Property prices rally in Charleston area from housing slump’s low point; still quite a way from high mark six years ago

This house at 19 Greenhill St. is on the market for $1,099,000. Home prices are methodically rising in metro Charleston, according to a new index (File/Leroy Burnell/

While recovered from the national real estate slide, greater Charleston’s home market still posts prices well shy of its rarefied values in 2007, a survey says.

The observations stem from’s latest “Rebound Report” as of July. The study looks at home prices in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. It cites the top index scores for each city in pre-recession days, determines the fallout from the four-year housing meltdown and then computes the rate at which the markets have “rebounded” since bottoming out.

According to, metro Charleston has recorded a 40.29 percent price rebound through July. Put another way, the area has retraced roughly two-fifths of its steps on its way to reaching peak numbers attained six years ago.

Specifically, the Charleston area lists a 145.03 home price index in July compared with a peak of 165.53 in April 2007. The metro area’s recovery ranks 57th best nationwide.

While greater Charleston shows mild improvement, two fellow cities in South Carolina rebounded much more sharply.

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley surged the greatest among South Carolina’s largest metro areas, rising 111.44 percent to post the 19th best rebound nationwide. Its home price index of 134.61 in July actually surpassed its previous peak of 133.21 in April 2007.

At the same time, greater Columbia placed 28th in its bounce-back ability. The city’s price index as of July stands at 137.21, compared with 139.82 at the top, an 82.99 percent recovery rate.

Nationwide, the metro area housing resurgence ranges from a tiny bounce of 10.71 percent in Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, R.I.-Mass., to a 301.57 percent slam dunk in San Antonio-New Braunfels in Texas.

The rebound report shows that 22 of the 100 markets tout “a complete price recovery from the peak-to-trough decline amount attributable to the housing bubble.” That’s up from 19 markets in the June report.

Separately, released its latest Local Market Index showing that all 100 major metro markets reported price increases in July from the prior month. That’s up from 87 markets in June as compared with May. “This is expected, as the upward trend over the past 12 to 18 months has been strong,” the report says.

“Part of the weakness in recent months is attributable to rising interest rates, which are affecting affordability. The return to broad-based strength in the July readings is likely a result of buyers looking to lock in deals ahead of any further rate increases,” according to the report.

The Local Market Index tracks single family and multi-unit/condominium repeat sales in the top 100 metropolitan markets. Columbia is the 70th largest market, Charleston, 78 and Greenville, 83.

In the month leading up to July, greater San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif., posted the largest gain at 4.98 points, followed by Honolulu, up 4.82 points. The two most lagging markets were Jackson, Miss., and Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa.-N.J, which showed gains of only 0.10 and 0.22 respectively.

For the past year, Honolulu ranks first with a 29.17 point jump while Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., placed second, up 25.26. By contrast, Jackson, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. gained just 3 to 4 index points. also analyzed regions of the U.S., with the top 100 markets classified as in the Northeast, Midwest, South or West. “Earlier in the year, strength was largely concentrated in the western region,” the report finds. “After a few months of seeing gains more evenly dispersed, that trend has resumed in earnest.”

The western region accounts for six of the 10 fastest growing markets on a monthly basis in July while comprising all 10 of the fastest growing markets year over year, says.

By contrast, the southern region ranks most sluggish, “although not to the extent seen in recent months.” In July, the South posted four out of the 10 worst monthly performers, and five out of 10 worst annual performers, according to

The online real estate venture did not list the monthly and yearly index changes for the three surveyed South Carolina cities. says it releases the local index and rebound reports monthly as a way to gauge the current state of the housing market.

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Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or