Charleston, SC Real Estate Market Trends in 2023

Posted by Lee and Katherine Keadle on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at 11:52am.

So far in 2023, the Charleston real estate market is performing much stronger than forecasters expected. Ratified contracts in March of 2023 ended up being only 5% shy of the March 2022 figure even though sales were anticipated to be 15% less. In short, the 2023 local real estate market won’t match the stellar, record breaking 2022 sales figures. However, even with higher interest rates and a low supply of homes for sale, Charleston is outpacing the 15 year average each week for written sales. (See this chart which shows 2023 ratified contracts by the green line, 2022 ratifieds by the orange line, and the 15 year average in blue.)

charleston home sales 2023

Last week the Charleston housing market saw 359 properties go under contract which makes it the third best week so far this year. Keep in mind that we use statistics focusing on ratified contracts instead of closed sales in all of these Carolina One charts because closed sales were ratified anywhere from 45 to 60 days prior (the typical time frame expected to get from contract to closing). So closed sales reflect buyer sentiment roughly 6 to 8 weeks before, whereas ratified contracts tell us what is happening in our local market currently.

The March 2023 median sale price increased 5% compared to last spring, pushing it up to $403K. This is tough news for buyers who have been discouraged by the bidding wars we’ve experienced for over 2 years now. However, it’s fantastic news for Charleston homeowners who have enjoyed robust appreciation throughout the pandemic market.

charleston sc median real estate price trends 2023

This spring, we’re still seeing a lot of full priced offers as well as multiple offers on the new listings that are move in ready and located in the most popular communities (especially those zoned for good public schools like James Island and Mount Pleasant). New construction is a good option for buyers willing to wait on locking their mortgage rates. New construction currently makes up 40% of all pending contracts in the MLS and 26% of closings.

The luxury market in Charleston also remains strong, and this is partly due to so many buyers relocating from pricier markets around the country such as California, Washington, New York, and the DC metro area. We are at more than double pre-pandemic sales levels of $1 million+ properties (averages for home sales in this price point are over 100 per month currently).

As of today, the Charleston MLS has 2,221 active listings (meaning available for sale right now). Although this is a significant increase from the 1,035 record or floor number of listings set back in February 2022, this listing shortage is perhaps the biggest challenge as Charleston REALTORS®. If we had a few thousand more listings to work with, it would make our jobs as buyer’s agents much easier in a solidly seller’s market! Based on the current levels of homes going under contract, our market needs about 7,400 additional listings (roughly triple our current inventory) to have a market that is balanced between buyers and sellers.

There’s usually a seasonal rise in listings in the spring, so we’re counting on getting more inventory as we approach the end of the school year. Also, many of the homes we get under contract never hit the MLS because they sell before going active. Since we often know about new listings BEFORE they hit the MLS, keep us posted on your time frame and needs so that we can do some digging on this end!

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