Lowcountry home sales rise


CHARLESTON, S.C. According to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS (CTAR) 1,014 homes sold at a median price of $198,757. This is the third time that closings have passed the 1k benchmark in 2012 and the first time sales volume has consistently shown this level of strength since 2007. Last year, sales peaked in August, with 904 homes sold at a median price of $185,000.

"The August sales figures are ongoing evidence of consistency and stability in our market. Charleston is such a desirable area, smart buyers recognize the long-term value of investing in the Charleston market" said 2012 CTAR President Herb Koger.

Inventory continues to trend towards a more balanced market, dropping to its lowest point this year, with 6,185 homes listed as actively for sale with the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Days on market remained below 100 for the second month in a row, at an average of 93 days. Stronger demand on the buying side of the market, an increase in cash-based transactions and the simplification of the distressed property transaction process are likely reasons for the decline.

Year-to-date figures continue to hold steady, with sales volume a strong 10% higher than it was a year ago, and the region's median price gaining ground during the busy summer months to show a 6.5% uptick in pricing as compared to this point last year. 6,978 homes have sold at a median price of $190,555 thus far in 2012. At this time last year, 6,351 homes had sold at a median price of $178,844.

"As we heard from NAR's Chief Economist Dr. Yun last month at the market update, our local market is being re-established on a firm foundation of sustainable sales and price growthCharleston is outperforming many markets across the country, in terms of a consistent recovery" Koger said. "The pent-up demand caused by the trend of college students and young professionals returning to live at home rather than establishing their own residences should also provide an eager pool of buyers heading into the future" he added.

July Adjustment

Preliminary data reported for July 2012 indicated 972 homes sold at a median price of $205,000. Adjusted numbers now show 984 sales at a median price of $204,797

Berkeley County

Preliminary data shows 240 homes sold in Berkeley County last month at a median price of $173,945. Last August, 226 homes sold at a median price of $158,950. Again, the area bordered by Jedburg Road/Highway 17-A and College Park was the most active, with 57 sales at a median price of $154,000.

Charleston County

570 homes sold in Charleston County in August, at a median price of $234,950. Last August, 483 homes sold at a median price of $219,000. Mount Pleasant (the county's largest geographic area) saw an increase in closings, with 200 homes sold at a median price of $299,625. West Ashley (outside of I-526) ranked the second most active area with 79 sales at a median price of $184,700.

Dorchester County

In August, 175 homes sold at a median price of $164,000. Last August the same number of homes sold, at a median price of $165,000showing marked consistency in both sales and pricing this year in Dorchester County. Summerville/Ridgeville showed the most activity75 homes sold at a median price of $182,850.