Charleston SC Real Estate: Market Update

Charleston SC Real Estate Market Stats: How Do We Compare To National Numbers?

Here’s the latest look at the numbers for the Charleston SC real estate market.

In my last post, I looked at the latest national numbers from the National Association of Realtors most recent Existing Home Sales Report.

To sum it up, the numbers look very good for the most part for the national real estate market. Pending Home Sales hit their highest point in 9 years.

Home values continue to increase–in fact, they have increased year-over-year numbers for 32 consecutive months.

Foot Traffic remains high, which along with Pending Home Sales numbers, indicates strong buyer demand.

In fact, the biggest challenge facing the national real estate market continues to be much more demand than there is homes available.

This is causing home values to increase at a faster rate, and also explains the bad news from the report: home sales decreased in April by 3.3% from March.

However, home sales remain 6.1% above last April.

So, what is going on in the Charleston SC real estate market? Are we seeing the same challenge?

Let’s dive into the relevant numbers from the Charleston MLS and see what is going on. First, here is a look at Closed Sales:

2015 started off pretty hot, but home sales have leveled off.

The NAR report only covers April, but we are able to not only see April on the Charleston MLS, but May numbers as well.

So far, the Charleston SC real estate market peaked in March for home sales with 1433.

That number dropped slightly in April to 1406, and in May it dropped to 1349. Is this bad news?

I don’t think it is time to panic. Keep in mind that in 2014 the peak month for sales (June) saw 1453 Closed Sales.

We almost hit that in March and aren’t that far off from it.

Plus, we are just getting into the late Spring/Summer season, when we typically see home sales spike in Charleston.

Another factor that could be contributing to the drop in sales is lack of inventory.

The same issue is affecting the national market, and could also be in play here in Charleston. We will know more in just a minute.

But first, a look at the Pending Home Sales:

Just like the national numbers, Pending Home Sales in Charleston continue to increase. January saw 1134 homes for sale in Charleston SC go under contract.

That number increased to 1377 in February, 1751 in March, 1898 in April and 1922 in May.

To put that in perspective, the highest number of Pending Home Sales in Charleston SC in the last 10 years was March 2005 with 1855.

Here is a look at the Average Sales Price for Charleston SC homes:

The Average Sales Price dipped in February, but has been on the rise otherwise.

It remained pretty flat from March to April, but then it shot up in May, up to $326,999.

The peak month for 2014 was in June, which saw an Average Sales Price of $315,050.

May is also the highest point in over 10 years. We have come close before, but have not hit or exceeded it.

Here is a look at Charleston Home Values over the last 10 years:

One other number is the Median Sale Price. That too has increased.

In January it was $210,000. In May, it is at $236,890.

That is also the highest number in at least 10 years.

Next up is another home value numbers, the Average Price Per Square Foot:

That number also took a dip in February, but has steadily been on the rise since. In February it was $136/sq ft.

In April it was $147/sq ft and in May it is up to $154/sq ft.

June was the highest number for 2014, at $145/sq ft.

May 2015 is the highest month since May of 2008, which saw an Average Price Per Square Foot of $156/sq ft.

Nationally, homes are selling at the second fastest rate since NAR started tracking this stat in 2011.

Homes for sale are selling at 39 days or less.

Here is a look at the Average Days On The Market (DOM) for the Charleston SC real estate market:

The Average DOM peaked for 2015 (so far) in March at 73 DOM. It has dropped since then, to 66 in April and 64 in May.

April and May are both lower than any point in 2014.

May is the lowest month since September 2006 which saw an Average DOM of 59.

Finally, here is a look at the Inventory situation in Charleston SC–the Months Supply of Inventory:

That number continues to drop. In May, there was a 4 Month Supply of Inventory. That is the lowest number since December of 2005 which saw a 3.4 Month Supply.

What is happening in Charleston SC resembles what is happening in the national real estate market.

Home values are on the rise, Pending Home Sales continue to increase, homes are selling faster, and the inventory can’t keep up.

There is hope that with the Summer selling season upon us, more and more home owners will list to sell.

Builders have seen new home sales off to the fastest start in 7 years, and are working to add inventory to help meet the strong buyer demand.

charleston sc real estate


With home values increasing more rapidly, this should also push home owners on the fence into selling.

Right now, the biggest issue with both the national real estate market and the Charleston SC real estate market is the disparity between strong buyer demand and the lack of enough homes for sale to meet that demand.

charleston sc real estate Hopefully, in the coming months more homes will hit the market, and the wide gap between demand and supply will narrow. This will help home appreciation slow down.

This would actually be a good thing. Home appreciation took off the last half of 2013 and into the first half of 2014.

It then started to slow to a more historically normal rate of appreciation the last half of 2014.

However, the shrinking inventory lead to home values accelerating faster so far in 2015.

Wages increases have not kept up with home value gains, and it is possible that many buyers could get priced out of the market if values continue to rise at an accelerated rate.

More inventory would help satisfy the strong buyer demand, as well as slow down appreciation. This could bring even more buyers into the market.

Charleston closely reflects this. Home values shot up in May, as Inventory was dropping.

charleston sc real estate We have not seen an increase in the Months Supply since the beginning of 2014.

In January there was a 5.7 Month Supply and that peaked in April at 6.1 Months.

Since then, it has continually dropped.

The buyers are out there–as evidenced by the Pending Home Sales numbers.

However, they are not finding the home they want on the market, or if they do, they will often face other buyers in competition for that house.

This quote from Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR sums up the current market perfectly:

“Housing inventory declined from last year and supply in many markets is very tight, which in turn is leading to bidding wars, faster price growth and properties selling at a quicker pace,” says Yun.

“To put it in perspective, roughly 40 percent of properties sold last month went at or above asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this monthly data in December 2012.”

Simply put, both the national real estate market and the Charleston SC real estate market need more listings.

If you are looking at buying homes for sale in Charleston SC, then bee sure to visit my Pam Marshall Realtor website.

If you are thinking about selling your home, now is the time to do it, we need the inventory! However, even in this hot sellers market, it is still important to hire the right agent to get your home sold.

Check out my Pam Marshall Realtor sellers page to learn more about my marketing and what sets me apart from other agents.

If you want to track the latest stats from the Charleston SC MLS, then visit my Charleston SC Real Estate stats page.




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