Lowcountry home sales soar 12.6%

Nearly 2,000 homes changed hands across the Charleston area in June.

Nearly 2,000 homes sold across the Lowcountry last month, a blistering pace in a limited-supply market where prices continue to climb.

Residential transactions increased 12.6 percent over June 2015, according to preliminary data Monday from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Last month, 1,919 homes changed hands at a median price of $250,000, up about $10,000, or 4.2 percent, from the same month a year earlier.

So far this year, 8,648 homes have sold in the Charleston area at a median price of $239,000. Volume is up 8.9 percent, and the median price has risen 8.3 percent, compared to the first six months of 2015.

All but 78 transactions took place in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties at a median price of $256,000.

“Sales numbers for the region have remained strong through the summer thus far, but a lack of inventory remains a concern despite a slight rise in June,” said Michael Sally, president of the North Charleston-based Realtors group. “It is a trend that we are watching closely as we work toward sustainable growth in the Lowcountry.”

The number of homes listed as “active” for sale in the region was 5,433 as of Monday in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, down nearly 12.5 percent from a year ago.

Property information service CoreLogic said inventory remains tight and forecast home prices to rise 5.3 percent by next May.

“The consistently solid growth in home prices has been driven by the highest resale activity in nine years and still-tight housing inventory,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

The firm also pointed to low interest rates as a driver of the home-buying market.

“The recent turbulence in financial markets should lead to modestly lower mortgage rates, which will provide even more support to the steadily improving real estate recovery,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Long-term interest rates last week averaged 3.41 percent for a 30-year mortgage and 2.74 percent for a 15-year loan, according to financier Freddie Mac.

The local Realtors group also revised May’s sales figures slightly higher to show 1,705 transactions at a slightly lower median price of $243,500.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.