South Carolina has more than a home affordability problem. It is increasingly apparent that families are being priced out of the market and are unable to work and live in the same community. These families include dual income full-time essential workers. We are experiencing a home attainability dilemma. The increases in regulatory fees are further escalating home sale prices. For example those fees add up over $31,000 to the price of newly built $200,000 home in Lexington County. Those fees don’t include impact fees that many other jurisdictions have. While this seems exorbitant Lexington County is also looking to add additional fees and regulatory barriers, but they are not alone. Many jurisdictions around the state have already instituted additional fees and barriers to attainable housing. The new fees/taxes being discussed will add another $50,000 to every house. The higher the fees get, the more expensive new homes become.

Since the onset of the pandemic, cities, counties and school districts, among other taxing agencies, have been raising fees – including impact fees – to allow construction of new homes, townhomes, condos and apartments. The rising fees – combined with skyrocketing construction material and labor costs – are pushing home prices to new heights. That cost burden impacts homebuyers where a large segment of the population cannot afford to buy a home.

Local and state governments must find solutions to the middle-income market, enabling essential workers vital to the local economy, such as teachers and emergency service workers, to live where they work. If we continue to “price-out” a majority of our citizens we will lose the economic and socio vibrancy of our communities. The HBA of S.C. will continue to work with other groups and elected officials to find solutions to these expanding issues.

Wayne Moore
President, HBASC