11 Cheapest Places to Live in South Carolina

By PropertyClub Team
Apr 16th 2024
With its natural beaches, rich history, and sweet southern charm, South Carolina is becoming an increasingly popular choice among those moving to the Southeast. This list of the eleven cheapest places to live in South Carolina will help you choose the most affordable cities in the state. 

hash-mark11 Cheapest Places to Live in South Carolina

  1. Union
  2. Gaffney
  3. Orangeburg
  4. Newberry
  5. Laurens
  6. Greenwood
  7. Sumter
  8. Spartanburg
  9. Columbia
  10. Conway
  11. Myrtle Beach

hash-mark1. Union

The cheapest place to live in South Carolina is Union. This city is known for its manufacturing industry, which produces goods such as roller bearings, felt, cordage, metal forgings, woven goods, and textile fibers. Home to only 8,054 people, Union is perfect for those who prefer a small town with a peaceful atmosphere. Main attractions include the town’s historic Downtown District and Main Street, which are usually bustling with people. Home prices in this area average $91k, making it the most affordable place in the entire state. 

hash-mark2. Gaffney

Gaffney is the second-cheapest place to live in South Carolina. This city is located upstate, close to the North Carolina border, and is home to over 12,000 residents. Here, locals can take advantage of the area’s rich history, welcoming attitude, laid-back atmosphere, and nearby attractions, which include the Gaffney History Museum. As the state’s Peach Capital, residents can also spend their summers enjoying the delicious Gaffney peaches. With home values in Gaffney averaging $138k, Gaffney is the second most affordable city in all of South Carolina. 

hash-mark3. Orangeburg

Located in south-central South Carolina is Orangeburg, another one of the state’s cheapest places to live. Lovingly known as the “Garden City,” Orangeburg is known for its immense natural beauty. It is home to some of the state’s best hunting, fishing, and golfing areas, which makes it popular among sporting enthusiasts. The city also harbors roughly 12,000 residents, all of whom enjoy the area for attractions such as the Edisto Memorial State Gardens, IP Stanback Museum, and the Orangeburg Festival of Roses. With home prices in Orangeburg averaging $146k, this city is another affordable area to call home. 

hash-mark4. Newberry

Newberry is one of the cheapest areas in South Carolina’s northwestern quadrant. A small city, Newberry is home to a little over 10,000 people and has been named one of the “Most Charming Small Towns in America” by the Travel Channel. The town’s small size and carefully preserved history make it ideal for those who prefer a slower-paced lifestyle away from the big city. Even so, the town offers several local attractions, such as museums, art exhibits, hiking trails, and Japanese gardens. Homes in Newberry sell at an average of $152k, keeping it both charming and cheap. 

hash-mark5. Laurens

Laurens is another cheap area in northwestern South Carolina and is ideal for those who prefer to live close to Greenville. This city was at one time an established epicenter for the trade of tailor-made clothes. But today, it is a small town of roughly 9,000 people, all of whom appreciate the area for its historic architecture and natural beauty. Residents have their pick of local attractions, from the Historic District to Baker Creek State Park Trail. Home prices in this town average at $176k, keeping this an affordable part of South Carolina’s history.

hash-mark6. Greenwood

Greenwood is the cheapest place in South Carolina for those with a more artistic nature. This thriving city is close to the Georgia state line and is a great place for families and young professionals. The area is home to nearly 16,000 residents, most of whom possess a deeply creative and eclectic spirit. This can be seen in the city’s growing local arts-scene centers, collectively known as the Emerald Triangle. Additional local attractions include an abundance of community theaters, museums, parks, and gardens. Home prices in this area average at $178k, making Greenwood affordable for bohemian homebuyers.

hash-mark7. Sumter

In addition to being one of South Carolina’s cheapest places to live, Sumter is also the largest city on this list. It is home to nearly 43,000 residents, most of whom are working professionals in the city’s thriving economy. The main industries here include biotech, textiles, agriculture, and the Airforce. In addition to a bustling business scene, Sumter also possesses some of the state’s most diverse outdoor environments, including oak-hickory forests, sandhills, lakes, and swamps. Other urban attractions in this area include outdoor farmer’s markets, museum crawls, shopping centers, sporting events, and local festivals. Home prices in Sumter average $185k, making it an affordable area for working professionals.  

hash-mark8. Spartanburg

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains is Spartanburg, another cheap area close to the North Carolina state line. While this city is close in proximity to Gaffney, it is home to nearly 39,000 people, making it an urban alternative to small-town life. Like the town’s motto, Always Doing, says, there is always something to do in this lively city. Local attractions include five performance venues, fifteen public art exhibits, and a thrilling nightlife scene. Additionally, the surrounding area provides residents with both mountains and beaches to enjoy. With home prices in this area averaging $211k, Spartanburg has something for everyone. 

hash-mark9. Columbia

Columbia is another one of the cheapest places to live in South Carolina. It's the state capital and the second-largest city in South Carolina, with a population of 136,632 residents. Columbia also has many notable attractions and institutions, such as the University of South Carolina and Fort Jackson Army Base.

Yet, for all the city offers, it's very affordable. The cost of living in Columbia is about 5% lower than the national average, although housing is about 26% lower. The average home price in Columbia is about $220k, while the average rent is around $1,400 per month.

hash-mark10. Conway

Conway is also one of the most affordable cities in South Carolina. Located in Horry County, about 15 miles outside of Myrtle Beach, Conway is home to 24,849 residents. It offers a pleasant, small-town atmosphere with the amenities of a big city. It's also home to Coastal Carolina University and several notable buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Conway is very affordable, and the cost of living is 11% lower than the national average. The average home price is $274k, and the average rent is around $1,600 per month.

hash-mark11. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is also an affordable part of South Carolina. Situated directly on the Atlantic Coast, about 30 minutes from the North Carolina border, Myrtle Beach is a popular resort town known for its sandy beaches and famous boardwalk. The area is home to over 80 golf courses and 1800 restaurants, which attract over 20 million tourists per year.

But despite its many attractions and amenities, Myrtle Beach is one of the cheapest places to live in South Carolina. As long as you stay out of the tourist areas, the cost of living is about 7% lower than the national average. The average price of a home is just under $300,000, and the average rent is around $1,610 per month.