So far this year, 6,093 homes have closed on the Charleston MLS with an additional 3,284 homes under contract. As Charleston real estate agents, we couldn’t be busier with this strong sellers’ market known for its multiple offer situations and relatively low inventory of homes for sale.
First, let’s look at MLS activity broken down by area. These stats are from January through May of 2014.
Keep in mind that for Days on Market, this time clock starts the day the home is listed and stops the day of closing (so it includes the 30 to 45 days that it generally takes once the contract is ratified until it gets to the closing table).
Right now the best homes in the most popular areas are often getting ratified contracts within a week or two of getting listed. So these homes are counterbalancing the overpriced/less desirable/poorly maintained homes that tend to sit on the market for the Average Days on Market statistic.
For the List Price to Sales Price Ratio, sellers in the Charleston tri-county area are getting 97% of their asking price. What does this mean for buyers? Unfortunately, there are no more great steals available. Sometimes buyers coming from other markets don’t understand how strong the Charleston real estate market is right now. They think they can negotiate 5-7% off the asking price, when in fact sellers are holding quite firm with the offers they receive. This 3% negotiation amount is expected to shrink over the coming months as the sellers' market continues to strengthen.
Next, let’s look at how Charleston County has performed over the past few years. This chart compares the first five months of 2014 to 2013 and also 2012.
Year to date, we’re seeing a 3.2% increase in the number of closed homes compared to 2013 and a 29.2% increase from 2012.
The closed sales volume (in millions of dollars) is up 12.3% from 2013 and up 53.4% from 2012.
The median sales price for homes sold is up 13.2% compared to 2013 and up 23.7% compared to 2012.
In case you’re interested in learning more about these areas, Charleston County is made up of Downtown Charleston and these suburbs:
Two of the most sought after areas to live in Charleston – James Island and Mt. Pleasant – are currently seeing even larger increases.
James Island Market
On James Island, the number of closed homes has seen a 12.1% increase from 2013 and a 50% increase from 2012! This suburban market has had a 31% increase in sales volume (in millions of dollars) over the past year and a 105% increase since 2012! Median sales prices are up 18.2% since 2013 and 36.4% since 2012.
Few submarkets within Charleston are seeing this kind of healthy growth year over year.
James Island sees a huge demand from home buyers because it’s the closest suburb to Downtown Charleston, has great public schools, and offers a good selection of homes priced under $300,000. Its close proximity to Folly Beach and laid back atmosphere are also popular among buyers.
Mount Pleasant Market
The Mount Pleasant real estate market is also performing stronger than average for Charleston County. Although its number of closed homes is only up 3.6% compared to last year, the 40.5% increase from 2012 is impressive. Mt. Pleasant’s sales volume is currently 13.3% higher than 2013 and 68.5% higher than the previous year. The median home sale price in Mount Pleasant has jumped 19% in the past year and 21% in 2 years.
The current median sales price in Mount Pleasant is $375,000, so it’s significantly higher than James Island or Charleston County in general. However, its upscale atmosphere and large selection of newer homes in master planned communities appeal to a growing number of home buyers.
As the 9th fastest growing city in the United States, Mount Pleasant has witnessed a surge in demand for real estate. Its fantastic public schools and close proximity to Downtown Charleston and the beach will ensure that this demand will continue for years to come.
For information on Charleston real estate, or to see charts and graphs for more areas, contact us!