Development on the Summerville Horizon
- The population in the Charleston region is expected to grow at a rate of 39 people per day, three times the growth of the U.S.
- Multifamily development continues to reach record levels.
- Labor force is growing at four times the national average.
- The average rental rate in the market increased 7.3% in one year.
Demand, Meet Supply
Home to 740,000 people, the Charleston - North Charleston MSA, consisting of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, is located halfway between Miami and New York along the nation’s eastern seaboard. Charleston is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. Since the turn of the century, nearly 200,000 people have moved to the three-county area. More impressively, the population is expected to grow at a rate of 39 people per day over the next five years to 810,000 people. The growing residential population is driven by the high quality of life and the expansion of employment opportunities, and it in turn drives the development of new multifamily projects across the market.
The region, known for its beaches, hospitality and Southern charm, won several accolades in 2016, such as Number 1 City in the U.S., Number 1 City in the World, Friendliest City and Number 1 Travel Destination in the U.S. Accolades like these are bringing national attention to Charleston and driving population growth. Other evidence of the region’s high quality of life are statistics such as the average household income of $72,334, which is expected to increase by 9.5% to $79,189 by 2021, and the average net worth, which is $500,696 according to an ESRI report. Additionally, 64.6% of residents 25 or older have at least a high school diploma and 42.4% have an associate’s degree or higher.
Charleston’s strong population growth and expanding skilled, educated labor force is attracting major employers to the region such as Volvo, Daimler-Benz and Boeing. Recently, Volvo received 40,000 applications, many from outside of the market, for the 2,000 jobs available at their new facility in Summerville, and Daimler-Benz is set to begin hiring for 1,700 new jobs this summer. Although Charleston has a strong, skilled labor force, their availability is limited due to other large manufacturers in the region, like Boeing and Bosch. As a result, a new wave of residents is expected to move to the area for employment, expanding the labor pool and creating even more housing demand.
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