Columbia Real Estate Market: House Prices, Trends & Stats

The Columbia SC real estate market has been hugely affected by the global pandemic and its resulting foreclosures. While the local economy has greatly improved in recent years, there are still a lot of things that must be improved in the wake of the global pandemic. As the result, a bigger percentage of homeowners found difficulties compared to most other markets across the United States.

However, regardless of the foreclosure rate in Columbia, real estate in this city has turned into a commodity for today’s investors who are aware of budgets. Both traditional sales and distressed properties seem to offer a lot of potential to investors. There is no doubt that the housing market in Columbia is an opportunity for those who understand how to translate what the market is telling them.

More than 50 percent of households in Columbia are renter occupied rather than owned. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that this city is one of the best cities in the country for renters. According to the most recent market indicators report from the Central Carolina Realtors Association, it is found that the Columbia SC real estate remains competitive, with the inventory level at the lowest point since 1999.

The median home sales price has gone up by 24.4 percent year-over-year. And the inventory dropped by more than 25 percent over the last year. The Columbia metropolitan area consistently sees high demands for rental properties from various types of tenants, including retirees, students, and even military.

A Glimpse of Columbia

Columbia is the capital of South Carolina. Located in the central part of the state, this city is the second largest city in the state. It is also home to the University of South Carolina and Fort Jackson. Which is the largest US Army base for basic combat training. The diversified economy and job market in Columbia are driven by a variety of job sectors, including education, military, financial services, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, technology, and healthcare.

Columbia is an attractive city to visit as it has various fun, pretty tourist spots. From white sandy beaches of the Caribbean and Pacific Coast to the beautiful Andes Mountains and the Amazon rainforest. Besides its gorgeous natural spots, Columbia also has historical tourist spots where you can learn about the city’s history. Some popular places you can visit include Tayrona National Park, Popayan, San Andres & Providencia Island, and Villa de Leyva.

Columbia Real Estate Market Overview

The real estate market in Columbia was hot in 2021 with buyers scrambling and sellers in the money. This year, buyers may expect more of the same. Referring to the 2022 National Housing Forecast from, the average home price Columbia SC metropolitan area is predicted to grow by 5.1 percent while sales volumes are up by 6.4 percent. However, the average home price in this city is still below the national average.

Combined with low taxes and living costs, it is not surprising that people want to live and look for homes here. The average home value in Columbia is around $164,679. While way below the national average, real estate prices in this city have made up a lot of ground over a decade. In fact, home prices have risen 33.8 percent since the beginning of January 2016. In 2021 alone, the median home price in Columbia has soared up 11.9 percent.

These increases are most likely the result of 3 specific indicators, which are supply, demand, and the city’s strengthening economy. Foreclosures have hampered the housing market in Columbia more than most cities across the nation, which is a good sign for the entire real estate investing Columbia SC community. In fact, only a few cities have a higher foreclosure rate than Columbia. However, recent improvements have grown optimism for both buyers and sellers.

Investors, especially, have found Columbia real estate to be particularly appealing. The foreclosure activity in Columbia shows deals below market are more abundant, which is good for profit margins. Moreover, the demand for houses also keeps increasing. Real estate investors who can fulfill that demand should find Columbia an attractive city to invest in.

  • Through May 2022, Zillow Home Value Index for Columbia is $211,366.
  • Home values in Columbia have gone up 24.2 percent over the past year and around 60 percent over the last 5 years.
  • According to the most recent report from, the average list price for a single-family house is $225,000.
  • Homes for sale in Columbia SC spend averagely 42 days in the market from listing to be owned.
  • The median sold price for a single-family home in Columbia is $231,500.
  • Of the 81 neighbourhoods in Columbia, the most affordable one is Skyland with a median home list price of $70,000. While the most expensive neighbourhood to buy a home is Elmwood Park where the median home list price is $539,700.

Columbia Real Estate Market Trends

Home prices in Columbia have risen from year to year for more than a decade. As a result, profit margins for traditional flips are getting thinner. This does not mean that rehabbing is not still a viable exit strategy in the city’s housing market, but rather that new indicators created in the wake of the global pandemic appear to support long-term investment strategies.

Rental properties are especially more appealing than they have been in years due to the new landscape that the pandemic created. Columbia’s 11.67 price-to-rent ratio would work against rental property owners. If for nothing else, it is clearly way more affordable to buy a property in Columbia than rent one. However, the city faces a shortage of inventory.

Even many potential buyers will be relegated to the renter group due to insufficient listings. So, landlords will be able to rise asking prices and reduce the risk of vacancies at the same time. Real estate investors are lucky to have some viable exit strategies at their disposal. However, none seem more appealing than building a proper rental property portfolio in the wake of new real estate trends in Columbia. In a nutshell, too many essential market indicators are heading towards becoming a buy-and-hold investor to ignore.

Columbia Real Estate Market Forecast

Columbia can be a profitable property investment choice for those of you who are searching for homes for sale with good flipping profits. The median price of an average home in this city is $156,056 as of July 2022. A long-term increase is expected. It is predicted that the price of an average house in Columbia will reach $181,760 by 2027.

For a 5-year investment, the profit is forecasted to be around 16.47 percent. This means that if you invest $100,000 in the Columbia real estate, you may generate a profit of $116,470 by 2027. The real estate in Columbia and its market environment have been in a bullish cycle in the past 36 months. As you know, flipping houses for profits is always easier in a bullish market. But if you are new to real estate investments, it is always better to read real estate investment strategies.

Population Growth in Columbia

Based on the most recent census, both the city of Columbia and the surrounding suburbs have seen an impressive population increase over the past decade. The population of Columbia increased by 5.7 percent. While Richmond and Lexington counties noted population gains of 8.2 percent and 12.0 percent respectively.

In the foreseeable future, it is expected that more employers will be attracted to move to Columbia, thanks to its well-educated workforce as well as low cost of doing businesses. People keep coming to this capital of South Carolina due to some reasons, including low living costs, job opportunities, and high life quality. Here are some stats about the population growth in Columbia.

  • The Columbia SC metro population has more than 832,000 residents. While the City of Columbia is home to more than 136,000 people.
  • Columbia’s population growth rate is 5.7 percent, increasing by 7,360 new residents over the last 10 years.
  • As the capital of South Carolina, Columbia is the second largest and most populous city in the state, right behind Charleston.
  • The metro Columbia, which is also known as the Midlands of South Carolina, consists of 8 counties, including Lexington and Richland.
  • Between 2010 and 2020, the Columbia MSA posted a net population gain of almost 80,000 people.
  • The population in the Columbia metropolitan area is predicted to surpass 900,000 residents by 2030.

Job Market in Columbia

According to a report from WLTX News 19, Columbia expects to have more residential growth and business in the coming years. The city’s Director of Economic Development stated that by taking a look at the last decade, Columbia is an appealing market. Moreover, investors, developers, and corporations are interested to be in this capital city of South Carolina.

As the economy in this city continuously recovers, the BLS reports that employment sectors also continue to grow. The ones that show the rapidest signs of growth include leisure and hospitality, financial activities, transportation, trade, and manufacturing. Columbia ranks 23rd in the United States for holders of doctoral degrees and 32nd for holders of college degrees as almost 43 percent of its residents in the metropolitan area hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

  • Based on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the GPD of Columbia MSA is more than $44.3 billion. It has grown by almost 40 percent in the past decade.
  • The job growth in Columbia is up by 0.83 percent year-over-year and the unemployment rate drops to 2.5 percent as of April 2022.
  • The job growth in Columbia is projected to be 27.4 percent over the upcoming 10 years.
  • Target industry sectors in the city include logistics, transportation, green energy production, technology, insurance information, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.
  • Public administration, educational services, food services, accommodation, retail trade, social assistance, and healthcare are some of the top employment sectors in the Columbia MSA.
  • Major manufacturing companies in Columbia include Bose Technology, Trane, Westinghouse Electric, Honeywell, International Paper, and Square D.
  • Columbia is home to the famous University of South Carolina. Other leaning institutions are also located here, such as Columbia College, Benedict College, and Midlands Technical College.

Life Quality in Columbia

Columbia perfectly combines traditional Southern tradition and hospitality with today’s fresh perspectives. This city is the centre of technology and creativity driven by the capital city community, nearby military facilities, and universities.

  • Forbes ranks Columbia as among the best places in the United States for careers and business as it offers high education quality, good job growth, and low costs of doing business.
  • Columbia is also among the best places in the nation to retire, according to the US News & World Report.
  • The living cost in Columbia is 3 percent below the national average.
  • Columbia ranks high from the US News for net migration, desirability, job market, and value.
  • Climate in this city is humid subtropical with hot humid summers and cool to mild winters.
  • Columbia has many attractive tourist spots to visit. For example, the Northeast Farmers Market, the 70-year-old, award-winning Maurice’s Piggie Park BBQ, and the Winery Mercer House that is only one of ten organic wineries in the country.
  • Visitors and tourists love to enjoy foodie hotspots, cultural events, live entertainment, and art in the main street district in downtown Columbia.
  • Providence Hospital Columbia is one of the best-ranked hospitals in the state of South Carolina.
  • Columbia’s most popular athletic events are held by sports programs in the University of South Carolina.
  • Columbia Metropolitan Airport provides non-stop services to 8 cities, including Washington DC, Chicago, New York, and Miami.

Columbia Real Estate Market FAQs

  • Is It Good to Invest in Columbia Real Estate?

Though the real estate market in Columbia has been hit hard by the global pandemic, it is forecasted that the real estate market in the city will see a positive point. It is predicted that the price of an average house in Columbia will reach $181,760 by 2027, making Columbia a profitable real estate investment option.

  • Is Columbia a Good Place to Find a Job?

Columbia expects to have more residential growth and business in the coming years. The job growth in Columbia is up by 0.83 percent year-over-year.

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