Rent is rising fastest in these 9 SC cities. Here’s where it’s most painful for renters

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The rent for an average one-bedroom apartment has jumped across multiple South Carolina cities over the past year.

From June of 2021 to date, the rise in rent has been driven by historically low apartment vacancy rates, a competitive housing market and insufficient affordable housing, according to

Data from shows that for Columbia, as of Tuesday, a one-bedroom apartment cost an average of $1,073 to rent — a 16% increase over the same period a year ago.

Also, 40% of apartments in Columbia cost between $1,000 and $1,500 to rent on average. Another 43% costs more than $1,500 to rent.

In Greenville, the increase is worse.

Rent for apartments in Greenville is currently $1,377 on average, which is a 23% increase year-over-year.

“In South Carolina, rental rates have been steadily increasing over the past year in a similar fashion to housing prices — and for many of the same reasons,” said Joey Von Nessen, research economist at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. “Low inventory levels combined with high demand due to increases in population and job growth have been driving prices up for most types of housing. Whether people are looking to rent or own, the price of housing continues to rise.”

Von Nessen noted that there are actions being taken which, among other things, could help curb the rise in rent.

“The Federal Reserve is now actively raising interest rates in an effort to reduce inflation, which will likely slow U.S. economic growth in the second half of 2022,” he said. “To the extent that this also cools the job market, rental rates may begin to stabilize. Remember that job growth is generally the best single predictor for the demand for housing, so the performance of the labor market is a key metric to watch.”

Here is a list of South Carolina cities where rent has jumped by double digits for an average, one-bedroom apartment, year-over-year.

  • Columbia: $1,073 — 16%

  • Greenville: $1,377 — 23%

  • Lexington: $1,295 — 11%

  • Charleston: $1,563 — 10%

  • Myrtle Beach: $1,595 — 17%

  • Irmo: $1,395 — 26%

  • Blythewood: $1,315 — 18%

  • Aiken: $1,140 — 27%

  • Orangeburg: $850 — 13%