Charleston region’s condo market continues to gain momentum

The condominium market is shaping up to be a Cinderella story amid the Lowcountry’s rebounding housing market in 2013.

Once shunned by buyers who were unable to meet stringent financing requirements during the recession and its aftermath, the condo market is rebounding pretty fast so far this year.

In fact, condos are showing the largest median price gains for residential properties sold in the tri-county region, according to October’s housing report from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

The group reported the condo segment has seen median prices jump 12 percent to $161,193 compared to October 2012.

That’s better than the 7.3 percent price gain for single-family homes and 6.7 percent for all classes of residential properties.

Local real estate experts have said the condo market remains a key draw for first-time buyers and empty-nesters.

Condo sales are up in all three counties.

Charleston County had 1,444 transactions through the first 10 months of the year, up nearly 14 percent from a year ago.

Berkeley County had 236 sales from for the January-October period, up nearly 14 percent.

Dorchester County had 161 closings, up 35 percent.

The uptick could be some unsettling news for those who are looking to snag a condo.

In addition to rising prices, the market is shedding inventory faster than other segments.

The condo market had 1,002 units for sale at the end of October, down 21.4 percent. That compared to an 8 percent drop in single-family homes that were for sale in October.

Also condominiums are being snapped up at a fast clip.

Units sold in October averaged 89 days on the market, down 28.6 percent from a year ago.

But there’s some relief on the horizon.

Some developers are planning to build more inventory, including units planned for a former ice factory at 24-30 Woolfe St. in downtown Charleston.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @ty richardsonPC.

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