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Why Charleston SC Is One Of The Nations Hottest Real Estate Markets

By Zach Parker | February 25, 2022

The housing market in Charleston SC looks primed to have a record year in home price growth in 2022.  Median home prices in Charleston have jumped by 23.76% in the past two years according to data from Zillow.  Now key housing supply metrics and migration trends suggest that there’s still plenty of room for growth in South Carolina’s low country.

Charleston South Carolina

Housing Inventory At Lowest Level In Last 5 Years

According to Zillow’s data, Charleston’s total inventory of for sale properties has dropped by a significant margin over the past 2 years.  Compared to 2021, total inventory has dropped by -39.67%, which is the 7th highest 1-year inventory decrease out of the top 100 US metro housing marks.  Stretch that back 2 years, and you’ll see that Charleston ranks #6 in total sales inventory reduction at -57.68%.

1-Year Total Inventory Change2022 Total Inventory2021 Total Inventory% ChangeNational rank
Charleston, SC3,0955,130-39.67%7
2-Year Total Inventory Change2022 Total Inventory2020 Total Inventory% ChangeNational rank
Charleston, SC3,0957,313-57.68%6

With such low inventory, prices will have nowhere to go but up in 2022 if demand stays high.  The most recent migration data suggests that will happen this year.

According to the most recent migration studies, South Carolina is seeing one of the largest inbound move percentages in the nation right now.  United Van Lines recently released their annual migration study that analyzes the total number and percentages of interstate moves by families.   Out of all the families moving to and from South Carolina in 2021, 63% of those were inbound moves, which is the 3rd largest inbound move percentage in the country behind Vermont and South Dakota. 

2021 Percentage of Inbounds Moves: United Van Lines
StateInbound %
South Dakota69%
South Carolina63%
West Virginia63%
Rhode Island59%

The most recent data from the US Census Bureau seems to support this analysis, as one the predominant migration patterns in the US over the past 3 years has been people moving from the northeast to the south.

As long as this trend continues, demand for housing in southeastern metros will continue to increase, putting upwards pressure on prices.  We can already see these migration trends affecting the demographics of Charleston.

Rising Median Household Incomes

According to the most recent data from the US Department of Commerce, Charleston, SC saw the largest 1-year increase in Median Household Income out of all US metros.  Median household income grew by 10.77% year-over-year according to their data and now sits at $70,505.  

Top 10 Metros - 1 Year Median Household Income Growth
Metro20202019% Change
Charleston-North Charleston, SC$70,505$63,64910.77%
Boise City, ID$66,466$60,5689.74%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$70,954$65,1218.96%
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL$54,533$50,3608.29%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$94,027$86,8568.26%
Albuquerque, NM$58,512$54,0728.21%
San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA$114,696$106,0258.18%
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL$65,526$60,8107.76%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL$62,240$57,8327.62%
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO$85,641$79,6647.50%

A look at the other metros on the top 10 list for income growth, you can see that many of the metros absorbing residents from California and the Northeast cities have seen similar growth, and are also experiencing rapid home price growth as a result.


Culture is a hard metric to quantify, but if you were to rank the top cities in the US based on a ‘fun factor’, Charleston would certainly be in the conversation.  According to WalletHub’s list of the ‘Most Fun Cities in America’, Charleston ranks #24 in their study of 182 US metros.  Charleston is also the top ranked city in both North Carolina and South Carolina in their study.

This is no surprise to anyone who has visited South Carolina’s low country.  The city is chock full of great restaurants, beautiful scenery, and fun and exciting nightlife.  For those that think Charleston’s food scene ends at down-home cooking and raw bars, think again.  One of the best fine dining experiences in Charleston is FIG, which offers a seasonal menu that features culinary inspirations from around the globe.  Of course, no trip to Charleston would be complete without a stop at the world renowned 167 Raw Bar and Hall’s Chophouse

In conclusion, all systems appear to be go for Charleston's housing market in 2022. Prices are expected to decelerate in most of America's housing market this year as a result of rising interest rates, but that may not affect Charleston as much as other housing markets. Look for prices to rise by double digit margins again in 2022 and perhaps even set records.

Join Zach this week as he takes a trip to the home of the Boise State Broncos, Boise Idaho. Zach will share real estate market data, median home sales, median salaries and the best places to eat and live. Market Watch Boise Idaho.

Zach is a digital marketing expert, solopreneur, and Owner of ProSource Media. As a crypto holder and owner of several investment properties, he closely monitors market and data trends in both real estate and blockchain. Zach covers Market Watch at Realty Biz News
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