2017: A Comparison Of Homes For Sale In Charleston SC And Homes For Sale Nationally
Happy New Year! 2018 is upon us, and today I am looking back at the 2017 numbers from the Charleston MLS to see the numbers for homes for sale in Charleston SC.
How did the Charleston SC real estate market do last year?
Let’s first take a look at the number of Closed Sales, broken down by each month:
Here is a comparison of Closed Sales of 2017 vs. 2016:
Average Sales Price
Next is a look at the Average Sales Price of homes for sale in Charleston SC for 2017:
This next infographic shows the year-over-year comparison of Average Sales Price in 2017 (compared to 2016):
Median Sales Price
Here is a look at the Median Sales Price of houses for sale in Charleston SC in 2017:
This next infographic shows the year-over-year comparison of the Median Sales Price of homes in 2017:
Homes For Sale In Charleston SC: Seller Stats
Now let’s take a look at the seller side of the market. First up is a look at the Average Days On The Market (DOM):
Here is the Average Months Supply of houses for sale in Charleston SC (broken down monthly) for 2017:
Finally, here is a look at the number of New Listings to hit Charleston SC real estate market in 2017:
The National Real Estate Market In 2017
Nationwide, demand for housing has remained strong.
Home sales continued to remain strong in 2017, despite the fact that the market lacked sufficient inventory.
In fact, home sales hit the highest Annual Pace since December of 2006:
This despite inventory levels continuing to drop:
Naturally, when supply doesn’t keep up with demand, prices continue to rise:
National Trends Vs. Local Trends
Real estate in Charleston SC followed a similar trend in 2017.
The Average Sales Price actually declined from Summer, but rebounded to trend upward towards year’s end.
However, the Average Sales Price improved every month year-over-year in 2017, except for 2 months (February and October).
In fact, May saw the highest Average Sales Price on the Charleston MLS.
Meanwhile, the Median Sales Price continued to increase as the year went on.
Demand was certainly not the issue for Charleston.
Supply, however, was.
Homes For Sale In Charleston SC Sold Fast
Nationally the real estate market saw the median weeks on the market at an all time low in 2017, 3 weeks:
The average time it took for homes for sale in Charleston SC to sell fluctuated from a high of 69 days (February) to a low of 49 days (June), which was the fastest time to sell a home in Charleston since 2015.
The Months Supply of houses for sale looked like this:
The Months Supply of houses for sale in Charleston SC trended behind the national average–Charleston never reached the 4 Month Supply level.
Housing demand remains strong nationwide, and that continues to be the case for the Lowcountry as well.
Keep in mind that Charleston is a destination town because of climate, culture, as well as jobs.
That doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
In fact, depending on where you hear it, there are 30, 40, or 50 people moving to Charleston a day.
Also according to the Charleston Regional Development Alliance website:
“As of 2016, the Charleston SC Metro Area population is 761,155, growing at 3X the U.S. population average.
With 34 people moving here a day, Charleston has moved up another spot to be the 74th largest U.S. metro by population.
We are experiencing a gain of well-educated young talent, adding to the growing labor force at 4X the U.S. average, which makes Charleston the 24th fastest growing U.S. metro.”
So yeah, demand isn’t going anywhere.
As far as supply to keep up with demand, you can already tell by the Average DOM and Months Supply numbers that inventory is lacking on the Charleston SC real estate market.
Here is another look at New Listings to hit the market in 2017:
The most New Listings to hit the market in 2017 was in March, with 2,573 new listings in Charleston. December saw the fewest New Listings, with 1,235.
I included the last 3 years in the graph above to show that 2017 followed the typical trend in Charleston for New Listings.
New Listings spike in March and nosedive towards the end of the year.
What About Interest Rates In 2018?
Buyers already have the challenge of not enough houses on the market, which in turn continues to drive prices upwards.
But they also have to keep an eye on interest rates. What will they do in 2018?
Of course, nobody really knows, but projections expect them to rise.
Interest rates dropped to all time lows in 2016, then spiked again in early 2017.
They again came down, but are expected to increase–when and how much is anybody’s guess.
The Cost Of Home Ownership Will Only Go Up
The combination of rising home values and rising interest rates puts the squeeze on potential buyers.
Waiting to buy will cost you money in two ways: an increase in purchase price and an increase in monthly mortgage payment.
If you want to wait to save a larger down payment, it could end up costing you much more than you actually save.
You could also end up losing out on that dream home today because tomorrow you won’t be able to afford it.
What This Means For Home Sellers
If you are thinking about selling a home in 2018, obviously all of this is good news.
Demand remains strong, as does home sales. Prices continue to increase, which means more money for sellers.
Plus, getting your home sold will not take too much time.
However, smart sellers will recognize that buyer demand hasn’t cooled off or taken a winter hibernation.
Typically in Charleston, home sales peak in early Summer.
But a lot of that has to do with the fact the New Listings peak in March.
Certainly Summer is considered the selling season in real estate, and that is usually the case for Charleston as well.
However, with buyer demand strong, the number of homes currently for sale in Charleston are at their lowest point of the year.
2017 is pretty much a carbon copy of the trend in Charleston every year: the number of Active Listings on the Charleston MLS (current homes for sale in Charleston SC) bottom out at the end of one year and the beginning of the next:
Getting your home listed before the rush in March means you will have less competition in a market already in need of more inventory.
Of course you could wait until later in the year when the number of New Listings and Active Listings drop, but there are a couple of risks in waiting.
As mentioned before, interest rates. A rise in interest rates could cool off buyer demand.
However, it would probably take an increase of over 1% to see that have a significant impact on demand.
But, the other important segment of the market to keep an eye on is New Construction.
New Construction Homes: Impact on Homes For Sale In Charleston SC
It’s no secret that new home builders recognize the need for inventory in the current real estate market.
Here is a look at New Construction sales in the Charleston MLS for 2017:
Notice the spike towards the end of 2017?
In fact, December saw the most New Homes sold in a month in Charleston in over a decade.
Overall, New Construction sales remained strong in 2017.
Here is a look at the percentage of all home sales that New Homes comprised in 2017:
That number was trending upwards as 2017 was winding down.
Although the trend for New Home sales in Charleston followed the overall trend for homes sold (for the most part), the percentage of the sold market increased over the last few months.
Don’t be surprised to see New Homes continue to account for a quarter of the sold homes in Charleston in 2018.
It wouldn’t be shocking to actually see that percentage increase in the New Year.
Overall, home sellers are sitting in the proverbial Catbird’s Seat.
For buyers, it is a great market to buy in from the perspective that purchasing a home in Charleston is a great financial decision.
Home values will continue to increase in 2018, making for a wise investment–especially considering that a mortgage is still cheaper than renting.
As always, it is wise for both sellers and buyers to keep an eye on what is happening in the market.
Things could change over the course of the year, such as a spike in interest rates, buyer demand cooling off, or inventory finally catching up to demand.
All of those factors could happen, but the outlook doesn’t appear to favor any one of those happening–as of right now.
Keeping an eye on New Construction is wise for both buyers and sellers as that right now looks like it could be on of the key factors in the Charleston SC real estate market as we kick off 2018.
For more helpful information about buying or selling a home in Charleston SC be sure to visit website–you can download both buyer and seller guides here.