Like most areas around the country, the Charleston real estate market has cycled from a booming sellers’ market in 2005 and 2006 to a buyers’ market in 2008-2010 and back to a strong sellers’ market in 2013. At the Keadle Group, we’ve been in business since 2002, so we’ve experienced the full range of activity, helping both buyers and sellers throughout each of the market stages.
Fortunately, Charleston did not suffer the lull in its housing market as much as the rest of the country. In fact, it still ranked well in the down years because of the steady demand from home buyers relocating here. Our local economy and job market have remained relatively strong, which has also helped to shield Charleston over the years.
With the full 2013 stats in from the MLS, here are some of the trends we saw in the Charleston real estate market. These numbers include all sales and listings from our Multiple Listing Service, so they cover all of the real estate companies in the area.
Last year 12,496 homes sold in tri-county Charleston, which was a 22% increase from 2012 and a 39% increase from 2011. The closed sales volume for 2013 totaled $3.6 billion, which is a 31.5% increase from the previous year and a 57.1% increase from 2011. The median sales price increased 8.8% last year to $209,406 for the tri-county area (this is 14.4% higher than 2011). Because Charleston’s homes range in price so drastically (with some of the highest home values in South Carolina), it’s important to look at both the median and average prices. The average sales price last year was $286,842 (7.8% higher than the year before and 13.1% higher than in 2011).
When looking at 10 year appreciation, the median sales price has increased 18%. James Island and Mt. Pleasant (some of the most popular areas) each saw a 32% appreciation in the past 10 years. When we look back on the slowest years (2008 to 2010), it’s easier sometimes to remember the downfall of the housing market which can dictate our associations. However, remember that real estate historically has proven to be a strong investment over the long term compared to stocks, bonds, CD’s, and most other portfolio options in terms of its rate of return.
As Charleston real estate agents, we’re often asked how much negotiating can be done in our market now that sellers are being more aggressive with the offers they receive. On average, the actual sales price in 2013 ended up being 96% of the list price. Keep in mind, though, that some of the hottest markets will allow less negotiating. Also, if a home has only just been listed, the sellers keep a firmer price – a fact that many buyers have trouble digesting. This past year has seen the return of the multiple offer situation. Because our inventory of homes for sale has dropped so quickly, the best homes tend to go the fastest – often within just a few days of getting listed.
If you have questions about these housing market stats or want to see more, just let us know because we have plenty of charts and graphs to share. Feel free to call or email if we can be of any help!