The Charleston-North Charleston area is the fifth best market for real estate investing in the U.S., according to a new report. Dallas-based HomeVesters, of “We Buy Ugly Houses” fame, and real estate forecaster Local Market Monitor ranked cities with increased job opportunities during the past year.

“Our Top 10 shows markets with strong economic growth where the number of renters has increased sharply in the last few years,” said Ingo Winzer, president and founder of Local Market Monitor. “The increase is largely due to the fact that most of the new jobs in these markets are in service industries, where pay is relatively low. Note that home prices in these markets are rising rapidly — because of a shortage of housing.”

Local Market Monitor said demand for rentals keeps growing, so investors can still reap big benefits from buying single-family homes and carving them into rental units. In each of the top areas, the population is growing, job growth is 2 percent or more and low unemployment rates means people who move to the area can fill new jobs.

“This type of investment takes more time and expense than simply renting out an entire house, but the long-term returns can be much better,” Winzer said. “The emphasis on rents rather than on a low-investment price means that a different type of market provides the best chance for success — one with a growing renter population. Consider an investment in these markets, where demand is likely to be strong for years. Take your time because this is a longer-term investment, but keep in mind that the clock is ticking.”

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tenn., tied for first place with Ogden-Clearfield, Utah, coming in a close second. Boise City-Nampa, Ida.. and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla., came in third and fourth, respectively.

A 203-unit age-restricted, mixed-use development could soon rise in West Ashley.

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Plans have been presented to the city for the project to be built on 6 acres on Coburg Road. St. Andrews Parish LLC owns the site behind the Harris Teeter-anchored St. Andrews Shopping Center.

Sullivan’s Island now offers a new real estate brokerage firm. Exit Lifestyle Properties can be found at 2113 Middle St. It’s owned by Keith Moore.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524 or