Significant Job Creation and Population Growth Drive Record-Level Construction

Key Takeaways

  • Charleston, South Carolina’s multifamily market continues to strengthen and grow with record-high construction levels, increasing occupancy, and rising rental rates.
  • Significant job creation and growing millennial and retiree populations are driving multifamily development.
  • Tight market conditions, job growth and low interest rates create an optimal environment for investment sales opportunities.
  • The market is poised for continued growth through 2016 with cautious optimism for late 2016 and beyond. 

Record-High Construction Activity

Multifamily development has been booming nationwide, reaching levels that have not been seen in decades.  Activity in Charleston is significant with the greatest number of units under construction in years.  According to AptIndex’s recent report, approximately 4,500 units were under construction in August 2015.  Activity is not slowing down as another 6,000 units are proposed throughout the market.

Recent new construction has been focused in Mount Pleasant and Daniel Island.  However, as the trend of urban core development continues, downtown Charleston will welcome new multifamily and mixed-use developments.  A growing Gen-Y population and desire for a live, work, and play environment is driving downtown residential development across the United States.  A growing tech industry and high quality of life is attracting millennials to downtown Charleston.  Retirees are also contributing to the renter population.  Some retirees are opting for rental housing rather than ownership while others choose to rent units that serve as vacation homes or weekend getaways.

According to ESRI demographics, Charleston’s 20-to-34-year-old age group is growing and is expected to increase by 2,859 individuals from 2015 to 2020.  The 50-to-69-year-old age group is also expanding with an additional 8,222 individuals projected by 2020.  The result is new household formations and apartment demand.

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