County numbers

CHARLESTON COUNTY 458 homes sold at a median price of $232,000BERKELEY COUNTY193 homes sold at a median price of $179,190DORCHESTER COUNTY 170 homes sold at a median price of $160,000Source: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Home sales usually taper off in the final months of the year as buyers shift focus to other obligations, like the holidays.

Not this year.

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors said Monday that 845 homes changed hands at a median price of $192,500 in November, nearly 200 more than the same month a year ago. The median price was up less than 1 percent. The last such busy November was in 2009 when a federal tax credit gave sales an extra boost.

“This fall has been noticeably busier than years past,” said Owen Tyler, the association’s president, in a written statement. “The market is seeing a great deal of activity from investors, as well as from traditional buyers who were waiting for security to return to the market,”

The group’s latest preliminary sales report marks the 13th consecutive month of climbing home sales in the region, which includes Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

Lower home prices and mortgage rates compared to years ago continue to push buyers to the closing table.

The group’s data shows that 9,662 homes have changed hands at a median price of $190,081 from January through November.

Charleston County continues to lead the region’s activity with sales growth topping 20 percent compared to a year ago, according to the new numbers.

Tyler said the county will likely approach 6,000 transactions this year.

“It clearly shows how much consumer confidence in our market has improved in the last 36 months,” he said.

The uptick in sales activity has chiseled inventory down to a six-month supply, which is what experts consider an ideal balance of demand between sellers and buyers.

Some area agents have said the dwindling inventory has pushed control back to sellers who may be less willing to come off their asking prices.

The region’s lowered home supply has also jump-started several once-stalled new homes developments throughout the region, including the 4,300-acre Carnes Crossroads in Goose Creek and Carolina Park near the north end of Mount Pleasant.

Also Monday, the association revised its sales data slightly higher for October to show 910 homes sold at a median price of $185,112.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 843-937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.