Charleston residential real estate market continues upward trend in May

Staff Report
Published June 17, 2013

Home sales in the Charleston area rose more than 28% in May compared with the same month last year, according to recent data from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

With fewer than 1,000 closings in May 2012, the market saw 1,277 sales this year, the trade association reported in its latest market report. The median sales price of Charleston-area homes in May also rose to $212,000, up by $12,000 from last year.

CTAR President Owen Tyler said that more buyers might be making a decision to buy as historically low mortgage rates have started to rise.

“Mortgage rates have increased half a percentage point, from 3.5 on May 1 to 4.1% on June 7,” Tyler said in a news release. “While that’s not a huge jump, it’s an indicator that the fed is likely to allow rates to rise as our economy strengthens and the market can tolerate a slightly higher rate.” 

CTAR said homes sales typically increase in the summer months, but inventory in the Charleston area has not significantly increased this year. CTAR reports 5,614 homes for sale in the Charleston region, with some areas beginning to see more competition as inventory wanes behind demand.

All three counties are reporting fewer than 90 average days on the market before a sale. The entire region is reporting an average of 83 days on the market. Homes in Dorchester County are selling the fastest at an average of 70 days on the market.

“Buyers are acting quickly, as the market gets more and more competitive,” Tyler said. “Banks are also processing short sales, specifically, much faster than they have in the past — the long, drawn out process of purchasing such a property is beginning to wane.”

Days on the market for short sales in the Charleston market have dropped by 34% from a peak of 165 days in January 2010 to 108 days in May 2013, CTAR data show.

County figures for May

Berkeley County
Sales:
268 homes sold.
Median price:
$164,250.
Most active area:
The Wando/Cainhoy area is the top-performing market in Berkeley County for the year. Sales volume has increased 44% and median price 11%.

Charleston County
Sales:
759 homes sold.
Median price: $250,000.
Most active area: West Ashley inside of Interstate 526 has seen a 57% increase in sales in 2013, with most of the market’s activity centered on the Byrnes Down, Avondale and South Windermere areas.

Dorchester County
Sales:
224 homes sold.
Median price: $179,000.
Most active area: The Summerville/Ladson and Ravenel areas are the busiest market segment of Dorchester County, with a 54% increase in sales for the year.

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