Charleston market report, May 2012

Charleston home sales soared in May, over 18 percent higher than last year. I gathered the statistics for this post yesterday and at that time, there were 998 sales reported to the Charleston MLS but as regular readers will know, some sales always get reported a little late and as of this morning, we hit the magical 1000 mark.

That figure represents the highest monthly total since June 2010 but remember, that was due to the home buyer tax credit and the last time sales were this high without any incentives was back in August 2007. There is no doubt that increased affordability, record low mortgage rates and the growing and flourishing local Charleston economy are helping to contribute to the strong year we are witnessing.


  • Sales are up year over year in all price ranges. An important sign of health in the market is that the move-up market of homes selling between $300,000 and $600,000 had a fantastic month in May with sales almost 50 percent higher than last year and the luxury Charleston real estate market of homes selling for $600,000 and higher has posted 3 consecutive very strong months of sales.
  • Inventory continues to remain subdued and the absorption rate continues to improve toward what is considered a balanced market of supply and demand.
  • There are still over 2700 homes currently under contract, 2000 contingent and 700 pending, which bodes well for continued strong sales in the months ahead. I would’t doubt that June, traditionally the strongest month in the real estate year, will be a blockbuster month.
  • Prices have firmed up nicely. While I don’t expect to see very much appreciation for the balance of the year, more importantly for many is that home prices have stabilized.  

Statistics compiled by Howard Arnoff using the Charleston MLS as the source of data, information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Year to Year Comparison

Monthly Home Sales

Monthly Home Inventory

Inventory and Absorption Rate

Sales, Inventory and Absorption Rate for all homes and by price range

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