Despite low interest rates and a drop in home prices, many potential buyers are staying out of the market and choosing instead to rent.
In Charlotte, that's causing apartment dwellers to pay more for rent than ever before.
Reginald Daniels, who has lived in his east Charlotte apartment for the past year, said he just found out his rent is about to jump by nearly $100 a month.
"It's killing me," Daniels said.
Rent rates in the Queen City continue to rise. According to the newly-released Trulia Rent Monitor, rents jumped 6.5 percent in Charlotte over the past year. That's higher than the national average and beats out most major cities, including Atlanta, Dallas and even New York.
However, Charlotte is still lower than cities like San Francisco, Miami and Boston.
"It is very much an owner's market now, not a tenant's market," Allen Tate Broker-in-Charge Sandy Kindbom said.
With tens of thousands of people relocating to Charlotte each year, she said apartments typically do not stay empty for long.
"A lot of people can't sell their houses in the Northeast or wherever they're coming from, so they'll rent until they can do that. And a lot of people just want to get to know the area before they make a final purchase," Kindbom said.
Investors are now trying to cash in on the rising rent payments with 25 percent of home purchases in 2011 turned into rentals.