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SC and Charleston outpaced nation in adding new homes in 2019

New home construction in Nexton

The Charleston area added new homes at more than twice the national average percentage rate in 2019. File/Warren L. Wise/Staff

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SC and Charleston outpace nation in adding new homes

South Carolina added the sixth most new houses in the nation last year per 10,000 residents while the Charleston area more than doubled the national average, according to a new report.

Construction Coverage's findings show 35,006 new homes were built in the Palmetto State in 2019, or 68.9 new housing units for every 10,000 residents.

The report also found the Charleston-North Charleston metro area added 6,754 new homes last year, or 85.7 new units for every 10,000 residents. The national average was 41.9.

The report also said the median sale price of a new home in the U.S. reached a record high last year of $348,200. 

In the Charleston area, the median sale price of a new home in 2019 was $277,500, up 4.2 percent or $11,237 more than the previous year. In South Carolina, the median price last year was $215,000, up 7.5 percent for the year.

The report noted that while at the national level, investment in new housing largely ebbs and flows with the broader economy, at the state and local level, it is tightly coupled with population growth.

The firm looked only at metro areas with 100,000 people or more and categorized the Charleston region, with more than 800,000 people, as a mid-sized metro. In that category, the Charleston-North Charleston area ranked No. 12 in the nation.

Included in the same category as the only other South Carolina metro area in the top 15 was the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach metro area. It ranked No. 2 with 133.9 new housing units per every 10,000 residents.

In the large metro category of 1 million or more residents, the area around the Texas capital of Austin ranked No. 1 with 147.7 new housing units per 10,000 residents.

States in the South and West, which have experienced above-average population growth in recent years, are investing the most in new housing. New residential construction per capita in Idaho and Utah, in particular, exceed the national rate by more than 100 percent.

By contrast, states in the Northeast — many of which have seen their populations stagnate or decline — are constructing the fewest new homes per capita.

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Earth Fare Summerville

The shuttered Earth Fare in Summerville could soon be reopening. Warren L. Wise/Staff

1 of 2 shuttered Earth Fare stores in Charleston area could soon reopen 

A new group of investors hopes to reopen about eight of the organic grocery stores across the Southeast after the Ashevlle-based company declared bankruptcy in February. They have a verbal agreement to reopen the store in Summerville.

This week in real estate

+ Pressing ahead: Big-box home improvement retailer Lowe's is moving forward with its "Spring Black Friday Sales" event that started Thursday and will continue for two weeks as rival Home Depot cancels promotions that could draw large crowds into its stores. Government officials vow to monitor the retailer and disperse crowds if necessary.

+ Boom and balance: The 133-acre Magnolia site on Charleston's upper peninsula is being capped with tons of dirt to prepare the industrially polluted site for a town-sized development in the region.

+ Home work: Many Charleston area residents are staying at home quarantining and working remotely to prevent exposure to the novel coronavirus, and some are fighting cabin fever by picking up a wide variety of do-it-yourself projects.

+ More convenience: Savannah-based Parker's Kitchen convenience store chain sets debut dates for 2 new stores in Charleston area.

+ Last sizzle: Ruth's Chris Steak House, which took five years to settle on a location in downtown Charleston after first announcing it was coming to the city in 2010, has permanently closed after five years in business.

Demolished hotel on Dorchester Road at I-26

A former motel on Dorchester Road at Interstate 26 is being reduced to a pile of rubble. The two-acre site is currently being marketed for sale or lease. Warren L. Wise/Staff

Condemned motel meets wrecking ball

A former motel on Dorchester Road at Interstate 26 is being reduced to a pile of rubble. The two-acre site is currently being marketed for sale or lease.

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

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