Redfin study shows December home sales surge, prices jump year-over-year locally

Redfin entered the Charleston area market in 2015.

Greater Charleston experienced a steep slide in the number of homes available for purchase last year, yet reported a double-digit jump in clinched deals, according to a Seattle-based brokerage that entered the area in 2015.

In its December “market tracker,” Redfin counted 1,253 homes sold in the month, up 17.3 percent from a year ago and a whopping 33.9 percent since November. The median sale price in the Lowcountry was $243,845, gaining 9.3 percent from a year ago but off 2.5 percent from the prior month.

At the same time, homes up for sale sank to 5,535, a 17 percent drop in the past year and 9 percent dip month-to-month. New listings reached 1,043, up 5.9 percent in a year’s time but falling 19.6 percent from November.

At the current sales pace, the supply of homes would evaporate in 4.4 months if there were no new properties on the market. The home supply pace sagged 1.8 percent from the end of 2014 and 2.1 percent from 30 days earlier, Redfin points out.

Nationwide, home prices rose higher in December than they did in the 22 months prior, posting an 8.8 percent year-over-year increase, Redfin reports. ”There were also fewer homes for sale in December than in any other month of 2015. But despite this lack of supply, sales were up 7.7 percent,” according to Redfin.

The brokerage says home prices “dodged the typical December slow-down and spiked last month due to a dearth of properties on the market.” In December, there was a three-month supply of homes for sale, which the company says is “far from the six months that signals a balanced market.” The typical home countrywide sold in 41 days, a week faster than a year ago, Redfin notes.

Redfin tracks 68 markets nationwide. In 2015, nearly 2 million homes sold in those markets, a “strong” 9.6 percent increase from 2014, the agency says.

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Redfin calls itself a “next-generation real estate brokerage.” The company offers “online tools, built by its own software engineers, that make the entire process of buying or selling a home easier and more fun,” it says.

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