Home sales in the Charleston region continued to climb last month and for the first half of 2014, but they didn't match the pace set a year ago, according to a new report.
June home sales in region:
798 sales at a median price of $291,000. Mount Pleasant was the most active area, with 242 sales at a median of $398,750. Next up was West Ashley outside I-526 with 114 sales at a median of $223,500, and James Island with 91 sales at a median of $257,310.
316 sales at a median price of $183,995. The area bordered by Jedburg Road, Highway 17-A and College Park Road was the most active, with 87 sales at a median of $194,580.
271 sales at a median price of $187,900. Summerville/Ridgeville was the most active area, with 133 sales at a median of $225,000.
Charleston Trident Association of Realtors
The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors said Thursday that 1,423 homes were sold in June. That's up 8 percent from a year ago, when 1,314 residences changed hands. The median price increased almost 4 percent to $227,500 last month, up from $219,340 in June 2013.
"We are seeing what housing experts expected - sustainable growth in closed transactions and median sales price at the year's midpoint," Corwyn Melette, the group's president, said in a written statement. "This continues to indicate the Charleston metro housing market is on good footing and a wise investment."
For the first six months of the year, sales activity was in line with the June increase of 8 percent. At the midyear point, 6,613 homes were sold in the Charleston region.
But that was well off the growth rate that the association reported a year ago, when sales jumped 22 percent compared to the first half of 2012.
Economists and other housing experts have predicted that activity would ease up in 2014, primarily because of modest job growth. Job creation is a big factor in home sales because it triggers consumer spending.
Sales this year in Charleston also were slowed by the unusually harsh winter weather as well as low inventory of homes for sale in certain areas.
Michael Scarafile, president of Carolina One Real Estate, the region's largest residential agency, said the midyear numbers show that "sales are not increasing at a crazy rate, but at a healthy plus rate."
He said the double-digit sales pace set last year was largely fueled by pent-up demand. For this year, conditions remain positive partly because of low mortgage rates, he said.
"We are seeing a sustainable level of growth compared to a year ago," Scarafile said, adding that new listings are on the rise at Carolina One. That increase suggests that the market momentum will continue, he added.
"We will see more people moving here and see jobs growth," Scarafile said. "We will see a lot of new homes, and that will increase the supply."
Last month, Joey Von Nessen, a research economist at the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business, predicted sales activity seen in the first part of the year likely would continue through 2014.
The Realtors association also revised its May transaction figures slightly higher to 1,310 sales at a median price of $217,547.