A bad economy and a burst of new units mean higher apartment vacancy rates and lower monthly rents.

That’s good news, of course, for renters. But for landlords, already competing against a growing supply of condos and single-family owners unable to sell, the news is less than welcomed.

The Charlotte-area vacancy rate rose to 11.8 percent in February from 9.1 percent in August, the Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday, citing Real Data, which surveys the market twice a year for the Charlotte Apartment Association.

During that same time, the average monthly rental rate dropped to $725 from $751, the first decline since 2005.

The vacancy rate will remain in the 12- to 13-percent range as an estimated 6,000 new unites are completed, the Observer reported.

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