Charleston Investment Property for Sale - 2024 Rental Home Appreciation

State: South Carolina


The Charleston real estate market has nearly everything investors look for when considering an investment opportunity. It offers affordability, high appreciation, long and short-term vacation rentals demand, and a stable economy. In fact, these reasons are why Realtor listed Charleston as a 2020 top market to watch. And they weren't wrong.

The investment opportunity offered by Charleston, SC, should put it on any real estate investor's list.

Charleston's Attractive Housing Market

Charleston is in the heart of South Carolina's Lowcountry. The geographic and cultural region includes the State's coast, sea islands, and critical waterways. The area's natural beauty and beaches attract residents and tourists alike.

The Charleston area is home to many great neighborhoods and suburbs for real estate investors to consider. They include Downtown Charleston, Goose Creek, James Island, Mount Pleasant, and North Charleston.

  • Downtown Charleston: Downtown Charleston is located on a peninsula in the center of the city with views of Charleston Harbor. It's what most people envision when they think of Charleston – historic homes, boutique apartments, and oak-lined streets. The median listing price in Downtown Charleston is $689/sqft, and the median sales price is $859,500. The median rent is $3,400/month.
  • Goose Creek: Goose Creek is located 18 miles north of Charleston along I-26. It's known as a quiet community with a small-town, southern charm. The median listing price in Goose Creek is $181/sqft, and the median sales price is $300,000. The median rent is $2,020/month.
  • James Island: James Island is located south of Downtown Charleston between Charleston Harbor and Johns Island. It's a residential area with a laidback, small-town vibe. The median listing price in James Island is $293/sqft, and the median sales price is $477,000. The median rent is $3,000/month.
  • Mount Pleasant: Mount Pleasant is located 10 miles northeast of Charleston along US-17. It's known for its historic single-family homes, large live oaks, and suburban feel. The median listing price in Mount Pleasant is $320/sqft, and the median sales price is $675,000. The median rent is $3,200/month.
  • North Charleston: North Charleston is located 9 miles north of Charleston along I-26. It's the third largest city in South Carolina. It is known for its proximity to the airport, numerous restaurants, and more affordable housing. The median listing price in North Charleston is $178/sqft, and the median sales price is $299,900. The median rent is $1,850/month.

A few other neighborhoods worth noting are Daniel Island, a friendly community with a top-rated school district; Edisto Island, known for its beautiful beaches and historic homes; Isle of Palms, a resort community with spas and golf courses; Sullivan's Island, a close-knit community with award-winning restaurants; and Ravenel, a small community that's considered the gateway to Charleston.

Rental Home Appreciation in Charleston

Charleston has a great rental market with high demand for long-term and short-term vacation rentals. Roughly 45% of households in Charleston are renter-occupied, and the city only has a 2.1% vacancy rate.

According to Realtor, the median listing price in Charleston is $286 per square foot with a median sale price of $477,500. Zillow's Home Value Index reports a 31% change since last year. The median rent in Charleston is $2,750 per month. That's not a bad return on investment.

Charleston also has a strong short-term rental market. According to AirDNA, Charleston's Airbnb occupancy rate ranges from 52% in January to 90% in June. Hosts generate an average of just over $5,000 monthly rental income.

With such a solid long and short-term rental market, a Charleston rental property has the potential to yield significant returns for real estate investors and property management companies.

Economic Growth in Charleston

Charleston is the second largest city in South Carolina. But don't let that fact bother you. It's only second because Columbia, the capital, has about 9,000 more residents. What's more, Charleston boasts a lower unemployment rate (4%), greater job growth rate (35.9%), and higher average income ($90,000/year) than Columbia.

Charleston's primary industries are aerospace, energy, life sciences, information technology, defense, and tourism. The largest employers are Boeing, Joint Base Charleston, the Medical University of South Carolina, Trident Health System, and the Port of Charleston, which provides $53 billion in annual economic activity. Volvo's first US plant is also located in Berkeley County, just north of Charleston. These employers provide stable, well-paying jobs that fuel the city's economy.

The Charleston real estate market offers real estate investors demand for long and short-term rentals, very high home price appreciation, and a stable economy. They combine to create a tremendous investment opportunity.

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