Charleston Real Estate Market Continues Positive Progress Year-to-date figures show 12% sales growth, 4% increase in prices
CHARLESTON, SC—(November 13, 2012) According to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (CTAR), 898 homes sold at a median price of $185,112 in October. These figures, representative of all homes sold through the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS), show a 34% increase in sales volume and a slight 2% decline in prices when compared to preliminary figures from October 2011.
Year-to-date figures demonstrate continued positive progress for the local real estate market: 8,794 homes have sold at a median price of $187,597 thus far in 2012. At this point last year, 7,827 homes had sold at a median price of $179,925. This year’s figures show 12% growth in sales volume and a healthy, sustainable 4% growth in median price.
At the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) annual conference in Orlando this week, chief economist Lawrence Yun forecasted that nationwide, both home sales and prices will continue to trend upward over the next two years, predicting that the national median home price will have risen by 15% by 2015.
However, Yun warned of looming inflation, which could double in the coming years. Recent inflation has increased by about 2% per year. 2012 CTAR President Herb Koger agrees with Yun’s concerns, saying “Mortgage rates have remained at historic lows for so long, they will have to go back up at some point. The combination of rising home prices, the inevitable increase in mortgage rates and a declining inventory will make it tougher in the coming years for those who are currently renting but hope to buy” Koger said. Strict lending qualifications continue to be an issue for many prospective homeowners, as well. Many credit markets are too tight to accommodate those who want to take advantage of today’s prime buying environment.
While the region’s overall inventory remains in a healthy decline, there are subsets of the market with more than enough property to go around. “Areas like James Island, West Ashley and parts of Mount Pleasant have overall, very low inventory that at a glance, puts them clearly in seller’s market territory. However, when you look at more expensive homes, in the $400,000 and up range, for example, there is significantly more, even double, the rate of inventory” said Koger. As of October 31, 2012 there were 6,030 homes listed as actively for sale with the CTMLS.
“Overall, the Charleston region has performed incredibly well in 2012, and we expect this progress will continue. We live in a highly desirable area which is becoming increasingly attractive to businesses and corporations as well as homeowners” said Koger.
September Adjustment Preliminary data reported for September 2012 indicated that 876 homes sold at a median price of $190,000. Adjusted numbers now show 885 homes sold at the same median price.
Berkeley County 206 homes sold at a median price of $157,495 in October. Last October, 166 homes sold at a median price of $168,217. The most active area of the County is bordered by Jedburg Road, Highway 17A and College Park, where 68 transactions closed at a median price of $150,620. Year-to-date, the County’s sales volume has increased a healthy 3% and prices 4%. Thus far in 2012, 1,898 homes have sold at a median price of $163,443 in Berkeley County.
Charleston County 489 homes sold in Charleston County in October, at a median price of $225,000. This represents an increase of more than 100 sales when compared to last October, when 346 homes sold at a price of $227,000. Outside of the County’s largest geographic area of Mount Pleasant, the most active areas were West Ashley (outside of I-526) and James Island. 61 homes sold at a median price of $205,475 in the outermost part of West Ashley, while 54 sales on James Island resulted in a median price of $223,250. Year-to-date, the County is leading the local market recovery, with a 19% increase in sales volume and a 2% increase in median price. Nearly 5,000 homes have sold in Charleston County in 2012, at a median price of $225,000.
Dorchester County 173 homes sold in Dorchester County at a median price of $167,500 in October. Last October, 140 homes sold at a median price of $155,950. The most active area of Dorchester County in October was the Summerville/Ridgeville area, where 71 sales resulted in a median price of $201,575. Year-to-date, Dorchester County is showing stability, with 5% and 6% increases in sales and median price, respectively. 1,596 homes have sold at a median price of $167,361 in 2012.
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