The growth of the Charleston-area residential market continues, at a similar pace to last year, with 7,401 homes sold in the region at a median price of $263,940 as of June 10.
Sales volume has increased about 1 percent in the region while the median price has increased about 6 percent. Last year at this time, we were seeing about the same rate of growth in sales and an 8 percent growth in regional median price over the previous year.
The submarkets of our region are incredibly diverse, however, and median price growth varies considerably depending on the area. For example, median price in north Mount Pleasant has increased more than 10percent and by 9 percent on James Island and the upper Charleston peninsula. Other areas like West Ashley, Goose Creek and Summerville show growth closer to the regional average.
Prospective homebuyers should expect a competitive housing market for the next several months. With payrolls trending upward and unemployment trending downward month after month in an extensive string of positive economic news, demand remains very strong.
Home sales volume will likely remain even, or decline slightly in year-over-year comparisons over the next few months. That likely has more to do with low inventory than a lack of buyer interest. As lower days on market and higher prices persist, we would normally expect a change in the market outlook, yet the current situation has proven to be remarkably sustainable —likely a result of stronger fundamentals in loan approvals than were in place a decade ago.
In our region, we have a unique challenge in balancing growth and accessibility. How do we encourage the progress necessary to achieve long-term stability of our economies and also ensure that we maintain accessible, affordable housing for everyone who lives and works here?
According to data from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, our region will net 22,000 new jobs over the next two years. That’s incredible news for our economy, but what does it mean for our real estate market?
Currently, there are just over 5,000 homes for sale in the Charleston region, which translates to about three months supply of inventory — a balanced market has around 6 months — so we have a clear housing shortage. With a median regional price above $250,000 there is an even bigger shortage of housing that is affordable for all.
The real estate industry is a major driver of our economy and part of our responsibility in a growing region is to ensure that we have a variety of housing options in a wide range of price points. Many of the economic investments being made in Charleston rely on a workforce that may not be able to afford to put down roots here. We at Charleston Trident Association of Realtors are working closely with local organizations like the chamber, the Charleston Regional Development Authority and the S.C. Community Loan Fund to ensure that our region remains affordable for all.
In a competitive sellers market like this one, it is incredibly important that buyers and sellers are working with a trained, trusted professional to navigate their real estate transactions. Charleston-area buyers and sellers have an advantage over other consumers with more than 5,000 Realtors to choose from. Charleston Realtors are not your standard real estate licensee — they complete additional hours of continuing education, six hours above what the state licensing board requires in each renewal cycle, and adhere to the Realtor Code of Ethics, which calls them to the highest level of ethical and sound business practices.
We at CTAR proudly stand behind our growing membership of more than 5,500 and their dedication to providing the highest level of service and knowledge to their clients.
Wil Riley is chief executive officer of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.