Home sales

Home showings ticked up again in October across the Charleston region for the second straight month after falling for 13 consecutive months through August. Warren L. Wise/Staff

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Charleston home showings up for 2nd straight month after 13-month dip

Charleston-area home showings turned positive for the second month in a row in October after dropping for 13 straight months through August.

Last month, home sales held steady with last year's real estate transactions in a year when sales have been up and down month after month, but more people walked through the door to look at a house in October for the second month in a row, a sign that people are out looking again as mortgage interest rates are now a full percentage point lower than this time last year.

Home showings ticked up 5.8 percent in October after a 2.4 percent rise in September. The numbers turned positive this fall for the first time since July 2018.

For the 12-month period through October, home showings are down 7.7 percent overall, according to the ShowingTime Showing Index for the Charleston region.

Home sales are up 0.5 percent for the year, 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.

Through October, 15,667 homes changed hands across the Charleston region. Last year, 18,159 homes sold, down 1.4 percent from 2017's record-setting 18,410.

Nationally, showings jumped 5.5 percent, as the South region led the country with a 10.8 percent rise in walk-throughs, the largest increase in nearly three years.

“We are seeing expected seasonal slowdowns in October, although this fall continues to be more active than last year in terms of showing traffic,” said ShowingTime chief analytics officer Daniil Cherkasskiy. “The increase in showing activity in both the South and West regions is noteworthy given that both had previously reported nearly year-long drops in traffic prior to August.”

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A giant step for Angel Oak (copy)

The Angel Oak is hundreds of years old and is a popular tourist attraction on Johns Island. File

72-unit affordable housing project planned near historic Angel Oak

A Johns Island-based nonprofit firm wants to build the complex on a 7-acre tract it owns abutting the sprawling tree that's several hundred years old.

By the numbers

4: Number of new restaurants in the works around Charleston. 

5: Average percentage increase in the price of real Christmas trees this year, which are the centerpiece attraction in most homes this time of year.

5: Ranking of Edisto Island in the U.S. among the fastest-growing places for short-term rental bookings.

This week in real estate

Get the best of the Post and Courier's Real Estate news, handpicked and delivered to your inbox each Saturday.

Priced out: Pastry chef finds Charleston real estate "too expensive" and moves her food truck to New Jersey.

+ Rising rent: Vacancies in Columbia's entertainment district are starting to raise concerns over lease rates.

Billboard brouhaha: Plans for a new digital billboard on Bees Ferry Road light up residents in the area.

Difficult historic renovation project

Star Gospel Mission (copy)

The Star Gospel Mission renovated this antebellum house at 83 Nassau St. for use as transitional housing. It includes four efficiency apartments. Brad Nettles/Staff

The Star Gospel Mission renovated this antebellum house at 83 Nassau St. for use as transitional housing against the challenges of a tight budget in architecturally minded Charleston.

Upcoming real estate events

  • Homeownership classes: Origin SC offers classes for first-time homebuyers on mortgages, finances and the ins and outs of owning a home. Starts Dec. 3 at different times and places.

  • Realtor orientation: A class for real estate agents, property managers and appraisers, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 3.

Charleston-area transactions

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