Featured Image Credit: 510oceanblvd.com
In 2014, a random survey conducted by College of Charleston showed that 20.7 percent of people who visit Charleston stay in a beach rental. This makes up for 900,000 of the visitors in Charleston every year. For 2017, this number has a strong possibility of jumping into the millions.
Even though Charleston is not the state’s biggest market for beach rentals, it’s definitely the strongest. Steven Ellis, who is a founding partner of Akers Ellis, said top-end prices have been increasing. For example, an eight bedroom oceanfront house on Kiawah Island can rent for up to $30,350 a week.
“The larger houses have grown in demand over the last several years,” said Missy Wurthhamm, general manager of villa rentals for Kiawah Island Golf Resort. “Inevitably our higher quality price point is the one that sells first.”
Folly Beach specifically rents out 80 percent of their beach front rentals during the summer. In comparison to Kiawah Island and Isle of Palms who have different attractions and a different vibe, Folly is known to have a more laid back atmosphere with a Bohemian edge to it.
Emily Johnson of Brevard, N.C., spends a week on Folly Beach every year. “The surf,” she said while sitting on the beach east of the pier near her rental house last week. “I really like the restaurants. It’s very laid back.” The demand for a beach rental is becoming more and more popular. Jay Coan, also of Brevard, waited until the last minute to join his friends on Folly and couldn’t find a house for rent. He ended up staying in a hotel instead.
In 2016, an average room price for a beach rental property was $130.97. Currently, that number has risen to $141.17. From April until now, beach rental occupancy has also gone up 4 percent. This continued in the same months as last year, showing a steady rise year after year in the beach rental market.