Have soaring rent prices in SC finally peaked? What the latest numbers show

The rate of skyrocketing rental prices in South Carolina this past year might finally be slowing, new statistics show.

The national median asking rent rose 11% in August — the smallest gain in a year, according to real estate brokerage Redfin. Meanwhile, more recent September numbers from rent.com show lower rate jumps than some South Carolina cities have seen all year and even a few with year-over-year price drops.

The double-digit jump in the national median asking rent was still large, but it’s down considerably from the 19% annual peak in March. Also, the month-over-month growth of 0.4% was the slowest since December 2021 and down from 1.6% a year earlier, Redfin states.

Some South Carolina cities have seen similar changes in their rental prices. For instance, Columbia asking rent was $1,073 in June, a 16% increase year over year, rent.com numbers show. However, while still rising, the annual increase in Columbia had slowed to 6% as of Thursday.

Rental rates have steadily risen much of the year similarly to housing prices for many of the same reasons, housing industry experts say. A combination of low inventory and high demand due to increases in population and job growth have driven prices up for most types of housing.

However, the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates this year to curb inflation has also started slowing economic spending, which includes the rental market.

“Rent growth will likely slow further as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates. Higher interest rates impact the rental market because they put a damper on spending power in the economy as a whole, including renters’ budgets,” Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said in a recent statement.

Marr added that the growth in rents should also be slowed by a boost in rental supply.

“There are nearly a million rental units under construction that will hit the market in the coming months and years,” he said.

Here’s a list of the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in some South Carolina cities and their percentage of increase or decrease, year over year as of Thursday, according to rent.com.

  • Columbia: $1,125 — 6%

  • Irmo: $1,415 — 7%

  • Greenville: $1,427 — 12%

  • Lexington: $1,231 — -4%

  • Elgin: $1,023 — -10%

  • West Columbia: $940 — -47%

  • Sumter: $850 — -1%

  • Aiken: $1,192 — 25%

  • Myrtle Beach: $1,617 — 24%

  • Charleston: $1,777 — 19%

  • North Charleston: $1,477 — 14%

  • Spartanburg: $1,232 — 10%