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Economic Impact of South Carolina Housing Industry Totals $44.7 billion

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 18, 2019) — The annual economic impact of the housing industry on the state of South Carolina is $44.7 billion, according to a report released today by SC REALTORS® (SCR).

Joseph C. Von Nessen, Ph.D., Research Economist at the Division of Research at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business, prepared the report in order to complete a comprehensive impact analysis documenting the total economic footprint of the housing industry on the state of South Carolina. The report covers population growth trends over the past decade, the impact of the housing industry by region, industry sub-sector effects, and the social benefits of housing.

Some details from the report include the following:

  • South Carolina is currently the 9th fastest growing state in the nation and is a draw for job seekers and retirees who comprise the primary source of external population growth. The state is an attractive destination due to its low cost of living and strong natural amenities (e.g. climate, beach and mountain access).
  • The annual economic impact of the housing industry is associated with 281,439 jobs and $10.2 billion in labor income for South Carolinians.
  • South Carolina annual employment growth outpaced U.S. employment growth from 2009-2019 at (1.6 percent vs. 1.2 percent). The state’s GDP growth also outpaced that of the U.S. over the same time period.
  • South Carolina’s strong economic growth trends have generated a high demand for housing. The housing industry has grown 8.7 percentage points faster than the state as a whole between 2010-2018. Construction and real estate sectors both experienced employment growth in excess of the state average over a similar period of time.
  • Nearly 54 percent of the housing industry’s total impact on South Carolina comes from the real estate sector.
  • There are approximately 45,000 active real estate licensees, of which only 23,784 are members of the South Carolina Association of REALTORS®. Approximately 85 percent of all residential home sales in major metropolitan regions of South Carolina (or 4 out of every 5) are associated with a REALTOR®.
  • The total number of residential housing sales facilitated by REALTORS® is highest in Myrtle Beach at almost 94 percent. This is followed by Columbia at 85.1 percent, Charleston at 83 percent and Greenville at 78 percent.

“Every property transaction clearly has a tremendous impact on our state’s economy. A strong, healthy real estate industry benefits our clients and our communities,” said SCR 2019 President Drew Streett. “The fact that 4 out of every 5 sales are associated with a REALTOR® member says a lot about who we are as professionals and shows conclusively that REALTORS® are your local real estate experts.”

Click here for the full Economic Impact Study.


South Carolina REALTORS® (SCR), the largest professional trade association in the state, serves as the voice of real estate for more than 25,000 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a professional in real estate who subscribes to a strict code of ethics as a member of SCR and the National Association of REALTORS®.