It was a pretty good start to 2011 in the first half of 2011 in the Charleston real estate market. I’ll grade market conditions A+, B- and C.
Let’s take sales first. Charleston home sales in the first half of 2011 were down 4 percent from the first half of 2010 declining from 4727 to 4538.
I’ll give that an A+ and you might be surprised by that grade but … don’t forget that the first half of 2010 was heavily influenced by the home buyer tax credit. With sales this year almost equal to last year without any extraordinary incentives is better than most people would expect and it demonstrates the strength of our local market conditions.
The median price declined around 4 percent from $184,595 to $176,765 and while the median price is not a definitive measure of how home prices are but rather a reflection of the mix of homes being sold, there certainly is pricing pressure from both sales of distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales as well as high inventory levels. I’ll give pricing a B- and forecast continuing pressure on prices for the next year. That doesn’t mean that I think prices will decline sharply, rather that until inventory of distressed property and generally high inventory levels gets absorbed, prices won’t be increasing for a while.
And that brings us to inventory and at best I’ll give inventory a C. The Charleston market saw 11,243 new listings come on the market in the first 6 months of the year. That’s over twice as many homes listed for sale than being sold. And that’s why prices are under pressure. Either the market needs more sales or fewer homes coming on the market.
Statistics compiled by Howard Arnoff using the Charleston MLS as the source of data, information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Photo courtesy of Flickr by Rochelle, just Rochelle