The homebuilding industry is an important component of the economy in Charleston. As a labor, intensive industry, there are many jobs linked to it and many types of vendors and suppliers dependent on homebuilding.
National housing industry impact
In a recent post in EyeonHousing.org, a blog from The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), author Michael Neal points out that our GDP has finally resumed its growth following the recession. “The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that real gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 3.0 percent over the third quarter on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis...For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2007, the growth rate of the economy in the third quarter of 2017 has taken actual GDP to slightly above its potential level.”
Charleston homebuilding industry is strong
This good news about our nation’s economy is reflected in the construction industry in Charleston. The Federal Reserve reports, “The homeownership rate in South Carolina was 70.0 percent in the second quarter of 2017. This was 6.1 percentage points above the U.S. rate of 63.9 percent.” The highest ever homeownership rate in SC was experienced in the first quarter of 1999 at 78.8 percent. The recent upswing is good news and indicative of the robust economy and job growth experienced in Charleston.
Construction industry jobs strong
Per Charleston Regional Data in 2016, 17,462 jobs in our area were in construction. Between 2011 and 2016 construction trade worker jobs increased 33.7 percent. In terms of total jobs per sector, the construction industry falls sixth out of 11 sectors. In 2016, 3,260 new construction laborer jobs were added in our region, which evidences the pace of growth. Other construction industry trades/jobs have also experienced growth, which aligns with the housing sector’s increased pace of building in 2016.
Year-over-year since 2000, home building statistics indicate that Charleston is a growing market. According to the November Monthly Update Of The Fifth District Economy from the Federal Reserve Bank Of Richmond, in September 2017 the construction sector added 2,300 jobs in South Carolina.
Demand and growth lead to bright future
As more industries move to the greater Charleston area and as the region continues to rank as a top in-bound destination, people will need homes. Sustained demand, availability of buildable, developable land and other factors will impact the vigor of homebuilding. However, the future is solid for builders in the Lowcountry.
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