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The Best Places To Invest In South Carolina 2021

by | Dec 17, 2021 | 0 comments

South Carolina is one of the many states that saw a major uptick in their local real estate markets over the last year, which is a signal to real estate investors looking to find their next investment opportunity. The Palmetto State has one of the fastest growing populations and economies in the country, which has a direct positive impact on South Carolina real estate investments. The state has seen population growth of over 10% since 2010, bringing its population to over 5,000,000 and making it the tenth quickest growing state in the country. There’s also been large growth to the job markets throughout the state, with job sectors like manufacturing and financial services bringing more high-paying jobs to the area and putting South Carolina in the top 15 fastest growing state economies in the country.

The university of South Carolina in Richland County is responsible for a lot of this population growth, along with more affordable living options coupled with increasingly competitive wages compared to nearby states. South Carolina is home to the headquarters of several large companies such as Michelin, Schaeffler Group, and Sonoco, boosting the strength of the local economy with stable work and further adding to the area’s population growth. As of now the state’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6% which is below the national average and is a major indicator of the area’s economic recovery following 2020, another signal that South Carolina is on track to continue its growth and therefore remain an excellent choice for real estate investments.

It’s important for real estate investors to understand the current conditions and growth potential of local markets so they can develop their investment strategy and maximize their earning potential. That’s why Asset Based Lending compiled this list of the best places to invest in South Carolina real estate. We analyzed data from reputable sources including Redfin, Long & Foster, public city records, and more to conclude the seven best investment areas as of October 2021.

Charleston

The jewel of Charleston County boasts a population of over 135,000, making it the biggest city in the state of South Carolina and one of the best places for real estate investors to consider their next opportunity. With an average household income of over $33,000, the typical Charleston resident has slightly more buying power than the average American. The city has a projected job growth of 36% which is well above the national average, and the unemployment rate is currently hovering around 4%, better than the national average. These two stats are important to follow as they are common signs of a strong local economy that supports high returns on real estate investments.

Currently the average home sale price for the city reached $421,762 which marks a 17% increase year over year. Homes are spending an average of 46 days on market, which is nearly 28% less than the previous year and highlights how active the market is. These stats point to a strong market for fix and flip investors given the demand driving up prices, as well as the reduced time homes are spending on the market before being sold.

Homes are currently selling on average for $238 per square foot which is a 24% increase from the previous year. The homes featuring amenities such as private office, attached deck, and ceiling fans are selling for above asking price more often than homes lacking these features, so builders should consider these buyer interests and tailor their project to maximize the potential sale price. Understanding local market trends can give new construction projects a competitive advantage over other real estate investments when it comes time to finally sell your project.

The average monthly rent price for Charleston reached $1,677, which is an 18% increase year over year and a couple hundred dollars above the national average. 47% of the population rents versus owns with a vacancy rate hovering below 8%, marking a healthy rental economy for BRRRR investors. Neighborhoods like Downtown Charleston and Harleston Village are desirable renter locations that feature high average rent prices and should be top choices for real estate investors that want to start or expand their rental portfolio.

Columbia

The capital of South Carolina is also the capital of prime real estate investments, as Columbia tops our list for potential investors to consider. Columbia is very close behind Charleston in the running for biggest city in the state with a population just shy of 135,000. This star of Richland County has an unemployment rate of 5% and an expected future job growth rate of 28%, signaling a stable local economy that is slightly above similar sized cities in neighboring states. The largest job sectors are retail trade, financial and insurance services, and technical services. The latter sectors trend towards higher paying jobs, which has helped raise the value of the local real estate and benefited real estate investors who can snag good deals and turn a profit.

Currently the average home sale price for the city is $212,000 which is a 21% increase year over year. Homes are spending an average of only 4 days on market, which indicates an incredibly active and competitive local market. The most desired homes are selling as quickly as 2 days and typically sell for 5% above asking price. These types of numbers should point to fix and flip investors as a clear sign to strike, as these stats highlight a market with high demand and consistent growth.

Homes are selling for $115 per square foot which is a 20% increase from the previous year. The homes selling the fastest and for maximum profit have features sch as finished basement, working fireplace, and ceiling fans. Developers can focus on these buyer trends to ensure their project sells quickly and for the largest amount possible. Using hard money loans for new construction can allow builders and developers to finance projects quickly and take advantage of these current market conditions.

The average monthly rent price for the area reached $1,232 which marks a 12% increase from last year. 51% of the population rents instead of owns with a vacancy rate steadily below 5%, making it one of the best choices for BRRRR investors in South Carolina. Having a majority renter population is common in major cities, and the consistent growth in rental prices thanks to the housing demand makes Columbia rental property a potential high ROI investment. Investors that are looking to begin or expand their rental portfolio in South Carolina should consider Columbia as one of their top picks.

Rock Hill

Rock Hill is a surprising candidate for top real estate investments in South Carolina, mainly due to the town not being extremely well known. The unemployment rate hovers around 5% and the future job growth is sitting just below 40%, putting it far above the national average and signaling to investors that this local economy will remain strong for the years to come. The largest job sectors for the area are manufacturing, retail trade, and health care services which positions the local economy as a middle-class market.

Currently the average home sale price for the area is $286,000, which is a 19% increase from the previous year. Homes are spending an average of 25 days on market with especially desirable homes selling as quickly as 3 days for about 6% above asking price. These average home prices put it into the upper middle of the pack as far as South Carolina home buyers are concerned, but the quick sales from listing date to final contract should be a signal to fix and flip investors that are able to get in and out of their rehab projects. Quick moving deals are how fix and flips generate consistent ROI, so investing in a market with such high demand can help ensure your deal flow remains steady.

Homes are selling for an average of $167 per square foot, which is nearly 26% more than the previous year. Homes that feature an office, working fireplace, and finished basement are selling faster and above asking price more often than homes lacking these features. Many homes with these features have grown in popularity over the last year as people spent more time in their home, and those trends are continuing in the ongoing real estate markets of Rock Hill and elsewhere. New construction projects can plan around these amenities to maximize the potential sale price of their final project.

The average rent in the city reached $1,187 which is a 13% increase year over year. 40% of the population rents with a vacancy rate hovering below 7%. While its not the top rental market in the state, Rock Hill offers a stable ROI with more affordable acquisition costs, making it a solid choice for real estate investors that want to practice the BRRRR method. If you’re a real estate investor looking for your first rental property, Rock Hill’s economics could fit your strategy.

Myrtle Beach

Its no surprise that the biggest tourist and short-term resident town in South Carolina is one of the best places to invest in real estate. Myrtle Beach has continued to grow in popularity which has attracted more permanent residents and short-term leasers alike, increasing the value of the local real estate. Currently the unemployment rate is hovering around 7.6% and boasts future job growth of 39% which far outpaces the national average. The largest employment sectors for the town include retail trade, construction, food services, and hospitality. These provide consistent, middle-class work that keeps the local real estate affordably priced while continuing to offer strong ROI to real estate investors.

The average home sale price for the city is $242,000 which is a 7% increase from the previous year. Homes are spending an average of 58 days on market which is 43% less time than last year and helps to highlight how active the markets are. 674 homes were sold during the month of October which represents a nearly 3% increase in activity from the previous year. Especially desirable homes are selling as quickly as 42 days and are receiving upwards of 2% above asking price on average.

Homes are selling for $170 per square foot which marks a nearly 23% increase from the previous year. Homes that feature a private office, outdoor pool, and attached deck are selling faster and for more money. Developers and builders that can source their own materials directly and build to meet market demand have a competitive advantage in the investor market. By crafting a home that fits buyer desires, they can ensure that their home sells quickly and for maximum value, which is the goal of any real estate investment.

The average monthly rent price for the area has reached $1,337 which represents a 24% increase year over year. 44% of the population rents versus owns and rental vacancy is hovering around 29%. While the vacancy may seem incredibly high, especially compared to other cities on the list, this town is a seasonal rental and operates under long term vacancies during the off months. That said, given its seasonal nature, Myrtle beach is one of the best performing short term vacation rental markets on the east coast.

Airbnb and Vrbo are great examples of how real estate investors are utilizing short term leases on vacation rentals to bring in substantial annual revenue. While many of the places on this list work best for long term rentals that utilize year-long lease agreements, Myrtle Beach thrives under seasonal vacation rentals. So, while the vacancy rate is around 29%, the stat is inflated due to the cyclical nature of this beachfront town and not indicative of the true strength of the local rental market. Investors can utilize hard money Airbnb loans to purchase their short-term rental property and hold it as an income producing asset.

Summerville

Summerville is another great investor town in South Carolina, surrounded by lush greenery, mountainous hiking trails, and most importantly home to a booming real estate market. The unemployment rate is sitting at a healthy 4.5% and boasts an expected job growth of 35%, which is slightly higher than national average and indicative of a strong local economy. The largest job sectors in the town revolve around manufacturing, retail trade, and health care services which provide a good mixture of middle-class and upper-middle class salary ranges and are reflected in the real estate prices.

The average home sale price for the area reached $335,669 which is a 20% increase year over year. Homes are spending an average of 42 days on market which is 31% less than the previous year. 481 homes sold during the month of October which is a nearly 17% increase from last year and highlights the current activity in the marketplace. The most competitive homes are selling on average in 30 days and typically receive about 3% above asking price. These stats indicate a strong market for fix and flips, given how quickly homes are selling from their listing date and the consistent increases in the average sale price.

Homes are selling for $160 per square foot which is a 19% increase from the previous year. Homes that feature a private office, outdoor pool, and eat-in area are receiving more attention online as well as more offers above asking price than properties lacking these features. Utilizing new construction loans to build these desirable homes and selling them for a premium price are how real estate investors can make Summerville’s current market work for their financial goals.

The average monthly rent in Summerville reached $1,257 which is a 9% increase from the previous year. 32% of the population rents instead of owns, with a rental vacancy rate hovering around 6%. While this is a lower renting population than other areas, the consistent growth and reduced competition could make this town a great starting area for new investors. Investors could use the BRRRR strategy to acquire and renovate several rental properties in the area, increasing their value and bringing in a higher monthly rent than other competing properties.

Goose Creek

Goose Creek might be the smallest town on our list but its one of the mightiest in terms of local real estate growth in South Carolina. The town relies on its natural beauty with hiking trails and golf courses as well as its safe tight-knit community to attract new permanent residents every year. The unemployment rate is hovering around 4.2% and the town boasts an expected job growth of 40%, signaling a strong local economy that will grow significantly over the coming years. Manufacturing, retail trade, and health services are among the chief job sectors for the area which indicates a steady middle-class economy.

The average home sale price reached $285,000 which is a 21% increase year over year and a five-year-high for the town. Homes are spending an average of 46 days on market which is 25% less time than the previous year. 157 homes sold during the month of October which is 30% more homes sold than the previous year. The most desirable homes are selling on average in 32 days for about 3% above asking price. Fix and flip investors should consider Goose Creek for their next quick investment, utilizing flip loans to secure a profitable opportunity.

Homes are selling for an average of $164 per square foot which marks a 20% increase year over year. Homes that feature amenities such as private office, outdoor pool, and fenced yards are receiving more attention to their listings and are receiving offers above asking price more often than homes lacking these features. Its important for new construction projects to consider the local buyer demands to maximize the potential sale price for their investment.

The average monthly rent price for the town reached $1,228 which is a 5% increase year over year, but only 25% of the population rents instead of owns. The vacancy rate of Goose Creek’s smaller population and low percentage of renters makes it a weaker choice for BRRRR investors compared to other areas on the list, but it always comes down to the financials of a deal, so don’t rule out any investment strategy until you run the numbers yourself! This area could make for a great starter investment area and the beginning of your South Carolina rental portfolio.

Spartanburg

The final city on our list is Spartanburg, one of the smaller cities on our list but still one of the best spots for real estate investors. The city is home to multiple colleges and a few locally significant cultural centers, making Spartanburg a desirable location for living in South Carolina. The city’s unemployment rate is sitting at 6.7% and boasts a future job growth rate of 36% which slightly outpaces the national average. Manufacturing, retail trade, and educational services make up the three largest job sectors in the area, providing stable and reliable middle-class jobs that impact the value of local real estate. The demand for homes in the area due to this economic growth has made it an excellent location for real estate investments.

The average home sale price for the area reached $207,025 which is a 10% increase from the previous year. Homes are spending an average of only 7 days on market, which is a remarkable 88% less time than the year prior. 124 homes sold during the month of October which marks a 33% increase year over year and highlights the activity of the marketplace. Spartanburg is currently a hot seller’s market and marks an excellent opportunity for fix and flip investors that can get in and out of their deals quickly.

Homes are currently selling for $121 per square foot which is a 13% increase year over year. Homes that feature amenities such as private office, finished basement, and attached deck are receiving more attention and offers above asking price more frequently than homes lacking these features. Builders and developers can keep these amenities in mind when planning their new construction project, maximizing the potential sale price of their investment.

The average monthly rent price for the area reached $995 which is a 10% increase year over year. 42% of the population rents instead of owns and a rental vacancy rate hovering between 6% and 7%, making it an above average city for rental property investments. Fast and reliable rental loans can help BRRRR investors secure their next opportunity and let them start generating passive income with their Spartanburg rental property.

Final Thoughts

South Carolina has undergone a large growth spurt economically through the last 10 years and its real estate market has followed suit, transforming it into the one of the strongest markets for real estate investors to consider. There’s a mix of investment opportunities depending on your strategy, including fix and flip, new construction, and rental property. With a variety of investment types and styles being catered to, Asset Based Lending has loan options to secure your next opportunity. We provide fast and flexible financing for fix and flips and new construction, as well as flexible long term loans for rental property. ABL can approve a loan within 1 business day, so you never miss out on an opportunity. If you’re a South Carolina real estate investor looking for the best hard money loans in the state, then contact us today.

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