Report: Charleston not affordable for millennials to buy homes

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published August 5, 2014

Charleston County was recently ranked the 15th-least-affordable county in the country for millennials to buy a home, according to lists released last week by RealtyTrac.

The real estate data company said Charleston residents spent about 31% of their median income on house payments in April. In comparison, the percentage for the most affordable place, Richmond County, Ga., was 10.5% and for the least affordable, San Francisco, was 78.3%.

Charleston County was recently ranked the 15th-least-affordable county in the country for millennials to buy a home, according to lists released last week by RealtyTrac.Charleston County’s year-over-year home price appreciation rate for April was 8%, and nearly 60% of homes were owner-occupied at the time, RealtyTrac reported.

Other factors taken into consideration for the rankings were work-related. RealtyTrac reports the unemployment rate in Charleston County was around 4% in April, 1.6% of residents used public transportation to go to work and 3.5% walked to their place of employment.

After San Francisco, New York, Kings and Bronx counties in New York were rated as the least-affordable spots for millennials to buy. Los Angeles County, where nearly 50% of median income was spent on house payments in April, rounded out the top five.

The top four most-affordable counties are in the South. Second to Richmond County, Ga., was Cumberland County, N.C., with a 13.1% rate of median income spent on house payments. DeKalb County, Ga., took the No. 3 spot, followed by Duval County, Fla., and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania came in at No. 5.

Only counties with a population of 100,000 or more were included, and millennials, which RealtyTrac classified as being born between 1977 and 1992, had to account for at least 24% of the county’s total population. Counties that experienced a decrease in the total number of millennials from 2007 to 2013 were also excluded from the list.

Charleston was the only S.C. county included on RealtyTrac’s top 15 lists of the most and least affordable counties to buy and to rent.

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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