lease house.jpg (copy)

A new report says it's cheaper to rent than buy a house in Charleston County and it's better to own a house in Berkeley and Dorchester counties. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

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Buy or rent? New report says rent in Charleston County, buy in Berkeley, Dorchester

Housing and business leaders have widely expressed concerns that housing costs in the region are out of whack with wages, and a new study drives that message home.

A report by property information service Attom Data Solutions says it's cheaper to rent than buy in Charleston County while it's better to buy in the suburban counties of Berkeley and Dorchester, where home prices are lower.

The firm reported the average weekly wage in the Charleston-North Charleston area in 2019 stood at $964 while the price of a home from January through November in Charleston County was about $364,000.

Meanwhile, the average weekly wage in Berkeley County last year was $998, and the price of a home over the 11-month period stood at $220,000. In Dorchester County, the average weekly wage was $767, and the home price came in at $223,000.

The report used the same amount of projected rent cost in 2020 of $1,657 for a three-bedroom unit for all three counties.

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LC Line Street Meeting Street off-ramp (copy)

The new 293-unit LC Line Street apartment project will soon rise next to the Interstate 26 off-ramp to Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. Rendering/Ramsa Architects

$120M, 9-story apartments to break ground at gateway to Charleston peninsula

Ohio-based Lifestyle Communities is mobilizing to break ground in about 60 days on a new 293-unit multifamily project called LC Line Street at the Meeting Street off-ramp from Interstate 26.

By the numbers

4: Number of new restaurants offering pizza, seafood and sushi that recently opened or are about to open in the Charleston area. Meanwhile, two restaurants close to start the new year.

5: Millions of dollars paid by Greystar Real Estate Partners for the former Regal Cinemas site in North Charleston where 300 apartments will be built.

10: Millions of dollars invested in the new Firefly Distillery soon to launch near Park Circle in North Charleston.

This week in real estate

New breed: Charleston's growth spurs a new breed of suburban shopping centers in the era of online spending. At least 10 smaller retail centers are on the ground or in the works around the Holy City.

Zillow sued: A Charleston-area plastic surgeon is suing online real estate listing service Zillow, alleging the website inaccurately reported that his Daniel Island home was in foreclosure in early 2018. He is suing for defamation and negligence. 

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Mount Pleasant dilemma: The state's fourth-largest municipality is facing a decision over whether to raise taxes or allow more growth to make ends meet.

Bringing back the luster

Admiral's House (copy)

Renovation of Quarters A, also known as the Admiral's House, is nearing completion on the former Charleston Naval Base. The 7,000-square-foot structure, which sits on one of the base's highest hills, was long vacant and dilapidated until work began about 16 months ago to revitalize the historic building. Brad Nettles/Staff

Renovation of Quarters A, also known as the Admiral’s House, is nearing completion on the former Charleston Naval Base. The 7,000-square-foot house, which sits on one of the base’s highest hills, was long vacant and dilapidated until work began about 16 months ago to revitalize the historic building.

Upcoming real estate events

  • Residential market forecast: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors will host its annual residential real estate forecast on Jan. 15 at Trident Technical College; free for CTAR members; $25 for guests.

  • Seven steps: How to close, market and service listings workshop with Keller Williams; 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Jan. 30.

Charleston-area transactions

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Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.