Home sales (copy) (copy)

Home showings plunged across the Charleston region again in July, the 12th straight month of declines. File/Warren L. Wise/Staff

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Charleston-area home showings down for 12 straight months

High prices and a lack of affordable homes aren't the only problems facing Charleston's housing market. Getting people to walk through the door to look at a house is another worry.

For 12 straight months through July, home showings have been in negative territory, according to the ShowingTime Showing Index for the Charleston region.

Home showings dipped 7 percent in July. They are off 10.2 percent for the 12 months since last August, when the slide began.

Tempering the depressed numbers, the skid in showings has moderated in recent months from the double-digit drops last fall and winter.

Home sales are down for the year about 1 percent, but if more homes were available at price points people could afford, sales would be higher, according to housing leaders with the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

The Charleston Home Builders Association also blames restrictive government policies, such as moratoriums and limits on housing permits, that prolong construction of new homes, driving up prices and locking some prospective buyers out of the market.

Nationally, showings dropped 0.6 percent, the smallest decline in a year, and an official with the Showing Index said showings continue to show signs of stabilizing across much of the nation.

“Buyer traffic has a lot of seasonal variation, so we need to compare last year’s numbers to understand the trend,” said ShowingTime chief analytics officer Daniil Cherkasskiy.

“While spring buyer traffic per listing was down sharply compared to 2018, from April onward we've seen a steady rebound," Cherkasskiy said. "In July, national traffic was already roughly in line with last year’s numbers, and if the current trend continues, listings on average could see more showings this fall than what we saw in the fall of 2018.”

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Charleston apartment construction

Apartment construction continues across the Charleston region and a new study puts the economic impact in billions of dollars annually. File/Staff

Apartment industry pumps $7B into Charleston, billions of dollars more in SC, study says

Following a recent study that says housing is a $45 billion industry in the Palmetto State, a report commissioned by the multifamily industry touts the $28 billion impact of apartments on the South Carolina economy.

By the numbers

5: Number of Gilligan's seafood restaurants remaining in the Lowcountry after the owner shuttered the Mount Pleasant location earlier this month following the building's sale. Plans are in the works for a new venue at the Seaside Farms site.

2: Number of fast-food restaurants facing the wrecking ball in Mount Pleasant to make way for new banks.

55: Height limit in feet approved for the rear portion of new development at the Peach Orchard Plaza site on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.

This week in real estate

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+Unshelved: A Charleston-area grocery store that removed all the remaining items from its shelves last month when it closed will soon be restocking under a different supermarket brand.

+Base housing: Military families, including those at Fort Jackson near Columbia, cite on-base housing concerns over lead-based paint, retaliation from housing companies and overpriced rent.

+From weeds to homes: A shutdown golf course near Columbia can be developed into about 200 homes following a move by Richland County Council.

Housing: $45 billion industry in SC

Nexton home under construction

The housing industry across South Carolina brings $45 billion to the state's economy, according to a new report. Warren L. Wise/Staff

Housing is a key driver of South Carolina’s economy. A new report puts the industry’s annual economic impact at nearly $45 billion.

Upcoming real estate events

  • Home ownership workshops: Origin SC offers free seminars on owning a home and credit improvement through Sept. 22 at various times and locations.

  • Property management: Charleston Apartment Association is offering a 30-hour property management pre-licensing course on several dates in October at Crowne Plaza Hotel in North Charleston.

Charleston-area transactions

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Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.