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Folly Beach, SC 29439

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11 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401

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Johns Island, SC 29455

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Downtown Charleston Real Estate – A story told by the numbers.

Downtown Charleston Real Estate – A story told by the numbers.


The other morning as the rain from Tropical Storm Fay watered my plants for me, I sat down with a cup of coffee and my laptop and decided to indulge in two of my favorite hobbies – real estate cruising and numbers crunching because surprisingly, my agents are reporting a dramatic increase in sales over the past few months.I took at look at how the Downtown Charleston market has been faring over the past year in this crazy economy with all the gloom and doom that has been splashed all over every newspaper, and what I saw told quite a tale.

For the object of my indulgence, I selected all 3+ BR single family homes sold in the past three years between $1.5m and $2.5m in downtown Charleston south of the Crosstown and then investigated what is for sale today in the same range.(Hate to admit it, but it is nearly impossible to find a great house downtown for under $1,000,000 these days)

Here is what I found.


# Sold

Avg Sales Price

Avg Reduction in Asking Price

On market 6 Months or more

Avg Months on Market

9/1/05- 8/31/06






9/1/06- 8/31/07






9/1/07- 8/31/08






And just for kicks – lets take a look at the volume of 3+ BR homes sold for more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS (cue Dr. Evil) from 2000 to the present in Downtown Charleston

2007-2008 – 40

2006-2007 – 76

2005-2006 – 63

2004-2005 – 79

2003-2004 – 64

2002-2003 – 33

2001-2002 – 32

2000-2001 – 24

So what is the exciting story that these numbers tell?That actually, not much has changed at all. From the peak of the market to today, the only significant change is that the number of homes sold in the past 3-4 years has declined by 40-50%.(If you don’t count the speculators, who are estimated to have made up 15-30% of the real estate boom – the number is more like 20-30%)But nonetheless, it sounds foreboding, disastrous even.It must have to do with the economy, the real estate market busting wide open, the drastic fall in house values….

But wait a minute…if you do the calculations, you’ll see that values in our beloved town have actually risen 8% over the past three years all the way up to today – so why wouldn’t people still be buying homes?

FEAR.    We are all holding tight to our wallets – the real estate bubble has burst, foreclosures on the rise, the cost of food going up, oil prices, the American dollar declining, no clue who the next leader of the free world will be, the cost of college education is obscene, unemployment rising, banks going under, the climate faltering??, politicians selling themselves, war breaking out all over the place….and of course, the news media must sell their nightly pharmaceuticals, and what better way than to sell fear (and flomax and lunestra and viagra and….well you get the point)


Here in (mostly) sunny Charleston, sometimes I get the feeling that I should just throw away the newspaper and turn off the TV.Because right now it’s summahtime…and the livin’ is easy.I am not saying we aren’t affected both personally and financially by what is going on around the world – I am just saying, this town is one of the oldest in the country and somehow manages to become increasingly hip, we’ve been through a hurricane as bad as Katrina and come back roaring, we are growing in leaps and bounds and there’s more pride oozing out our pores than you’ll find at a Clemson game.And why is that??Because Charleston is undeniably beautiful.Because we’ve have sandy beaches and a glittering harbor and ridiculously romantic Spanish moss hanging from our old oak trees.Because we’ve have more great restaurants per capita than any other city in the entire USA and if we really want to, we can catch our dinner from the meandering creeks. Because we understand how to maintain the perfect work/life balance and we sure as hell know how to play.So maybe that’s why downtown Charleston has bucked the real estate values trend across the US.Because we believe wholeheartedly, unabashedly, 100%, that we live in one of the greatest places on earth.And no matter what is going on out there – we are secure in the notion that our bountiful Mother Lowcountry, our crazy beloved Charleston, will wrap her sweet arms around us and make everything all right.

So what does this mean for those of us who are in the market to buy a new home, for those who may have been sitting on the fence to wait and see what happens?Cast aside the fear.Choose living.Choose the joy of Charleston living.

You may just find the home of your dreams in time for the holidays.

Currently For Sale on the Peninsula  between $1.5 and $2.5 million

  • 30 homes currently on the market
  • 19 (or 65%) have been on the market 6 months or more and have dropped their original asking prices by an average of 9.85%.
Address Listing Price Latest Price % Change Listing Date Months on Market
47 King St $2,500,000 $2,500,000 0.00% Apr-08 17
3 Gibbes St $2,850,000 $2,495,000 12.46% May-08 16
13 Water St $2,395,000 $2,395,000 0.00% May-08 4
183 Tradd St $2,350,000 $2,350,000 0.00% Dec-08 9
15 Lowndes St $2,795,000 $2,350,000 15.92% May-08 16
44 Halsey Blvd $3,200,000 $2,295,000 28.28% May-08 16
73 Church St $2,195,000 $2,195,000 0.00% Mar-08 6
40 Legare St $2,195,000 $2,195,000 0.00% Jul-08 2
70 Church St $2,150,000 $2,150,000 0.00% Mar-08 6
80 Rutledge Ave $2,295,000 $2,149,000 6.36% Feb-08 7
68 King St $2,100,000 $2,100,000 0.00% Aug-08 1
57 Tradd St $2,385,000 $2,068,000 13.29% Apr-08 17
61 Ashley Ave $2,275,000 $2,000,000 12.09% Aug-08 13
7 Gibbes St $1,995,000 $1,995,000 0.00% May-08 4
95 East Bay St $2,275,000 $1,998,000 12.18% May-08 28
4 Atlantic St $2,125,000 $1,995,000 6.12% Feb-08 8
90 Ashley Ave $2,950,000 $1,990,000 32.54% Oct-08 11
14 Rutledge Ave $1,950,000 $1,950,000 0.00% Jun-08 3
30 Hasell Ct $2,100,000 $1,900,000 9.52% Jan-08 8
40 Laurens St $1,995,000 $1,895,000 5.01% May-08 4
143 Broad St $1,879,000 $1,879,000 0.00% Sep-08 12
2 Lowndes St $1,950,000 $1,850,000 5.13% Sep-08 12
48 Laurens St $1,925,000 $1,850,000 3.90% Apr-08 17
30 Anson St $1,850,000 $1,850,000 0.00% Jul-08 2
111 Rutledge Ave $1,925,000 $1,850,000 3.90% May-08 4
8 Tradd St $1,795,000 $1,795,000 0.00% May-08 4
17 Water St $1,850,000 $1,755,000 5.14% Mar-08 6
80 King St $1,750,000 $1,750,000 0.00% May-08 4
83 Cumberland St. $1,985,000 $1,695,000 14.61% Nov-08 34
24 State St $1,565,000 $1,565,000 0.00% Apr-08 5

– Randolph Walker


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