Charleston has grown at a rapid rate in recent years. A recent study indicated Charleston is second in growth to Austin TX. In Charleston's market, lifestyle is the big driver of growth. Families looking to improve their life, live in a smaller city with all of the amenities of a big city, and enjoy lower real estate taxes are making the move. Of course, growing employers like Boeing, Bosch, Mercedes and many others bringing new hires in. 2017 was the busiest year ever for home sales. The growth rate of homes sold was up 3.4% over 2016 and median price was up 4.3%. Of course, this is not a huge increase which delights us as the growth rate is sustainable. We are not seeing the dynamics of the 2008-2009 period of speculation.
It is important to note that rate of growth and price change varies substantially from area to area. The most fluctuation tends to be in beach communities where second homes and investment properties play a major role. Downtown Charleston and Daniel Island experienced a drop in median price. Prices in these markets are influenced by the number of builder spec homes released each year and limited available inventory. For a full review of all Charleston real estate markets for 2017 vs. 2016 study this Charleston Real Estate Market Report.
Another helpful metric for real estate is months of inventory. This is calculated by determining the average number of homes sold in a month and dividing it into the number of active listings. In other words, if no additional listings came on the market and sales continued at the current pace, how long would it take to sell out the homes currently on the market. Six months of inventory is a healthy balanced market. More than six months becomes a buyer's market where buyers can get better deals typically. Less than 6 months inventory helps seller's get their price and may drive prices up. For example, Daniel Island has 3.8 months of inventory, so it is overall "a seller's market". For a full review of Charleston areas with regard to months of inventory please review this Charleston Real Estate Inventory Report.
Whether you are planning to sell your home or look for a good deal on a great home in Charleston, knowing the market is a huge advantage. Please feel free to reach out to Prestige Real Estate Group with your questions.