The region's run of home sale gains continued at a strong pace as summer turned to fall, but the seasonal shift brought with it concerns about flood insurance and the government shutdown.
Charleston County: 674 sales at a median price of $259,200. The most active area was West Ashley outside I-526, with 88 sales at a median price of $184,456.
Berkeley County: 231 sales at a median price of $180,000. The most active area was bordered by Jedburg Road, Highway 17A and College Park Road, with 59 sales at a median price of $188,790.
Dorchester County: 189 sales at a median price of $176,000. The most active area was Summerville/Ridgeville, with 103 sales at a median price of $187,500.
Chas. Trident Association of Realtors
The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors said in a new report Thursday that 1,133 homes were sold in September, 29 percent more than a year ago. The median price for the month was $209,000, a gain of 10 percent from the same month in 2012.
Year-to-date, 9,861 homes have changed hands through September at a median price of $209,000, according to the report. Volume is up 25 percent and the median figure is up 10 percent from the first nine months last year.
“We've closed almost as many sales in three quarters of 2013 as we did in the whole of 2012,” said Dave Sansom, president of the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, the association's sales data-base. “It has been a remarkable year of growth and progress for the Charleston-area real estate market. While we are heading into the end of the year and market activity may quiet down some, there are plenty of active and motivated buyers in the market.”
Last year, 10,574 homes were sold in the region.
The rebound has been driven by low mortgage rates, pent-up demand and lower home prices compared to their pre-recession levels.
Officials, however, have said the market could experience some hiccups because of slow job growth. Other concerns include increases in flood insurance rates and the federal government shutdown, which has slowed the processing of mortgage applications at the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration.
“We don't anticipate a major impact to productivity in our market but there may be some delays, particularly if you are seeking a federally backed loan,” said Owen Tyler, president of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.
The Oct. 1 government shutdown coincided with changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that are expected to boost premiums by an average of 10 percent. The rate increases also are adding an element of uncertainty for both buyers and sellers.
For instance, homes built before the first federal flood map was issued will no longer qualify for flood insurance subsidies once they are sold.
Steven Clarke of Coldwell Banker United in Mount Pleasant said a client recently decided not to list a home on the Isle of Palms because of the changes.
“They didn't know how it would be impacted by flood insurance, so they decided not to list it,” Clarke said.
The association also adjusted its August home sales slightly to reflect 1,290 homes sold at a median price of $217,726.
Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550.