Charleston-area home sales, prices continue rebound in 2012

By Lauren Ratcliffe
lratcliffe@scbiznews.com
Published Jan. 15, 2013

Home sales have risen for three consecutive years in the tri-county region. Prices increased over 2011, and the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors hopes the price stabilization will continue.

December county-by-county results

In Berkeley County, 195 homes sold at a median price of $168,000 in December. Year-to-date sales and pricing increased by 3%.

In Charleston County, 515 homes sold at a median price of $235,254 in December. Year-to-date sales volume increased 20% and prices increased 3.6%.

In Dorchester County, 159 homes sold at a median price of $178,680 in December. Year-to-date sales increased 8% and prices increased 4.7%.

More than 10,000 homes sold during 2012, the first year since 2007 when sales figures have crossed that threshold. In total, 10,574 homes sold at a median price of $190,065. These figures represent an 11.6% growth in sales volume and a 4.6% increase in prices over 2011.

Inventory for the region declined 21% from 2011 making buyers compete for available homes.

“Our region’s market activity exceeded our expectations in 2012,” said Owen Tyler, 2013 CTAR president. “We were cautiously optimistic that 2012 would be the year that our market regained its stability and made significant, but sustainable, gains.”

Tyler said the growth observed in 2012 is healthy and can be continued as the local, national and global economies recover.

In the fiscal cliff deal, the real estate industry dodged cuts to the mortgage interest deduction and the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation. Tyler and Dave Sansom, president of Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, said they think those extensions will help the coming year be another positive one.

“We were pleased to see that Washington understands that real estate is an integral part of our nation’s economic success and preserved key incentives for current and future homeowners,” Tyler said.

Sansom said the lingering effect of Boeing and a growing regional technology sector should continue to bring homebuyers to the region and help the real estate market grow.

Charleston-area market trends: 2007-2012

Tri-county home sales

Region/Year

Full MLS*
Berkeley County
Charleston County
Dorchester County

2007

12,921
3,406
6,316
2,712

2008

8,987
2,339
4,409
1,952

2009

8,337
1,994
4,043
1,979

2010

8,801
2,123
4,579
1,803

2011

9,312
2,224
4,982
1,785

2012

10,574
2,299
5,987
1,930

Tri-county home prices

Region/Year

Full MLS*
Berkeley County
Charleston County
Dorchester County

2007

$207,850
$180,000
$248,000
$194,000

2008

$200,000
$171,000
$254,900
$179,900

2009

$181,500
$163,000
$226,000
$161,285

2010

$187,000
$165,345
$235,000
$159,666

2011

$181,600
$162,475
$219,916
$160,000

2012

$190,065
$167,500
$228,000
$167,500

*Full Multiple Listing Service data includes sales from unincorporated county areas and includes Colleton County.

Source: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors

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