Charleston SC Home Sales Show Improvement

Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® — (May 9, 2012) – Median existing single-family home prices are firming in many areas of the low-country, while improving sales and declining inventory are creating more balanced conditions, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors®.

Last April, preliminary figures showed 776 homes sold at a median price of $175,000, following an almost equal number of property tours.

“The number of showings our REALTORS® are completing in 2012 is almost equal to the number of showings we saw in 2009, when the market was significantly depressed, but inventory was much higher. This tells us that the prospective buyers in today’s market aren’t just looking. They are serious buyers, making offers and closing transactions” said 2012 CTAR President, Herb Koger.

The national median existing single-family home price was $158,100 in the first quarter, which is 0.4 percent below $158,700 in the first quarter of 2011.  The median is where half sold for more and half sold for less.  Distressed homes2 – foreclosures and short sales which sold at deep discounts – accounted for 32 percent of first quarter sales; they were 38 percent a year ago.

Heading into what is typically the busiest season of the year, year to date figures reflect a market that is in the midst of sustainable, healthy growth. Inventory is 29% lower than it was at this time last year; sales volume is almost 6% ahead and prices have increased a healthy 4% from this time last year.

Total existing-home sales,3 including single-family and condo, increased 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million in the first quarter from a downwardly revised 4.37 million in the fourth quarter, and were 5.3 percent above the 4.34 million level during the first quarter of 2011 when sales spiked. We are seeing more people coming back into the investment and second home market buying homes for sale in places like Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island.

Mount Pleasant SC custom home builder-owner of Sand Dollar Homes, said there are more opportunities in today’s market.  “Historically favorable housing affordability conditions are making it easier for buyers to enter the market despite the unnecessarily tight credit conditions,” he said.  “Housing supply and demand are roughly balanced with overall housing supply at the lowest level in six years, putting sellers on an even footing with buyers in most markets.”

CTAR REPORT

Berkeley County
170 homes sold at a median price of $154,945 in Berkeley County in April. This represents even sales and an increase in pricing compared with April 2011, when 170 homes sold at a median price of $145,000.

Charleston County
476 homes sold at a median price of $228,125 in Charleston County in April. This represents an increase in sales and pricing from April 2011’s 451 sales at a median price of $208,000.

Dorchester County
151 homes sold at a median price of $165,000 in Dorchester County in April. This represents a significant increase in both sales volume and pricing, as 129 homes sold at a median price of $147,490 in April 2011.

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