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Home price growth slows nationally, not here

The housing boom isn’t over, but the slowing of price growth in recent months suggests a more moderate pace in the home sales market, a trend most likely tied to rising interest rates that cut into affordability.

Nearly one in three homes for sale in 71 major U.S. markets tracked by real estate website Redfin experienced at least one price drop of more than 1 percent in October. That’s the highest share of price drops since the Seattle-based firm began tracking the metric in 2010. By contrast, the company reported one in four homes with a price drop in October 2017.

The number of homes for sale is also on the rise, up 1.3 percent from the same month a year earlier to the highest level of inventory growth since September 2015.

"An increase in interest rates effectively makes home-buying more expensive because buyers have to pay higher monthly mortgage payments even if the sticker price hasn't changed," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "Some homebuyers are adjusting their price range down, and others are backing out of home-buying entirely -- deciding that renting is a better deal. Sellers are now realizing buyer demand isn't what it used to be and are dropping their prices. When buyers and sellers are on the same page, the market moves quickly, but since sellers were slow to react, we've seen a slowdown in the housing market."

In Charleston, the number of homes on the market rose slightly in October, but is still down from what a balanced market should offer in the region. Meanwhile, sales are almost exactly where they were last year for the first 10 months of this year, suggesting a leveling off, while prices continue to escalate throughout the sought-after Charleston region.

The median price in the Charleston area rose 4 percent last month to $259,835. For the year so far, the median price stands at $265,236, up 6 percent over the same period in 2017. Redfin reports the median price nationally, among the 71 largest metro areas it tracks, stood at $297,200 in October, up 4.5 percent year over year.

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Mount Pleasant moves to put breaks on new housing permits

In the latest and most dramatic action yet to slow the current pace of development, this fast-growing town plans to limit the number of yearly building permits for homes and apartments starting in January.

By the numbers

3: Number of tips to help home-buyers land the house they want.

12: Amount in dollars the city of Charleston is proposing in next year's budget for its minimum wage to help retain workers and somewhat address housing affordability since workers making long commutes choose to work closer to home.

295: Maximum length in feet for communication cables at the center of the latest lawsuit over Charleston International Airport's $200 million makeover.

This week in real estate

+Wedding venue: The new events hall is coming to Hampton Park through the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

+Parking lot profit: The Charleston School of Law is poised to make millions of dollars selling a downtown parking lot the city of Charleston purchased 13 years ago as a potential home for the school.

+Shopping center acquisition: The owner of a Mount Pleasant retail center now owns the neighboring and unfinished headquarters of a failed medical research firm that went down in a government fraud investigation.

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Featured Home

Featured home 8

Columns and palmettos distinguish the entrance to the Isle of Palms beach side house. Provided

This oceanfront Isle of Palms home features six bedrooms, six and a half baths, three-floor elevator, saltwater pool, two roof decks and a gazebo leading to the beach. The 4,100-square-foot vacation house at 2916 Palm Blvd. is on the market for $5.3 million.

Upcoming real estate events

  • Green Gala: Leaders in sustainable building will gather in Charlotte Wednesday to tout accomplishments.
  • Multifamily tips: An investment banker and former real estate investment trust vice president will lead a class for apartment managers and related professionals on five things an apartment CEO wants them to know on Wednesday in North Charleston.

Charleston-area transactions

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