SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina has had the third-highest increase in rent-to-income ratio over the last three years, according to statistics from Moody’s Analytics.

Statistics show that the national average rent-to-income ratio hit a 20-year high. This means people are spending more of their income on rent than they have in 20 years.

One Socastee resident told News13 he has to move out of his apartment in March because his rent has increased.

Rent prices are up 35% since last summer, according to Joey McMillan, owner of Coldwell Banker McMillan and Associates. He said rent prices in the area are the highest they’ve ever been.

Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, said he expects rent in South Carolina to stay elevated in the short term.

“Because we’re seeing significant population gains, more people are moving into the region so that puts upward pressure on prices as it keeps demand high,” Von Nessen said. “At the same time, mortgage interest rates are likely to remain at their current levels or perhaps slightly higher throughout 2023 because the Federal Reserve is continuing to raise interest rates in order to combat inflation.”

Von Nessen expects to see housing conditions return to pre-pandemic levels.

“If we look at the housing market overall, and as we look forward to 2023,” he said. “While we are expecting a bit of a rocky start as interest rates continue to rise — so more market volatility — the good news is if we look long run, particularly in South Carolina at housing demand and housing markets more generally, the long run is very positive.”

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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.