Lowcountry home sales up in October

By Lauren Ratcliffe
lratcliffe@scbiznews.com
Published Nov. 14, 2012

The Charleston-area real estate market continues to improve as year-to-date sales figures grew 12% over 2011 and prices grew by 4%, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors’ latest report. 

For the first 10 months of the year, 8,794 homes sold in the tri-county region at a median price of $187,597, the report said.

In October, 898 homes sold at a median price of $185,112. While that represent a 34% increase in sales volume, prices declined 2% compared with October 2011 figures.

At the National Association of Realtors’ annual conference in Orlando, Fla., chief economist Lawrence Yun forecasted nationwide home sales and prices will continue to grow over the next two years. He also warned inflation could prevent some of that growth.

Herb Koger, 2012 CTAR president, agreed with Yun’s concerns.

“Mortgage rates have remained at historic lows for so long, they will have to go back up at some point,” Koger said. “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."

As of Oct. 31, there were 6,030 homes listed as actively for sale with the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service.

“Overall, the Charleston region has performed incredibly well in 2012, and we expect this progress will continue,” Koger said. “We live in a highly desirable area which is becoming increasingly attractive to businesses and corporations as well as homeowners.”

County-by-county results

In Berkeley County, 206 homes sold at a median price of $157,495, compared with 166 transactions last October. Year to date, the county’s sales volumes have increased 3% and prices increased 4%.

In Charleston County, 489 homes sold at a median price of $225,000. Year to date, Charleston County is leading the market recovery with a 19% increase in sales volume and a 2% increase in prices.

In Dorchester County, 173 homes sold at a median price of $167,000. Year to date, the county is showing stability with a 5% increase in sales volume and a 6% price increase.

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