Regional Activity

Housing Market Profiles

Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina

Population in the five-county metropolitan area of Greenville-Spartanburg increased 16 percent from 1990 to 2000 and rose another 2.6 percent between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2002, to an estimated 987,855. Much of the increase resulted from in-migration to fill the job opportunities created by employers who have located in the upstate area during the past 10 years, such as BASF, BI-LO, BMW, Bosch, Cryovac, Hitachi, Kemet Electronics, and Michelin. In 2002 three counties in the area led the state in capital investment: Spartanburg County, $866.1 million; Greenville County, $487.5 million; and Anderson County, $257.0 million.

An example of this economic development is the announcement that Clemson University, using a $10 million endowment from BMW, will build a new Graduate Engineering Automotive Education Center in Greenville to provide the academic and research support needed by BMW, its suppliers, and other automotive industries. According to a news release the center will offer masters’ and doctoral degrees in automotive engineering and is expected to initially attract at least 50 full- and part-time students. The first group is expected to enroll in fall 2005.

Although growth continues the greater Greenville area has not been immune to the influences affecting the rest of the state and nation; it, too, has experienced layoffs and closures. This contributed to the June 2003 unemployment rate of 6.5 percent compared with 5.9 percent in June 2002. Average nonfarm employment for the 12 months ending June 2003 was 466,300, or 2.4 percent below the 12 months ending June 2002.

Homebuilding and existing sales continue to reflect the economic growth and strength of the upstate area. The Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® reports second-quarter 2003 sales of 1,858 homes. The sales market has been strong for the past 10 years, and local experts believe that low mortgage rates and the strength of the local industry will help sustain a strong market for both new and existing homes. The number of single-family permits issued in 2002, 6,766, was 8 percent higher than the number issued in 2001, continuing a trend has been taking place throughout the past 10 years and that has a good chance of continuing. Through June 2003 single-family permits were 7 percent ahead of the same period in 2002. According to the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® the average sales price of an existing home was $135,000 as of the second quarter of 2003.

The year 2002 marked a reversal in the downward trend in multifamily building permit activity that began in 1996. In 2002 permits were issued for 1,084 units compared with 645 units in 2001. In the first half of 2003 permits were issued for 613 units. As a result of the continued supply of new units on the market and reduced renter demand attributed to renters becoming homeowners, the apartment vacancy rate increased to 12 percent in May 2003, the highest level in more than 10 years. According to a Carolinas Real Data Apartment Market Report the trend of increased vacancies began in May 2000 when the rate reached 9 percent. Over the 12-month period ending May 2003 net absorption totaled 38 units, 670 units were completed, and construction started on 760. The softness in the market is also reflected in the average rent, which declined from $582 in May 2002 to $566 in May 2003. Nearly two-thirds of the apartment complexes in the market area offer concessions.

Previous Profile Next Profile

Home | Table of Contents | Summary | National Data
Regional Activity | Historical Data | Subscription Form