Report: Charleston one of most overvalued housing markets

Kiawah Island Real Estate says home sales are up 24 percent over last year through the first eight months of 2015.

Charleston is at the top of a lot of favorable lists. It’s also on a list it would rather not be on. According to property information provider CoreLogic, the Holy City has the third most-overvalued housing market in the U.S.

“Homes in historic Charleston and North Charleston are priced at 23.4 percent more than what’s sustainable and have grown in value 12.8 percent since January 2014 (as compared with 5.4 percent in 2013),” CoreLogic said in its wrap-up of the 10 most overvalued markets in America.

Austin, Texas, topped the list with home prices 42.3 percent over what’s considered sustainable. The rest, in descending order, include Houston; Miami; Washington, D.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Philadelphia; Dallas; San Antonio; and Nashville.

An overvalued housing market is defined as being at least 10 percent higher than the long-term sustainable level, which measures home affordability based on local per-capita incomes.

Kiawah Island Real Estate’s home sales are up 24 percent over last year through the first eight months of 2015, the agency reported.

The company that handles most of the sales on the upscale resort island south of Charleston reported $190 million in closings through August. Last year’s sales were $153 million for the first eight months.

The number of closed sales for the year through August was 126, one more than last year in the same time frame.

“The summer provided strong sales activity ... and based on our pipeline, fall is projected to continue this trend,” said Chris Drury, president and broker-in-charge.

The agency also reported $40 million in new signed contracts for August. Year to date, it has 162 signed contracts valued at $239 million, compared to 139 valued at $180 million through August 2014.

The 2015 numbers got a boost from three sales totaling $39.15 million, all involving properties that former Comcast Corp. vice chairman and finance chief Michael Angelakis bought and sold.

A homebuilder is partnering with Lowcountry animal shelters to put more pets in new homes.

Lennar has joined forces with the Charleston Animal Society in Charleston County, Frances R. Willis SPCA in Dorchester County and Doc Williams SPCA in Berkeley County to increase pet adoptions by 20 percent by year’s end.

Through the end of the year, Lennar Coastal Carolinas will feature nearly life-size cutouts of a pair of shelter animals in welcome centers at its Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley communities.

“We understand that for many of our residents, no home is complete without a pet,” said Lennar area sales manager Guy Ackerman. “This initiative is a terrific way to add something special to the experience for our homebuyers while helping the local pet community.”

The builder and all three organizations will host a kickoff adoption event 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Lennar’s Moss Grove development in Moncks Corner. The community was chosen for the launch because of its outdoor space for dogs.