26 Sep Jonathan Cartu Claims SC home sales slipped 4.2% in August; 950 new houses on way…
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SC home sales slipped 4.2 percent in August
After rebounding over much of the summer from the spring lockdown, home sales across South Carolina slipped in August except along the coast.
During the eighth month of the year, 9,439 residential real estate properties changed hands in the Palmetto State, a drop of 4.2 percent over the same month last year, according to housing data from the South Carolina Realtors Association.
Coastal markets continued to do well, all with double-digit increases, including the Charleston area with a 15 percent jump in sales. Hilton Head saw a 33 percent surge in home transactions while Beaufort reported a 22 percent rise and Myrtle Beach reported 12 percent more sales.
Greenville showed a 2.5 percent drop in sales while Columbia reported a 6 percent decline and Spartanburg showed an 18 percent plunge.
For the year, home sales statewide totaled 63,807, a decrease of 5.7 percent, or about 3,800 fewer closings than during the first eight months of 2019.
With housing inventory down by 30 percent to 21,576 units in South Carolina and demand up, home prices continue to soar.
The median price in August jumped 13.6 percent to $252,000, up from about $222,000 in August 2019.
For the year so far, the median price is up 9.6 percent to $238,414, up from $217,500 during the January-August period in 2019. The national median home price is currently $304,100, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Looking ahead, uncertainty because of the pandemic and lack of homes continue to shadow the market.
“The demand is strong. The only thing slowing it down is the lack of inventory,” said Owen Tyler, S.C. Realtors president and broker in charge at residential real estate firm The Cassina Group in Charleston. “But, current monthly market indicators show the momentum continuing through fall.”
Atlanta-based builder Ashton Woods expects the first homes to begin rising in early 2022 on a 500-acre tract it purchased earlier this year in Watson Hill off Ashley River Road.
By the numbers
3: Number of new food venues debuting across the Charleston region. They include a pizzeria, bakery and a food truck-rooted brick-and-mortar restaurant.
4.5: Percentage of property tax rate hike Mount Pleasant Town Council approved Friday for residents and businesses of the state’s fourth-largest municipality.
100: Millions of dollars planned for a proposed “ecotourism” resort on a coastal island in Beaufort County. A zoning board on Thursday unanimously denied the request after considerable opposition, including that of Gov. Henry McMaster.
480: Address on East Bay Street where developer Rivers Enterprises wants to update a mostly-vacant strip center behind South Atlantic Bank, including adding new storefronts on renovated buildings on the backside of the property facing Washington Street.
This week in real estate
+ Sinking land: Sea level rise is just part of Charleston’s flooding problem. The ground underfoot is also sinking in a process called subsidence.
+ Flood czar: South Carolina lawmakers approve flood czar and resilience office, but funding won’t come before 2021.
+ Tourism tax for flooding: A new statehouse bill headed to the governor’s desk for his signature would allow local governments to use hospitality taxes to address flooding woes.
New Mount Pleasant office building 100% leased
Shared workspace firm Serendipity Labs opens in early October on two floors of the five-story new Portside office building overlooking Charleston Harbor at the base of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant. The new structure in the Ferry Wharf development, which includes an Embassy Suites Hotel set to open in November, is 100 percent leased by a dozen different firms. Provided/Kris Decker/Firewater Photography
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Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.