CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Rent is on the rise in the Palmetto State.
According to experts at the University of South Carolina, the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in South Carolina is $1,087. They said that number is up seven percent since January of 2022, and 29% since 2020.
Associate Professor of Economics, Crystal Zhan, said the rising rates could keep inflation levels higher through the rest of 2022.
“Because the price of other things goes up, the cost of running rentals, not only for owners but for renters – goes up,” said Zhan.
According to Zhan, the high rents can be blamed on supply and demand. Many people wanted to upsize during the pandemic, which increased the price of homes.
As a result, the professor said many people looked to rent because of how expensive houses are. Zhan said another aspect driving the demand is people who live in other areas are moving to more affordable states like South Carolina.
Zhan said owners are having to pay more for materials and labor, and eventually must pass the costs onto the renters.
Heather McGhee has been renting out a home on Johns Island for the last four years. Despite the current state of the market, she said she hasn’t increased rent for her tenants once.
“It was just absurd to think about charging someone another three, four, 500 dollars a month for no reason,” said McGhee.
As for the short-term future of rental prices, Zhan doesn’t believe we will see a decrease in prices anytime soon. However, she said increasing interest rates could slow the rate at which rent goes up.