Published On: Sun, Dec 16th, 2018

Home Sales in Charleston, South Carolina Up 40% Over 5 Years

The city of Charleston, South Carolina has seen significant economic growth over the last five years, and the real estate market has followed suit, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

The health of the housing market has an impact on the rest of the economy, says Wil Riley, CEO of Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Over the last five years, home sales in the region have increased by 40%, Riley says. The median price for homes in the Charleston area have jumped 23%. A jump in sales has helped build the economy, as new homeowners make purchases for their properties.

photo/ mohamed Hassan

But growth has come with some challenges. Like many other cities across the U.S., Charleston’s market suffers from low inventory. Lack of available homes made affordability and attainability major concerns.

Charleston’s housing market isn’t the only one seeing growth in South Carolina. Other markets in major metro areas in the state are seeing growth, including Florence, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Dillon and Rock Hill.

The state as a whole is seeing an uptick in its housing economies. According to the 2017 annual report from South Carolina Realtors, median sales prices in the state rose 5.1%. Prices were projected to increase in 2018. Pending home sales increased 4.8%, but the number of available homes fell 4.6% last year.

Buyers may face stiff competition in 2019 due to strong demand, but rising interest rates may slow growth.

Rates for home loans tumbled again in the week of December 13, according to Freddie Mac. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was averaging 4.63%, down 12 basis points and reaching its lowest point since September. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.07%, falling from 4.21%.

The benchmark 30-year fixed has either declined or remained steady in each of the last five weeks. Home loan purchases are up 1.6%.

Home sales and mortgage rates are expected to stabilize in 2019, according to Fannie Mae. Economic growth is also projected to slow next year.

Fannie Mae expects purchase mortgage originations to rise in 2019, but the organization projects a steep decline in refinanced mortgages. That decline should result in a small drop in overall origination volume.

There is some evidence that the housing market is already beginning to stabilize. Redfin, a real estate brokerage, reported that just 32% of their offers saw competing bids. That figure is down from 45% seen in November of last year. In Seattle, less than a quarter of offers are seeing competing bids. Last year, more than half of homes saw bidding wars.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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