The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In South Carolina For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in South Carolina that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in South Carolina.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and South Carolina does this very well. Families love the Palmetto State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in South Carolina that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in South Carolina for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in South Carolina? That would be Port Royal.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 65 places in South Carolina with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in South Carolina for 2021:

  1. Port Royal
  2. Clemson
  3. Myrtle Beach
  4. Georgetown
  5. Hardeeville
  6. Charleston
  7. Greenville
  8. North Charleston
  9. Bluffton
  10. Hilton Head Island

What's the most expensive place to live in South Carolina? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Port Royal is the most expensive place to live in South Carolina.

So hopefully Fountain Inn (the cheapest place to live in South Carolina) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about South Carolina and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In South Carolina For 2021

1. Port RoyalPort Royal, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 12,770
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 40.8x (3rd most expensive)
More on Port Royal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Port Royal comes in at $49,797 and the median home value is $233,300 for 2021.

2. ClemsonClemson, SC

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,463
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.4x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.9x (15th most expensive)
More on Clemson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Clemson comes in at $43,568 and the median home value is $236,500 for 2021.

3. Myrtle BeachMyrtle Beach, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 32,700
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.3x (17th most expensive)
More on Myrtle Beach: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Myrtle Beach comes in at $43,200 and the median home value is $216,100 for 2021.

4. GeorgetownGeorgetown, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,866
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.3x (9th most expensive)
More on Georgetown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Georgetown comes in at $32,593 and the median home value is $163,300 for 2021.

5. HardeevilleHardeeville, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,064
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.7x (35th most expensive)
More on Hardeeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hardeeville comes in at $68,365 and the median home value is $336,000 for 2021.

6. CharlestonCharleston, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 135,257
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.4x (32nd most expensive)
More on Charleston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Charleston comes in at $68,438 and the median home value is $330,600 for 2021.

7. GreenvilleGreenville, SC

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 67,737
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.5x (37th most expensive)
More on Greenville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Greenville comes in at $56,609 and the median home value is $292,400 for 2021.

8. North CharlestonNorth Charleston, SC

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 111,501
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.3x (5th most expensive)
More on North Charleston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in North Charleston comes in at $45,510 and the median home value is $174,800 for 2021.

9. BlufftonBluffton, SC

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,799
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (26th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.2x (16th most expensive)
More on Bluffton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bluffton comes in at $82,481 and the median home value is $290,800 for 2021.

10. Hilton Head IslandHilton Head Island, SC

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 40,007
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.7x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.5x (5most expensive)
More on Hilton Head Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hilton Head Island comes in at $84,575 and the median home value is $483,600 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Palmetto State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In South Carolina
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in South Carolina to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 65 places in South Carolina that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in South Carolina according to the data is Port Royal. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In South Carolina For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in South Carolina that have the highest cost of living, with Port Royal ranking as the most expensive city in the Palmetto State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in South Carolina according to the data:

  1. Fountain Inn
  2. Laurens
  3. Lake City

For more South Carolina reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In South Carolina

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Port Royal 8.33 12,770 4.7x 40.8x
2 Clemson 9.67 16,463 5.4x 46.9x
3 Myrtle Beach 12.33 32,700 5.0x 47.3x
4 Georgetown 14.0 8,866 5.0x 44.3x
5 Hardeeville 14.67 6,064 4.9x 55.7x
6 Charleston 14.67 135,257 4.8x 54.4x
7 Greenville 15.67 67,737 5.2x 57.5x
8 North Charleston 16.0 111,501 3.8x 43.3x
9 Bluffton 16.67 20,799 3.5x 47.2x
10 Hilton Head Island 17.67 40,007 5.7x 66.5x
11 North Myrtle Beach 18.33 16,200 4.4x 54.9x
12 Lancaster 18.33 9,143 4.7x 43.3x
13 Mount Pleasant 20.0 86,982 4.5x 63.4x
14 Anderson 21.67 27,289 4.1x 43.8x
15 Columbia 21.67 133,273 3.8x 50.7x
16 Beaufort 23.33 13,404 3.9x 58.4x
17 Summerville 24.33 53,037 3.5x 53.4x
18 James Island 24.33 12,076 3.7x 59.4x
19 Hartsville 26.67 7,616 4.1x 53.3x
20 Central 27.0 5,270 3.8x 44.2x
21 Hollywood 27.33 5,176 4.7x 72.8x
22 Abbeville 27.67 5,045 3.7x 37.7x
23 Darlington 27.67 6,043 3.9x 45.7x
24 Conway 28.0 23,838 3.6x 51.5x
25 Gaffney 28.67 12,582 3.6x 45.1x
26 Sumter 30.0 39,800 3.4x 48.8x
27 Seneca 31.33 8,368 3.9x 59.2x
28 Aiken 31.67 30,671 3.4x 59.1x
29 Orangeburg 32.0 12,861 3.4x 45.0x
30 Hanahan 32.67 24,353 3.3x 64.6x
31 Rock Hill 33.67 73,334 3.1x 52.2x
32 Travelers Rest 33.67 5,152 3.8x 72.3x
33 Goose Creek 33.67 41,978 2.7x 52.7x
34 Spartanburg 35.0 37,424 3.1x 49.4x
35 Newberry 35.0 10,245 3.0x 40.4x
36 Cheraw 35.0 5,657 3.3x 49.7x
37 Fort Mill 37.0 17,692 3.2x 84.9x
38 West Columbia 37.67 17,641 3.1x 53.9x
39 Moncks Corner 38.67 10,743 3.1x 71.6x
40 York 39.0 8,144 3.5x 61.4x
41 Clinton 39.33 8,443 2.8x 41.1x
42 Greenwood 39.33 23,269 2.9x 46.9x
43 Florence 39.33 38,487 3.2x 63.5x
44 Walterboro 40.33 5,477 3.3x 55.5x
45 Camden 40.33 7,100 3.3x 71.1x
46 Clover 40.67 6,135 3.0x 58.5x
47 Tega Cay 42.0 10,412 2.5x 90.1x
48 Forest Acres 42.33 10,412 2.8x 72.2x
49 Greer 42.33 30,854 2.8x 67.3x
50 Lexington 43.0 21,334 2.6x 68.5x
51 Cayce 43.0 13,600 2.5x 52.5x
52 Easley 43.33 20,923 3.0x 68.8x
53 Chester 44.33 5,408 2.5x 45.4x
54 Bennettsville 44.67 8,062 2.6x 47.3x
55 Marion 45.33 6,466 3.2x 60.6x
56 Mauldin 47.0 25,217 2.4x 67.7x
57 Simpsonville 47.0 22,234 2.4x 68.0x
58 Batesburg-Leesville 47.33 5,647 2.6x 57.9x
59 Dillon 48.0 6,394 2.9x 65.3x
60 North Augusta 48.0 22,908 2.7x 74.0x
61 Union 48.33 7,769 2.4x 52.0x
62 Irmo 51.0 12,215 1.9x 58.9x
63 Lake City 51.0 6,617 2.3x 53.7x
64 Laurens 52.67 8,867 2.3x 56.6x
65 Fountain Inn 54.33 9,301 2.3x 80.1x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.