Aiken Named Hottest Housing Market in State

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January 24, 2006
A popular downtown, horses and southern weather add up to good news for Aiken’s housing market. The city is ranked the fastest growing housing market in South Carolina. As News 12 explains, Aiken is attracting people from all backgrounds.

Ivy Wolf moved to Aiken in October from Florida.

“We found this property. We were very fortunate as two were sold before we could even get there,” Wolf said.

Ivy knows why Aiken’s property is so hot.

“When you get there, it is absolutely no question as to why it’s growing so quickly. It is it’s own little treasure here,” Wolf said.

A treasure for many reasons: the weather, the vibrant downtown, and oh yes, the horses.

The draw for Ivy and many in Aiken is these equine neighborhoods. Houses line up like most subdivisions, but walk down the street and you’ll find horses live here, too.

Aiken has 15 equine developments right now and more in the works. These are bringing young families to Aiken, a place traditionally known for retirees.

The University of South Carolina at Aiken is also bringing young blood. Realtor Jane Page Thompson says they are the key to Aiken’s long-term growth.

“I’m the busiest at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving because all the kids come to visit their parents and think ‘wow, this is a great place for me to raise my kids’,” Thompson said.

The growth means a higher tax base for the entire county. Aiken County’s other areas are also benefiting from the city’s popularity, like the development being built now in Graniteville. The downside to this growth, natives may pay more than expected for a house.

“It’s really gonna affect people who are doing a lateral change,” Thompson said.

But it’s also a seller’s market here, something Ivy is hoping will continue.

“We feel very confident it’s also a good investment,” Wolf said.

Aiken’s property is running away for so many reasons.

Aiken beat out South Carolina’s more well-known housing markets. According to the South Carolina Association of Realtors, home sales grew almost 50 percent from 2004 to 2005. That beats Hilton Head by about six percent and the coastal Carolinas by about 14 percent.