February 2020

South Carolina Housing Market Vitality



South Carolina metro area house prices are forecasted to outperform the national market. Current local conditions support an estimated 6.8% increase in the next twelve months. South Carolina’s housing market vitality, based on the ten metro housing markets which comprise it, is stronger than that of the overall U.S. and currently ranks the state as thirty second in the nation. Recent changes in local conditions suggest the possibility of moderation in short-term performance.

Housing Market Vitality

Housing Market Vitality summarizes the impact of economic conditions on future house prices. A value of 100 corresponds to conditions supporting current prices; values less than 100 correspond to a dampening effect; and values greater than 100 indicate a positive effect on house prices.  A housing market vitality value can be interpreted as a forecasted growth rate. Hence, a reading of 105.8 can be interpreted as a forecasted 5.8% annualized increase in house prices.

South Carolina Metro Housing Markets

South Carolina is comprised of ten metro housing markets that account for nearly 84% of the state’s population. The markets are unique in their demographics and local economies and exhibit trends that are distinct from the national or state narrative. Each metro market presents its own unique opportunity.

Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Track 155
Charleston-North Charleston, SC Track 145
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Outperform 52
Columbia, SC Underperform 289
Florence, SC Underperform 352
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC Track 119
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Underperform 386
Spartanburg, SC Underperform 174
Sumter, SC Underperform 377
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC Outperform 94

Industry Specialization

South Carolina’s state economy is specialized in Construction, Leisure Hosp, and Manufacturing. Mining, Information, and Edu Health svcs industry sectors are less important to the state economy compared to the national economy.

Industry specialization helps explain the differing impact of industry trends on local economies in contrast to industry composition which describes the structure of the economy. A Specialization Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the sector having a greater share of the state economy than it does of the national economy. Sectors with a Specialization Index greater than 120 characterize the local economy.


Compared to the U.S., there is a higher incidence of poverty amongst Palmetto State residents and they have less purchasing power. There are more high school graduates and a smaller proportion of the population is college educated. South Carolina’s population is comparatively more diverse than the overall U.S. population.

A Demographics Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the factor being more intense in the state versus the national average. Characteristics of the local population is a longer-term factor that influences the housing market.