Charleston region home prices are on the rise as demand remains strong but supply dwindles.
According to data released by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, there were 71% fewer homes for sale over the last 12-month period. At the end of January, there were 2,062 active listings — representing just one month worth of available inventory, a new record low.
With such few options on the market, competitive prices are expected as multiple offers will come in for quickly closing homes, said Rusty Hughes, president of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.
“This puts the ball in the court of the sellers and presents a real challenge for buyers,” Hughes said. “With such low inventory, buyers need to be more prepared than ever.”
Despite a low stock, sales continue to soar in 2021 following a December of unprecedented demand. The record number of homes that underwent contract in December led to record closings in January, Hughes said.
In January, 1,421 homes were sold at a median price of $314,900 — a 22% increase in sales and an almost 10% growth in median price compared to 2020 figures, according to CTAR.
In Charleston County alone, January saw a 20% increase in sales and 18% increase in median sale price year-over-year for single-family homes, and a 40% increase in sales and 7% increase in median price for condos and townhomes.
Hughes said the pandemic has played a part in the active market as more people are working from home and taking the opportunity to upgrade or move into a more comfortable space. He noted that the availability of home offices and pools were priorities among clients last year.
“I've been in real estate 23 years, and I don't recall ever hearing as much conversation about pools as a serious topic of conversation,” Hughes said. “A lot of people were putting pools in their top three things they have to have in their house.”
Hughes said clients with a good equitable position on their homes have also taken advantage of the historically low interest rates, coming in at an average of just above 3%. Though interest rates have slowly begun to tick back up in the beginning of this year, they don’t usually jump in large increments, Hughes said.
As the market moves into the spring months, Hughes said an upward trend on pricing and a competitive buying market is expected if inventory continues to lag.
“We’re still moving in a positive forward direction and seeing that trend of historical highs with properties going under contract and closing,” Hughes said. “That should lead to another phenomenal year or two in real estate.”