3 bedrooms averaged at 4.3%, and 1 bedrooms rose at 4.2%. 2 bedroom units appear to be the most sought after rental and accounts for the higher increase in rent.

In the entirety of Buncombe County there are 36 high-end market rentals. That doesn’t sound like much but we are only referring to multi-family units. As of 2016, there are1,970 units under construction and an additional 2,600 units planned or proposed. Less than 1,000 of those units are earmarked as subsidized and/or affordable housing units with the rest being high-end market rate. With the rise of the units that are coming, we are hoping this means a lower occupation rate that is desirable for a healthy housing market.

Unfortunately, the reports don’t include single family rental units and Buncombe county certainly has a large market of those properties as well. Rents are comparable for those units as the multi-family units and also see about the same occupancy rate. However, a quick look with a real estate agent or google search will show that there are units available. They just happen to fill very quickly!

So what does this mean for you, the potential new resident of Asheville North Carolina? It means being financially smart about your move. Average rents in Asheville are hovering around $1500 a month and surrounding areas in the county are roughly around $1000 a month. This means your monthly income must be $4500 or more per month to comfortably afford the rental market. More income will be desirable in order to save for a home purchase, of course! While you are number crunching, doing some research on the cost of living will equally be important so that you can save appropriately and enjoy all that Asheville has to offer. Don’t forget to research your moving expenses as well. Most importantly, make sure you have a rental unit ready for you when you come here. We have heard too many horror stories of families moving here, assuming they can get into a rental within a week and end up living in hotels until a unit becomes available. The same can also be said for the job market, have a job lined up first before you get here. Don’t shy away from checking out those single family units as well in order to broaden your options!

Brews & Tunes – What Asheville Offers at Night

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Two of Asheville’s favorite things are a well-crafted beer and some local music to bring delight to the ears. We have successfully been dubbed Beer City USA at least 3 years in a row. Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed May 26-June 3 as Asheville Beer Week and we celebrated our first Beer City Festival at the end of May. With just over 30 breweries in the city, it would be an understatement to say that we love our beer. Here are a few of our favorite breweries!


Asheville Brewing CompanyOne of Asheville’s oldest breweries, it has been a staple in Asheville since 1998. Offering over 30 locally brewed ales and IPA’s, it will be easy to find the right beer for you. Of course they don’t just offer beer, they offer some of the best local pizza and wings that will please the palate. If you are on the north end of town, their Merrimon location offers movie viewing at incredibly affordable prices, full menu available, and unique seating that feels more like sitting in your living room then a movie theater.


Catawba BrewingCatawba Brewing isn’t officially in Asheville, they are comfortably residing in gorgeous Morganton, just east of Asheville. However, their brews have been in our local beer scene since 1999. Mellow Mushroom, Barley’s, The Bier Garden, and the Biltmore House were amongst the first to give these WNC brewers a chance and they have certainly made a home in our hearts and our gullets. In 2014, they opened a tasting room and small brewery on the South Slope so they could cater to us a little bit easier. All of their brews are now offered in 4 different states and earning them plenty of well-deserved business for their efforts and delicious brews.


Ginger’s RevengeGinger’s Revenge is a new brewery making a big splash over off Riverside Drive, not too far from the UNCA Campus. What makes Ginger’s Revenge so special? Not only do they offer similar grain-based beers, they also create ginger beers that are naturally gluten-free. For those who are health conscious, and the few who suffer from Celiac’s disease, this is a dream come true! We are sure that we will see some impressive things from this brewer over the coming years.

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While you are enjoying all the wonderful beers that Asheville has to offer, don’t forget about the impressive music you can catch any night of the week.  Here are a few of our favorites!


Leeda Lyric JonesLyric is one of Asheville’s favorite because she was born here, raised here, and ready to entice your ears with her musical stylings. Touting inspiration from the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Tracy Chapman, you will be mesmerized by her soulful autheticness.


Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Name sounds weird, but it’s Asheville! This is a band that touts themselves as “family hip hop with solid gold soul”. No, this is not a Kidz Bop cd reject, these folks mix the right blend of fun and family friendly sound to bring you up out of your seat and want to dance. Did we also mention they are Grammy Award Winners?  Yes! Earlier in 2017, they won a Grammy for Best Children’s Album.


The music scene isn’t just limited to fantastic bands either, we have some really great places to listen to music. The Orange Peel brings in a blend of modern and local music to the downtown area. Isis Theater brings the local music scene to West Asheville in style and class. The Grey Eagle has been a staple for the local music scene long before the tourism explosion. All of these great places have made sure to include local brews on their menu so that you can get the very best that Asheville has to offer. If there is anything that Asheville loves the most, it’s supporting the locals and their hard work.