Home sales still on track to surpass last year

Charleston area home sales rose slightly in October.

Flooding dampened home sales across the Charleston region in October, but transactions edged up slightly, practically guaranteeing a banner year for the local real estate market.

Residential sales rose 1.8 percent last month over October 2014, according to preliminary data Tuesday from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Last month, 1,248 homes changed hands in the region at a median price of $225,000, up $10,000 from a year earlier.

For the first 10 months of 2015, volume is up 14.7 percent to 13,701 sales, compared to 11,946 through October last year.

At the current pace and with two months remaining, home sales are on track to overtake last year’s sales volume of 14,250 transactions.

The median price for the year is $227,000, up 5.1 percent from the same period in 2014.

Property information provider CoreLogic projects home prices will rise about 4.7 percent nationally by September 2016, but could dip slightly from September when October’s national figures are released.

“After nearly 10 years of very high home price volatility, home price increases have been remarkably stable for the last 15 months, ranging between a 4.8 percent and 6.5 percent year-over-year increase,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. “Home price volatility is now back to the long-term trend prior to the boom and bust, which is a good barometer of the market’s stability and health.”

Inventory in the Charleston region increased by 189 properties in October over September, with 5,950 homes listed on the market as “active” for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service. That’s about 3.3 percent fewer than this time last year.

“As we expected, October sales data was a bit slow, as many parts of our region were affected by the historic flooding at the beginning of the month which impacted showings and some closings,” said Matt DeAntonio, president of the association.

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“There’s no question our market is performing very well,” he said. “But we are monitoring the year-to-date median price data. Median price has steadily increased throughout the year, now at 5 percent, which is on the higher end of sustainable.”

He said the association is working with the S.C. Community Loan Fund and its new “Housing Matters” campaign to provide more affordable housing options.

The North Charleston-based group also revised September’s home sales figures slightly to show 1,445 transactions, an increase of eight sales. The median price rose slightly to $234,000.

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