S.C. home sales rise 7.3% in first half

Sales of homes across South Carolina rose an average 7.3% in the first half of this year. However, some areas with smaller populations saw home sales falter, according to S.C. Realtors (Photo/File)
Sales of homes across South Carolina rose an average 7.3% in the first half of this year. However, some areas with smaller populations saw home sales falter, according to S.C. Realtors. (Photo/File)

Staff Report
Published July 17, 2012

Sales of homes across South Carolina rose an average 7.3% in the first half of this year, with strong gains in the urban areas driving the pace over last year’s first half, according to Multiple Listing Service data released Tuesday by S.C. Realtors.

But some areas with smaller populations saw home sales falter, such as in Sumter and Clarendon counties, where sales shrank 11%.

The largest gain in the state was in the Hilton Head area, where unit sales rose almost 23% in the first half over the year-earlier period. In the Charleston trident region, home sales rose 8.4% during the first half. Greater Columbia’s figures jumped almost 15%, while greater Greenville’s unit sales rose almost 10%. Spartanburg’s increase was more than 6%.

S.C. home sales figures

S.C.
region

Charleston Trident
Greater Columbia
Greater Greenville
Spartanburg
Sumter/Clarendon
Western Upstate

Statewide

Units sold
1st half 2011

4,550
3,122
3,239
1,244
567
1,447

23,531

Units sold
1st half 2012

4,934
3,586
3,560
1,323
503
1,410

25,249

Median Price
1st half 2011

$178,000
$140,000
$138,000
$111,750
$128,450
$118,225

$145,500

Median Price
1st half 2012

$186,000
$140,000
$145,000
$115,000
$128,100
$125,000

$149,000

Source: S.C. Realtors

Median sales prices were mixed across the state during the first half of the year, but rose a slight 2.4% statewide.

“Residential real estate has finally taken some meaningful strides toward recovery, and they’ve all been self-powered without divine, or governmental, intervention,” S.C. Realtors said in announcing the end-of-June results.

“Yes, there have been some head fakes in the past, but there's real reason to believe that market turnaround awaits us. Beyond home prices, key metrics to watch include days on market, percent of list price received and months supply of inventory indicators showed improvement,” the association said.

In June, new listings in South Carolina decreased 8.3% to 8,279 compared to the same period last year. Pending sales were up 7.3% to 4,820. Inventory levels shrank 15.7% to 49,496 units.

Prices moved higher in June. The median sales price increased 1.9% to $158,000 compared to June 2011, the report said.

Days-on-market was down 4.8% to 134 days in June. The supply-demand balance stabilized as months supply of inventory was down 23.7% to 11.4 months.

“We seem to be at a critical inflection point in our attempts to spur more hiring. Job growth provides the dual benefit of stimulating new household growth as well as relieving distressed homeowners. There's also the positive feedback loop of housing creating jobs and jobs creating housing. Keeping the affordability picture afloat, the Fed has vowed to keep interest rates around 4.0% through mid-2013,” the association said.

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