January is red-hot: Area home sales pass 800 mark

Home sales climbed to an eight-year high in January in the region, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Home sales in the Charleston region hit an eight-year high for January, surpassing 800 transactions for the first time that month since the start of 2007.

In all, 890 homes in the region changed hands at a median price of $209,603, the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors reported Tuesday in preliminary figures.

That’s the same number of homes that sold the same month eight years ago at the almost identical price. The difference is that the for-sale market was flooded with nearly 9,000 homes in early 2007. Last month, buyers had 5,500 residences to choose from.

“With significantly less inventory, buyers are still finding what they want,” said Matt DeAntonio, the association’s 2015 president. “It gives us all a boost of confidence to see our market back where it was eight years ago in terms of sales volume and pricing.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, he said the trade group expects “to see continued growth of sales and with pricing, but likely at a more moderate pace than in 2014.”

Last year, the Charleston region experienced 8.8 percent growth in home sales, down from the double digits of the previous year, but still healthy.

Property-information service CoreLogic expects home sales nationally this year to rise 9 percent as mortgage interest rates remain low and the economy continues to grow.

The Realtors group and the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service database expect to see inventory rise throughout the year. Currently, 5,503 homes are listed as “active” for sale in the listing service.

Charleston County’s most active submarket was North Charleston outside Interstate 526, where 66 homes sold at a median price of about $154,000.

Berkeley County’s busiest area was between Jedburg Road, U.S. Highway 17-A and College Park Road, where 53 homes changed hands at a median price of $185,000.

The Summerville/Ridgeville area in Dorchester County saw the most action last month, when 69 homes sold at a median price of $185,000.

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