If you’ve heard of Columbia, South Carolina, it was probably only as one more city on the list of state capitals you had to learn. Yet this southern city has a number of points in its favor for real estate investors. In this article, our focus will be on the Columbia SC real estate market and investment opportunities in 2020.
Columbia is home to around 150,000 people. The Columbia SC housing market includes the much larger Columbia metropolitan area. That contains roughly three quarters of a million people. Estimates suggest the Columbia area has already surpassed 800,000 people and is approaching a million.
Size isn’t reason enough to invest in a real estate market. It is important to analyze the market as a whole before deciding to buy, sell, or invest in a new property.
If you are considering buying or selling a home, you will certainly want to do plenty of research in advance. The more information you can have about the Columbia real estate market, the better off you will ultimately be.
Is Columbia going to be one of the best markets for real estate investing in 2020? Let’s take a deep look at the latest Columbia SC housing market trends to come to a conclusion.
Columbia SC Real Estate Market Forecast 2020
The real estate data from Zillow shows that the current median home value in Columbia is $139,500. Currently, the Columbia is a seller's market. The home prices have risen by 6.3% over the last year. And looking forward into the coming year, the Columbia SC real estate market forecast is that home prices will continue to rise by 3.4%.
Here is the Columbia, SC real estate price appreciation graph by Zillow. It shows us the current home price appreciation forecast of 3.4% till Oct 2020.
The median list price per square foot in Columbia is $96, which is lower than the Columbia Metro average of $101. The median price of current listings in Columbia is $185,000 and the median price of homes that have been sold is $143,200.
Zillow reports that 18.1% of the listings in Columbia had a price cut in Oct 2019, which is a good thing for buyers. It shows sellers were willing to negotiate on prices as they were finding it more and more difficult to sell homes at asking prices.
The median rent price in Columbia is $1,165, which is lower than the Columbia Metro median of $1,197.
Columbia SC Housing Market Forecast 2019 – 2021
Here is a short and crisp Columbia housing market forecast for the 3 years ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2021. The accuracy of this forecast for Columbia is 86% and it is predicting a positive trend.
The LittleBigHomes.com estimates that the probability for rising home prices in Columbia is 86% during this period. If this price forecast is correct, the Columbia home values will be higher in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 than they were in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.
Check this page each quarter for updates to the Columbia, SC Real Estate Market Forecast.
Columbia SC Real Estate Market Trends
We shall now discuss some of the most recent housing trends in the Columbia area. Currently, Trulia has 7,408 resale and new homes for sale in Columbia, SC including open houses, and homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process.
The median sales price in Columbia, SC is $159,900 and homes are selling for about $99/sqft.
Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Columbia are Seven Oaks, Saint Andrews, Woodcreek Farms, Dentsville, etc. Here you’ll find the maximum no. of listings.
Seven Oaks is a part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. It located in the Lexington County of South Carolina. There are currently 60 homes for sale Seven Oaks, Columbia, SC and the home prices range from $12.5K – $900K.
Additionally, there are 25 rental properties for sale on Trulia and their rent price ranges from $700 – $1.8K. The schools are rated between 4/10 – 7/10.
The Saint Andrews area is a part of Richland County of South Carolina. The real estate in the St. Andrews area is affordable. The median home value in Saint Andrews is around $103,500 and the median rent is around $800.
There are 73 homes for sale in Saint Andrews, Columbia, SC and the home prices range from $3.5K – $880K. Additionally, there are 35 rental properties for sale and their rent price ranges from$475 – $3K. The schools in this neighborhood are rated between 1/10 – 7/10.
In the past month, 324 homes have been sold in Columbia, SC as reported by Redfin.com. In addition to houses in Columbia, there were also 163 condos, 62 townhouses, and 36 multi-family units for sale in Columbia last month. The median price per square foot in Columbia has increased by 7.2% over the past year.
As per their real estate data, the Columbia housing market is very competitive. Homes in Columbia receive 1 offers on average and sell in around 20.5 days.
The average sale price of a home in Columbia was $160K last month, up 10.2% since last year. The average sale price per square foot in Columbia is $89, up 7.2% since last year. A hot listing in Columbia can sell for around list price and go pending in around 6 days.
Here is the latest Columbia SC housing market data for the month of Oct 2019 from Redfin.com.
Columbia SC Housing Market Trends in Oct 2019
|Median List Price||$195,000|
|Avg. Sale / List||96.7%|
|Median List $/Sq Ft||$96|
|Avg. Number of Offers||1|
|Median Sale Price||$160,000|
|Avg. Down Payment||2.0%|
|Median Sale $/Sq Ft||$89|
|Number of Homes Sold||324|
There are 4,274 homes for sale in Columbia, SC on Realtor.com. The new listings are 302. The asking price of single family homes can start from $20,000 and can go up to $2.9M for a luxury property in Lake Murray neighborhood in the city of Columbia, SC.
Additionally, there are 409 rental properties for sale, and their rent prices range from $472 to $3.2K per month. The median rent in Columbia is $1,200. There are 259 new construction homes for sale in Columbia within a price range of $103,990 to $895,000.
According to their statistics, in October 2019, Columbia SC housing market was a buyer's market, which means there were roughly more active homes for sale than there were buyers.
It is interesting to note that in spite of less no. of sales, the prices did not drop. On an average, sellers could sold homes for 99.57% of the asking price. A seller would always prefer scenarios which can yield a ratio of 100% or higher.
Ideally a buyer would prefer a sale to asking price ratio that’s closer to 90%. In Columbia, the sellers have held good leverage in these negotiations in the past month.
In October 2019, the median list price of homes in Columbia, SC was $172K, trending up 5.8% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $94. The median sale price was $158.2K.
On average, homes in Columbia, SC sell after 152 days on the market. The trend for median days on market in Columbia, SC has gone up since last month, and slightly up since last year.
The median list price in Columbia is $199,900 on Movoto.com. The median list price in Columbia was less than 1% change from November to December. Columbia's home resale inventories is 978, which increased 0 percent since November 2019.
The median list price per square foot in Columbia is $98. In November 2019 it was $98. Distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales remained the same as a percentage of the total market in December.
Columbia, SC Single & Multi-Family Homes Statistics
Following the real estate market decline in 2007 in the U.S., single family rental homes became favorable options for investors, saving in construction or refurbishment prices. The quick turnaround for an owner to rent out their property means cash flow is almost immediate.
Single family rental properties have grown up to 30% within the last three years. Almost all the housing demand in the US in recent years has been filled by single family rental units.
U.S. single-family rental market has seen steady rent increases between 2010 and 2019. According to CoreLogic’s latest Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI), which analyzes single-family rent price changes nationally and among 20 metropolitan areas, it shows a national rent increase of 3% in April 2019, as compared to 2.8% in April 2018.
The average sales price of new homes sold in the U.S. fell by 1.6% year-over-year in July 2019, to $388,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, the median sales price of new homes sold fell by 4.8% to $312,800 over the same period.
For existing homes, the median price was up by 4.3% to $280,800 in July 2019 from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. July’s price increase marks the 89th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Demand remains robust. During the year to July 2019, new and existing home sales increased by 4.3% and 2.5%, respectively.
As per the real estate company called Neigborhoodscout.com, the median house price in Columbia, SC is $150,451, which indicates that home prices in Columbia are well below the national average for all cities and towns in the United States.
Single-family detached homes are the single most common housing type in Columbia, accounting for 52.43% of the city’s housing units. One or two bedroom single family detached homes are the most common housing units in Columbia.
Other types of housing that are prevalent in Columbia include large apartment complexes, duplexes, homes converted to apartments and a few row houses. Columbia has a mixture of owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing.
After the great recession of 2008, renting a home has increased exponentially across the nation. There are currently over 136.57 million housing units in the U.S.
In 2018, the total number of homeowner households hit an all-time high of 76.2 million. 36.6% of households rent their homes and 64.4% buy their homes (2018 U.S. Census Bureau).
Currently, there are 1,093 single family homes for sale in Columbia, SC on Zillow. Additionally, there are 310 single family homes for rent in Columbia, SC.
Under potential listings, there are about 20 Foreclosed and 222 Pre-Foreclosure homes. These are the properties that may be coming to the market soon but are not yet found on a multiple listing service (MLS).
Columbia, SC Foreclosures And Bank Owned Homes Statistics
As per the Columbia foreclosure data by Zillow, in Columbia 1.1 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). This is lower than the national value of 1.2. The percent of delinquent mortgages in Columbia is 2.1%, which is higher than the national value of 1.1%.
With U.S. home values having fallen by more than 20% nationally from their peak in 2007 until their trough in late 2011, many homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth.
The percent of Columbia homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 14.6%, which is higher than Columbia Metro at 12.0%.
|Total No. of Foreclosures in Columbia||957 (RealtyTrac)|
|Homes for Sale in Columbia||861|
|Median List Price||$169,900 (1% increase vs Sep 2018)|
There are currently 957 properties in Columbia, SC that are in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank owned) while the number of homes listed for sale on RealtyTrac is 861.
In October 2019, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Columbia, SC was 14% higher than the previous month and 9% lower than the same time last year.
Best Neighborhoods to Invest in Columbia SC Real Estate
If you are looking to invest in the Columbia real estate, you should know the best places to invest in. The three most important factors when buying a real estate anywhere are location, location, and location. Location creates desirability.
Desirability brings demand. Demand would raise the price of your Columbia rental real estate and you should be able flip it for a lump sum profit. When looking to invest in Columbia real estate, you need to find places where the expected property appreciation forecast is positive.
The running costs for owning and managing an Columbia rental property should be low. The neighborhoods in Columbia must be safe to live in and should have a low crime rate.
The neighborhoods should be close to basic amenities, public services and shopping malls. There should be a natural and upcoming high demand for rental properties and a low supply of income properties.
Columbia is a minimally walkable city in Richland County. There are 59 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 22 high schools and 36 private & charter schools. There are 87 neighborhoods in Columbia.
Some of the best neighborhoods in or around Columbia, South Carolina are Forest Acres, Seven Oaks, St. Andrews, Earlewood, Kings Grant, Downtown Columbia, Lake Marion Park, Shandon, Williamsburg, Laurel Chase at Lake Carolina, Pinehurst, Melrose Heights, University of South Carolina, Spring Valley, Hollywood-Rose Hill, Wildewood, Columbia Terrace, and Woodfield.
Melrose Heights has a median listing price of $300K, making it the most expensive neighborhood. Woodfield is the most affordable neighborhood in Columbia, with a median listing price of $104.9K.
Here are the best neighborhoods to invest in Columbia real estate because they have the highest appreciation rates (List by Neigborhoodscout.com).
|1||Devine St / Maple St|
|2||Devine St / Sims Ave|
|3||Blossom St / Pickens St|
|4||Trenholm Rd / Adger Rd|
|5||U of South Carolina-Columbia / Greene St|
|6||Maple St / Millwood Ave|
|7||Airline Dr / S Ott Rd|
|8||Kilbourne Rd / Brennen Rd|
How is Real Estate Investing in Columbia, SC?
Now that you know where Columbia is, you probably want to know why we’re recommending it to real estate investors. Investing in real estate is touted as a great way to become wealthy. Should you invest in Columbia SC real estate?
If you want to find out whether Columbia real estate is a good investment or not, you need to drill deeper into local trends. The Columbia SC real estate trends will tell what the market holds for the year 2020. We have already discussed the Columbia SC housing market forecast for 2020.
Although, this article alone is not a comprehensive source to make a final investment decision for Columbia but we have collected ten evidence based positive things for those who are keen to invest in the Columbia real estate.
Investing in Columbia rental properties will fetch you good returns in the long term as the home prices in Columbia have been trending up year-over-year.
Let’s take a look at the number of positive things going on in the Columbia SC real estate market which can help investors who are keen to buy an investment property in this city.
We’ll focus on real reasons to invest in the Columbia real estate instead of giving you vague appeals to buy a house or an investment property because of general ambiance and mere promises of future growth.
1. The Relatively Affordable Real Estate Market
The Columbia SC real estate market is quite affordable out outside investors. The average home costs around 140,000 dollars. This is well below the national average of 230,000 dollars. More importantly, housing prices are stable and slowly appreciating.
2. The Military Market
One point in favor of Columbia SC real estate investment is the massive military market. Roughly 10 percent of all jobs in the city are related to the Fort Jackson MEPS military base and Air National Guard base. This helps create a large population of permanent renters in the Columbia SC housing market.
3. The Student Market
If you’re considering Columbia SC real estate investment, the diversified student market is reason alone to snap up a few properties. The University of South Carolina in Columbia is the largest; it is home to more than thirty thousand students.
However, the Columbia SC real estate market contains more schools than this. Virginia College Columbia hosts several hundred students, as does Allen University.
Benedict College, another private school, is home to roughly two thousand students. Columbia International University has almost a thousand students.
4. The Hidden Retiree Market
South Carolina is the fifth most popular destination for snowbirds, retirees who come south for the winter. Many can’t afford to go to Myrtle Beach and choose to spend several months in college towns like Columbia, instead.
Another retiree market is tied to the military community. Columbia offers a lower than average cost of living. It is home to a VA hospital and many doctors who accept Tricare, the military health insurance plan.
Combine this with the warm weather, and many military retirees choose to stay in the area when they leave the service.
5. The Economics Driving Renting
The median household income in Columbia, South Carolina is 31,000 dollars a year. For families, it hovers around 40,000 dollars a year. Yet the average rent for an apartment is around 1,100 dollars a month.
The rental rates are driven up by the large military presence, a group that also inflates the number of renters. Roughly half of those living in the Columbia SC real estate market are renters, well above the national average of 33 percent.
This combination of factors drives up the ROI on potential Columbia SC real estate investment properties.
6. The Diversified Economy
The Columbia SC housing market is bolstered by a diversified economy. The city is a regional services provider in addition to being the state capital. That is one reason why it is the regional educational center.
The hospital networks and health insurance companies here are always hiring. State government and the military are major employers. Computer Science Corporation is based here.
The city is a regional transportation hub, and that is why many manufacturers and a UPS regional center are located here. This has helped to keep the city going strong though manufacturing is lagging.
Job growth here is slightly below the state average, so property values won’t plummet because of a boom in new construction coming to market.
7. The Low Tax Burden
South Carolina’s overall tax burden is so low it came in forty-second out of the fifty states. The overall property tax burden was thirty-first in the country, averaging 1200 dollars a year.
Factor in the low cost of properties in the Columbia SC housing market, and the property tax rate burden is one of the lowest in the country. The state had an average property tax rate of 0.52 percent, roughly half of the national average.
8. The Favorable Legal Climate
South Carolina is landlord friendly. The city doesn’t limit late charge or security deposits. Documentation spelling out why you didn’t return their whole deposit is required, and that money must be returned within 30 days of them leaving as long as they provide a forwarding address.
You can begin the eviction process once they are five days late on the rent. They generally get 14 days to correct non-serious violations of the rental agreement.
9. The Impact of Geography
The Columbia SC housing market sits on the boundary of the coastal plain and the beginning of the Appalachian Mountains. At first glance, you wouldn’t think this would have much of an effect.
However, efforts to protect this beautiful area are impacting the Columbia SC real estate market. Congaree National Park sits on the city’s southeastern boundary. Sumter National Forest is located to the northwest.
Large swaths of river bottom land are preserved and off-limits to development, too. This prevents the city from just spreading out.
It has also encouraged developers to redevelop downtown Columbia. That is one reason why property values rose 6 percent in 2018 and will go up at least 2 percent in 2019.
10. The Known Areas of Redevelopment
The Columbia SC real estate market is seeing a downtown renaissance. The BullStreet District is the largest city center project in the urban south. This is an attempt to create a walkable, livable downtown area that attracts Millennials and next generation employers.
The Innovista area is trying to create a dense urban community near the University of South Carolina campus and the business incubators in the area.
This will help the Columbia SC housing market long term, since the city only has to retain some of the many graduates from its colleges to see significant population growth.
This also creates excellent, known areas for Columbia SC real estate investment. Buy a few houses in the vicinity, and you can rent it out to people who can’t afford the hot new apartments and condos in these up-and-coming areas.
Investing in Columbia, SC Real Estate: The Conclusion
Maybe you have done a bit of real estate investing in Columbia, SC but want to take things further and make it into more than a hobby on the side. It’s only wise to think about how you can and should be investing your money. In any property investment, cash flow is gold.
Columbia, South Carolina offers low cost properties, decent rental rates, and a stable economy. A number of factors limit the growth of housing stock while demand remains high. This makes it an excellent opportunity for investors.
A good cash flow from Columbia investment properties means the investment is, needless to say, profitable. A bad cash flow, on the other hand, means you won’t have money on hand to repay your debt.
Therefore, finding a good Columbia real estate investment opportunity would be a key to your success. If you invest wisely in Columbia rental real estate, you could secure your future.
If you are a beginner in the business of cash flow real estate investing, it very important to read good books on real estate. Most investors naturally gravitate to residential property investment.
When looking for the best real estate investments in Columbia you should focus on neighborhoods with relatively high population density and employment growth.
Both of them translate into high demand for housing. If housing supply meets housing demand, real estate investors should not miss the opportunity since entry prices of homes remain affordable.
You must also collaborate and learn from savvy real estate investors who have retired early on in their lives by investing locally in the Columbia, SC real estate market.
Buying or selling real estate, for a majority of investors, is one of the most important decisions they will make. Choosing a real estate professional/counselor continues to be a vital part of this process.
They are well-informed about critical factors that affect your specific market area, such as changes in market conditions, market forecasts, consumer attitudes, best locations, timing and interest rates.
NORADA REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS strives to set the standard for our industry and inspire others by raising the bar on providing exceptional real estate investment opportunities in the U.S. growth markets. We can help you succeed by minimizing risk and maximizing profitability.
The aim of this article was to educate investors who are keen to invest in Columbia, SC real estate in 2020. Purchasing an investment property requires a lot of studies, planning, and budgeting. Not all deals are solid investments. We always recommend to do your own research and take help of a real estate investment counselor.
Other Best Places To Invest in Real Estate in 2020
Another fairly good market in Florida to choose for real estate investment is St. Petersburg. Think of Florida and you would come of know that the Tampa area is one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States. The city of St. Petersburg benefits from this while having a few unique benefits of its own. Currently, it is a seller’s market market with high rates of return.
The St. Petersburg housing market is a mix of single family homes, apartments and condos. The city’s location on the beach and steady stream of visitors has resulted in it becoming a destination for snowbirds, retirees who visit in the winter.
This also means that you could pick up a condo from non-resident owners who can’t return for health reasons, died, or need the money. On the other hand, snowbirds drive up rental rates and property values.
The other best place to invest in real estate is Fort Myers in Florida. Fort Myers is often written off as a cheaper version of Miami. Yet it offers affordable real estate, strong rental rates, and a favorable legal and tax climate for property owners.
The Fort Myers real estate market has several points in its favor that result in it providing a better overall value than many expect. For example, more than forty percent of homes were built since 2000.
This means the average investment property will have lower maintenance requirements than properties in older, more established communities.
*Remember, caveat emptor still applies when buying a property anywhere. The information contained in this article was pulled from third party sites mentioned under references. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Norada Real Estate Investments makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, either express or implied, as to whether the information presented is accurate, reliable, or current. All information presented should be independently verified through the references given below. As a general policy, the Norada Real Estate Investments makes no claims or assertions about the future housing market conditions across the US.
The military market
Economics driving renting
Favorable legal climate
Impact of geograph
Updated Market Prices, Trends & Forecasts
Hidden retiree market