Rent prices soared in SC in 2022 but one spot outdid most of the US. Will 2023 be any different?

South Carolina rent prices jumped by double digits last year, but one market had the second biggest increase in the U.S., statistics show.

Rent rose by 10.4% in South Carolina on average in 2022, according to RentHub, an online real estate data and analytics platform. The state ended the year with a median rent of $1,800 in December, up from $1,700 during the same month in 2021.

To view current median rent and annual percent changes by zip code in major markets of the state, check out the interactive map below.

But which of the state’s markets had the second biggest increase in rent prices in the U.S. last year?

The Charleston-North Charleston metro area earned the spot, with a 25.3% year over year spike, a new report from national real estate brokerage HouseCanary shows. The Charleston-North Charleston metro area ended 2022 with a median rent price of $2,750, a $555 bump over the prior year.

The metro area’s 2022 median rental price was also significantly higher than the national median price of $2,305 reported at the end of the year.

Rent prices should stabilize across the state in 2023 however, said Joey Von Nessen, research economist at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

“First, the Federal Reserve has begun to slow the pace of interest rate hikes, which implies that we are also unlikely to see any further significant increases in mortgage interest rates,” Von Nessen said. “Second, as the supply of rental units increases due to ongoing construction activity, this will also help to slow further prices surges.”

The report notes that while the Charleston-North Charleston metro area saw a huge jump in rent prices last year, it’s still relatively affordable compared to many other parts of the U.S. And it’s that affordability that has “sustained significant out-of-state interest from those looking to relocate from larger metropolitan cities.”

South Carolina overall attracted many new residents in 2022 and was the third fastest-growing state that year, U.S. Census data shows. And it has been that high demand, combined with low inventory, which has pushed up housing and rental prices in the state, industry experts say.

“This increase in demand, in turn, was largely the result of rising mortgage interest rates that made homebuying less affordable,” Von Nessen, said. “Or put another way, as the cost of buying a home increased in 2022 due to rising mortgage interest rates, many potential homebuyers decided to rent instead as a lower cost option.”