Among the cities and towns further inland, the Summerville real estate market remains strong because of its great public school system, charming small town feel, affordability, and large selection of new construction homes for sale.
Let’s look first at the absorption rate for Summerville (which our MLS categorizes as Areas 61, 62, and 63). Since this is one of the most affordable housing markets in Charleston, most homes for sale in Summerville are priced under $250K. The area’s affordability is perhaps one of the biggest draws for home buyers, so it’s no surprise that all 3 MLS areas show a sellers’ market in this price bracket. The absorption rate is 4 months. This indicates that if no new listings were to be added to the MLS, it would take 4 months for Summerville’s inventory to sell given the current buying activity.
When we look at the higher $250-500K range, we see 3 different markets depending on the MLS Area. In Area 61 (from Dorchester Road below Ladson), the absorption rate is just as strong as the entire under $250K bracket of the market. From Ladson Road to Bacon’s Bridge Road, the market cools slightly to a perfectly balanced market with 6 months of inventory. From Bacon’s Bridge Road to Four Holes, it’s only barely a buyers’ market with 8 months of supply. In the $500K plus range, you’ll see a combination of very few listings, no sales, and little activity among home buyers.
Also, I wanted to include the housing supply and demand for Summerville to show that – even in the best years – there are always at least roughly 1,000 homes listed that don’t sell. When compared to other Charleston markets like James Island and Mt. Pleasant, this is a considerable discrepancy. I included this chart more for sellers than for buyers. Summerville is such a large real estate market that it’s important to price your home to sell if those are your intentions. Especially with the new construction developments that have exploded the market in the past 10 years, it’s hard to compete as a seller with the prices that builders offer. Now, looking at this from a buyer’s perspective, be sure to talk with your real estate agent for advice on what helps with future resale. Buying a home should always be viewed as an investment, so it’s important to do everything you can to help that investment appreciate. No home gives guaranteed appreciation, but there are certainly factors that affect it.
Finally, let’s look at how the Summerville real estate market performed in 2013. Last year 2,332 homes closed, which was a 22.5% increase from 2012 and a 34.2% increase from 2011. The sales in 2013 totaled $434 million (a jump of 28% compared to 2012 and 43.8% to 2011). The median sales price in Summerville was $170,000, an increase of just 1.2% from 2012 and just 5.7% from 2011.
The average sales price figures are more favorable than the median, but overall Summerville did not see the gains in sales prices that other Charleston markets saw. This may be due to Summerville’s affordability. Home buyers with larger budgets tend to want to live as close to Downtown Charleston and the beaches as possible, and this demand has made other markets soar in appreciation over the past decade.
However, it’s important that Charleston maintain its affordable real estate markets like Summerville. The fact that homes have remained inexpensive in Summerville is the reason that many buyers seek it. After all, there are few markets nearby where buyers can get a nice, clean, updated home for under $180K. So keep this in mind when comparing market stats for other Charleston areas.
Also, these Summerville real estate statistics only compare MLS Areas 61-63 as a whole, so these don’t reflect the public school districts. In our experience, the homes that are zoned for Dorchester District 2 sell the best because these are the most desirable among buyers who are concerned about the quality of public schools. You can learn more about public schools in Charleston on our website, or visit GreatSchools.com.