Charleston, South Carolina has become one of the top destinations in the US over the past decade. The historic charm, Southern hospitality, great weather, and incredible cuisine are just a few of the many reasons people come here to visit – and to live.
If you’ve been considering buying a home in Charleston, you may be wondering if it’s a smart move and a good investment. While no one can see into the future, as a real estate agent I believe we have good reasons to be optimistic about the long-term prospects of the market here.
Strong Outlook Based on Reliable Indicators
The Charleston real estate market is strong, and it’s not just local Realtors® like me who think so. A number of national associations and publications have done the research and identify Charleston, SC as an area with great prospects.
In December 2019, the National Association of Realtors® identified the Charleston market as one of the top ten markets expected to outperform others over the next 3-5 years. This is based, in part, on housing affordability, solid local economy, domestic migration, and home price appreciation.
That same month, SmartAsset published a list of Top Boomtowns in America, and the area took not just one but three spots on the list! North Charleston came in at #9, Charleston at #8, and Mount Pleasant all the way up at #3. The population growth of these communities reflects the expanding job opportunities and desirable quality of life that attracts new residents.
Charleston’s New Residents
As the region thrives, people continue to move here. Last June, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance reported that an average of 26 people moved into the area a day in 2018, for a total of almost 9,500 new residents.
They move here from both inside and from outside the state, particularly from the Northeast. While a number of Southern states including South Carolina are growing year over year, a handful of Northern states are losing population, according to the US Census, including New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The move-in to move-out rate in New York and New Jersey is -5%, and my own research suggests that this will grow by as much as 50% in the coming [months/years]. Many move here for a lower cost of living, better quality of life, and to escape the harsh winters.
*Accommodating New Growth While Keeping Its Charm
Charleston’s recent growth presents many opportunities for buyers looking for a home in the area. As one of the oldest cities in the country, Charleston has a large number of properties that are hundreds of years old and a true part of the area’s history. Further out from the center, in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, North Charleston, and beyond, new developments offer plenty of choice for buyers in the form of planned communities, family-friendly subdivisions, and modestly-priced condos. Some buyers take advantage of working directly with a builder to plan and design their dream home, while buyers who prefer something with more history have plenty of beautiful homes to choose from. There really is something for everyone.
Fortunately, the Charleston City Council understands what makes Charleston special and is careful to protect it. For instance, the City enforces strict height limits for new buildings – eight stories maximum, as of 2017 – on the peninsula in order to preserve the charm of the low-skyline city. Plus, unlike many other beachside cities, Charleston’s beaches are not lined with hotels and tall condos but with homes, giving them a community rather than a commercial feel. Though a population explosion could be expected to erode what makes the area special, restrictions like these help protect the charm of the area which is a big draw for many people in the first place.
What This Means for You
If you’ve been considering buying property in the Charleston area, you can feel confident in your decision to go ahead and buy. With the economic outlook so strong in the area, a home here could make a good investment, not to mention a great place to live.
Whether you’re ready to see properties now or you want some information on the area, I’d love to hear from you. I’m here to help you buy or sell in Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, or the wider Charleston, SC area. Give me a call at 843-806-7222 or email me here. I look forward to hearing from you.