Charleston home sales hit a level in May last seen in August 2007 — if you exclude the 2010 incentivized market.
Sales volume last reached this level in June 2010, when the homebuyer tax credit was in place; the last time this happened in a non-incentivized market was August 2007.
There were 26,040 property showings recorded by the MLS in May—approximately 2,000 more showings than last month.
“Sales are closing at a faster pace than we anticipated this early in the season and showings continue to rise—there is a lot of pent-up demand in the market and those choosing to buy now are benefitting from incredibly low rates and affordable pricing" said 2012 CTAR President Herb Koger.
The big news in the Charleston market is inventory. The widely-accepted benchmark of a healthy market is inventory within the 6-month range. Charleston currently has 6.4 months of inventory with 6,314 homes listed as actively for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS) as of June 10, 2012.
- Berkeley County
205 homes sold at a median price of $175,375 in Berkeley County in May. The most active area of the county was Goose Creek/Moncks Corner bordering the Cooper River with 50 sales at a median price of $174,495. The most affordable area of the county is Cross/St. Stephen, where the median sale price was $62,500.
- Charleston County
Sales in Charleston County accounted for more than half of the area’s total sales, with 563 homes sold at a median price of $239,500. In Mount Pleasant, the County’s largest geographic area, 185 homes sold at a median price of $341,625. Outside of Mount Pleasant, the County’s most active area was West Ashley (outside I-526) with 74 sales at a median price of $185,652. The most affordable area of the county is North Charleston (inside I-526) where the median sale price was $83,000 in May.
- Dorchester County
188 homes sold at a median price of $167,450 in Dorchester County in May. The most active area of the County was Summerville/Ridgeville, with 92 sales at a median price of $180,470. The most affordable area of the County is Summerville/Ladson, where the median sale price was $135,000.
A year ago, May’s preliminary figures showed 804 closings at a median price of $179,945 and year-to-date figures showed 3,594 closings at a median price of $177,000. In 2012, closings have increased nearly 9% and median price is a healthy and sustainable 3% higher. 2012 year-to-date figures show 3,910 closings at a median price of $182,000.
Charleston’s overall economic recovery, of which real estate has been the lagging component, appears to be coming full-circle. "Our local economy is growing and thriving, thanks to solid activity at the State Ports Authority, Boeing, growth in the technology sector and other major manufacturers entering the market" said Koger. “The measure of a local real estate recovery is not a return to 2005 sales and pricing levels, but balanced supply and demand as well as sustainable growth—and we’re finally seeing that absorption rate increase and a recovery take shape in our market” said Chip Reeves, 2012 CTMLS President.
(April Adjustment: Preliminary data reported for April 2012 indicated 831 homes sold at a median price of $183,000. Adjusted numbers now show 838 sales at $182,695.)