Department of Numbers

Charleston County South Carolina Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Charleston County SC was $1,139 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Charleston County was $1,152 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 Charleston County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Charleston County South Carolina (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
South Carolina Median Gross Rent $848 -0.70% +4.69%
Charleston County SC Median Gross Rent $1,139 +4.98% +11.12%

Charleston County SC Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,139, real median gross rent in Charleston County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,152, real average gross rent in Charleston County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent: Charleston County SC Median, Charleston County SC Average, South Carolina Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Charleston County

Date US
Median
South Carolina
Median
Charleston County SC
Median
Charleston County SC
Average
2017 $1,012 $848 $1,139 $1,152
2016 $996 $854 $1,085 $1,088
2015 $987 $843 $1,099 $1,138
2014 $956 $810 $1,025 $1,096
2013 $924 $782 $972 $990
2012 $912 $778 $997 $1,038
2011 $912 $776 $931 $964
2010 $927 $789 $953 $1,010
2009 $931 $780 $968 $992
2008 $947 $775 $945 $982
2007 $899 $735 $913 $934
2006 $909 $762 $949 $938

Charleston County Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for Charleston County South Carolina was 9.05% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Charleston County South Carolina

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
South Carolina 8.97% +0.48% -1.57%
Charleston County SC 9.05% +1.28% +1.11%

Trends in Charleston County SC Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Charleston County peaked in 2008 at 15.58%. Since then it has fallen by 6.53% to 9.05%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2016 post peak low of 7.77%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 1.28%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Charleston County SC, South Carolina, US

Rental vacancy rate in South Carolina

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Charleston County

Date US South Carolina Charleston County SC
2017 6.18% 8.97% 9.05%
2016 5.89% 8.49% 7.77%
2015 5.85% 9.45% 11.06%
2014 6.32% 10.54% 7.94%
2013 6.49% 10.54% 12.91%
2012 6.77% 12.68% 10.50%
2011 7.40% 12.12% 12.61%
2010 8.17% 13.69% 14.96%
2009 8.43% 13.35% 14.69%
2008 7.86% 12.38% 15.58%
2007 7.87% 11.99% 13.86%
2006 7.70% 11.42% 9.52%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Charleston County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Charleston County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 22.57% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Charleston County South Carolina Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
South Carolina 20.12% -0.26% -0.86%
Charleston County SC 22.57% +0.02% +0.04%

Trends in Charleston County SC Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Charleston County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2012 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 23.86%. Since then it has fallen by 1.28% to 22.57%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Charleston County SC, South Carolina, US

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

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

Date US South Carolina Charleston County SC
2017 20.13% 20.12% 22.57%
2016 20.43% 20.39% 22.55%
2015 20.63% 20.81% 22.45%
2014 20.89% 20.98% 22.53%
2013 20.78% 20.81% 22.10%
2012 20.65% 20.99% 23.86%
2011 20.70% 20.99% 21.12%
2010 20.50% 20.79% 22.77%
2009 20.12% 19.96% 22.62%
2008 19.00% 18.15% 19.49%
2007 18.66% 17.86% 20.07%
2006 18.90% 18.69% 21.81%

Renter Fraction in Charleston County South Carolina

You can calculate the renter fraction in Charleston County 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 Charleston County as a fraction of total Charleston County households. In 2017 40.11% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Charleston County Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
South Carolina 31.25% -0.12% -0.70%
Charleston County SC 40.11% +1.18% -1.47%

Trends in the Charleston County SC Renter Fraction

The Charleston County household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 41.58% and is now 1.47% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Charleston County SC, South Carolina, US

Fraction of renters in Charleston County

History of Charleston County Renter Fraction

Date US South Carolina Charleston County SC
2017 36.13% 31.25% 40.11%
2016 36.88% 31.37% 38.93%
2015 36.97% 31.87% 38.49%
2014 36.90% 31.95% 41.58%
2013 36.50% 31.83% 40.16%
2012 36.09% 31.87% 40.71%
2011 35.42% 30.83% 37.75%
2010 34.65% 31.30% 39.17%
2009 34.13% 29.86% 41.11%
2008 33.36% 29.42% 34.35%
2007 32.80% 29.96% 36.31%
2006 32.73% 29.66% 38.27%

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.