Housing Affordability in the Charleston Metro Area

The Charleston Trident Association of  REALTORS® (CTAR) retained Anderson Economic Group to conduct a study of housing affordability policy in the Charleston metropolitan area, including an analysis of affordability in the existing housing market and an evaluation of policy proposals to improve housing affordability in the region.

To characterize the existing housing affordability landscape, we analyzed historical trends in rents, home sale prices, and the percentage of households considered housing cost burdened (defined as those households paying more than 30% of their income towards housing costs). We also analyzed home sale listing data to quantify trends in the inventory of for-sale homes and built a model to estimate mortgage and other housing costs for recently-sold homes. We found that Charleston metro area housing costs and the number of households considered cost burdened have been risen significantly in recent years.

We also conducted a policy analysis to evaluate different housing policy proposals in terms of their feasibility and potential impact on the region’s housing supply. We interviewed a number of local stakeholders to identify existing obstacles to housing affordability and conducted a literature review of empirical research, case studies, and local government documents to identify policy changes enacted in cities across the U.S. and measure their impact. We found that policymakers could increase the Charleston metro area’s housing supply and decrease pressure on prices by expanding the use of accessory dwelling units, increasing funding for affordable housing, and zoning for greater residential density.

We summarized our findings in a report that was provided to the client in January 2022. We also presented the results of our study to participants of CTAR’s annual Residential Market Update conference in January 2022. The study will be used to inform REALTORS®, stakeholders, and policymakers about potential policy solutions to increase housing affordability in the Charleston metro area.

Read the full report to learn more.