Department of Numbers

Columbia South Carolina Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Columbia, SC (the Columbia metro area) was $857 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Columbia was $852 in 2015. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2016 Columbia median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

Data is also available below for Columbia rental vacancy rates, Columbia rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Columbia.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Columbia South Carolina (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
South Carolina Median Gross Rent $819 +4.07% +8.33%
Columbia, SC Median Gross Rent $857 +0.47% +7.93%

Columbia, SC Real Gross Rent Trends

At $857, real median gross rent in Columbia was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005. At $852, real average gross rent in Columbia was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Columbia: Columbia SC Median, Columbia SC Average, South Carolina Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Columbia

Date US
Median
South Carolina
Median
Columbia, SC
Median
Columbia, SC
Average
2015 $959 $819 $857 $852
2014 $930 $787 $853 $843
2013 $898 $760 $822 $802
2012 $886 $756 $794 $793
2011 $887 $754 $822 $794
2010 $901 $767 $804 $795
2009 $905 $759 $824 $796
2008 $920 $754 $809 $787
2007 $874 $714 $781 $734
2006 $883 $741 $787 $748
2005 $858 $720 $759 $727

Columbia Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2015 the rental vacancy rate for Columbia South Carolina was 9.51% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Columbia South Carolina

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
South Carolina 9.45% -1.09% -3.23%
Columbia, SC 9.51% +2.08% +0.34%

Trends in Columbia, SC Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Columbia peaked in 2005 at 10.42%. Since then it has fallen by 0.91% to 9.51%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2014 post peak low of 7.43%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 2.08%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Columbia SC, South Carolina, US

Rental vacancy rate in South Carolina

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Columbia

Date US South Carolina Columbia, SC
2015 5.85% 9.45% 9.51%
2014 6.32% 10.54% 7.43%
2013 6.49% 10.54% 7.99%
2012 6.77% 12.68% 9.17%
2011 7.40% 12.12% 8.24%
2010 8.17% 13.69% 9.32%
2009 8.43% 13.35% 10.23%
2008 7.86% 12.38% 9.17%
2007 7.87% 11.99% 7.45%
2006 7.70% 11.42% 9.81%
2005 7.74% 11.43% 10.42%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Columbia, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Columbia, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 20.02% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Columbia South Carolina Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
South Carolina 20.81% -0.18% -0.18%
Columbia, SC 20.02% -0.51% +0.53%

Trends in Columbia, SC Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Columbia household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2011 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 21.38%. Since then it has fallen by 1.36% to 20.02%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Columbia SC, South Carolina, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Columbia South Carolina

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Columbia South Carolina

Date US South Carolina Columbia, SC
2015 20.63% 20.81% 20.02%
2014 20.89% 20.98% 20.53%
2013 20.78% 20.81% 20.41%
2012 20.65% 20.99% 19.49%
2011 20.70% 20.99% 21.38%
2010 20.50% 20.79% 19.94%
2009 20.12% 19.96% 19.33%
2008 19.00% 18.15% 17.81%
2007 18.66% 17.86% 17.77%
2006 18.90% 18.69% 17.75%
2005 18.89% 18.65% 17.93%

Renter Fraction in Columbia South Carolina

You can calculate the renter fraction in Columbia in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Columbia as a fraction of total Columbia households. In 2015 33.42% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Columbia Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
South Carolina 31.87% -0.08% 0.00%
Columbia, SC 33.42% -0.25% +1.42%

Trends in the Columbia, SC Renter Fraction

The Columbia household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 33.67% and is now 0.25% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Columbia SC, South Carolina, US

Fraction of renters in Columbia

History of Columbia Renter Fraction

Date US South Carolina Columbia, SC
2015 36.97% 31.87% 33.42%
2014 36.90% 31.95% 33.67%
2013 36.50% 31.83% 32.50%
2012 36.09% 31.87% 32.00%
2011 35.42% 30.83% 32.66%
2010 34.65% 31.30% 32.62%
2009 34.13% 29.86% 30.45%
2008 33.36% 29.42% 30.85%
2007 32.80% 29.96% 30.61%
2006 32.73% 29.66% 29.87%
2005 33.10% 29.91% 31.37%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.