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Examining the growing need for affordable housing in Columbia County



COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga.  – It seems like everywhere you look there’s some sort of new housing going up in Columbia County. After plans were pulled for more luxury apartments on Washington Road, we started taking a closer look at the housing market and more affordable options.

Audubon, the developer of the luxury apartments, is reworking their plans for that renovation. Whether affordable or luxury Columbia County needs more places to live.

“The market is unusual to say the least,” said Drew May with Leading Edge Real Estate.

For rentals, townhomes and houses, the prices are all the way up.

“We used to see townhomes for $800 a month, and now they are a thousand or more,” he said.

May says the average home in Columbia County costs around $290,000 now. In Richmond County around $190,000.

“The inventory has never been as tight as what we are experiencing now,” he said.

He says it pushes some home buyers and those looking to move to Columbia County out of the market or it can cause those people to look for something more affordable.

“It just doesn’t exist. The affordable housing is very, very challenging,” he said.

In fact, a townhome that used to be $80,000 may now be $130,000. Forcing some people who would’ve bought to rent or live with roommates.

“It takes time to develop, and it takes time to build things. So, in the short run, I don’t see it improving any time soon,” he said.

Especially as more upscale units continue to be built sure there may be demand. But the community is running out of space. Lower-income apartments are coming in Martinez soon, but the need will continue.

“The pressure on the inventory is unbelievable, and that is expected to continue. Fort Gordon is not going anywhere, and cyber is not going anywhere,” he said.

You don’t have to be a real estate agent to look around and see this market development like crazy out towards Harlem and Grovetown. Some believe it will push people into Richmond County and other areas looking for more affordable options.