Across the state of South Carolina the demand for new apartments is booming, and should continue the upward trend well into 2018. Expectations are that the multifamily market will peak next year and level off, but not go away. There is still a projected demand for new apartment units in South Carolina for an additional 63,000 units by 2030. This is in addition to the 222,600 that are underway already in the Palmetto State according to the National Apartment Association and the National Multifamily Housing Council, which tracks demand for apartments.
The Charleston area has more than 7,200 units being built, a far greater number than apartment units being proposed in other parts of the state. In Charleston there is an additional demand for 13,000 more units by 2030, according to Atlanta-based apartment information service RentPath. Currently there are 9,400 units being proposed for construction to meet the demand for multifamily dwellings in the Charleston region. In the Midlands, there are 3,600 apartment units being proposed for development, according to RentPath, mostly close to or in downtown Columbia. Currently there are 1,200 under construction or in the pre-leasing phase. The Myrtle Beach area has a slower growth in apartment construction with 600 units being built, and 1,000 more being proposed. The Greenville-Spartanburg region has about 3,000 units under construction with an additional 3,000 proposed for development.
Paula Munger, director of research and analysis at the National Apartment Association, told the Post & Courier that apartment construction was supposed to peak in 2017, but the lack of skilled workers and increased construction costs slowed down completion of many development projects until next year. “We see a dip down over the next couple of years in construction,” Munger said. “The big word in the apartment market now is moderation. We had several years of double-digit growth in a lot of markets, but that is starting to come down.”
She said that most of the units being built are exclusively luxury rentals, with few affordable apartment units under construction. Demand for apartments will level off but remain strong during the next decade, as many of the millennials, the largest population to rent apartments, will continue to remain mobile and put off buying homes. There will also be a continuing demand as baby boomers get older and look to downsize to maintenance-free dwellings.
Source: Post & Courier, “Construction in apartment market to peak in 2018, experts say,” October 29, 2017
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