This week’s Charleston Regional Business Journal reports that residential sales in Charleston are up and the inventory is down compared to this time last year. So, is it turning into a seller’s market? It’ll be interesting watching it play out. 2013 Charleston MLS president Dave Sansome is quoted in the CRBJ as saying “Many areas of our region are squarely in seller’s market territory. That doesn’t mean that sellers can start overpricing their homes and expect them to sell, but it does mean that they have a bit more room to negotiate for the price they want than they have in recent years.”
Our business has definitely increased. Our Isle of Palms office is the #1 office in volume and sides for residential sales in the resort of Wild Dunes and on Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. We are quite ahead of our competition if I may blow our own horn for a moment.
As reported by MLS from 1/1/13-3/13/13 residential sales by office for Sullivan Island, Isle of Palms, and Wild Dunes
|Wild Dunes Real Estate||$3,223,000|
The Business Journal article by Lauren Ratcliffe reports that Charleston sales are outpacing last year’s by over 18%. In February of 2013 722 homes were sold with a median price of $181,334 and Charleston hasn’t seen sales volume like that since February of 2008 when 733 homes sold. Inventory has decreased by 1000 homes in comparison to this time last year.
If you are thinking about selling, now might be the time. As us about the Dunes Difference and see what we can do for you. If you are interested in buying, you might want to get started looking. We can help you with that search here.
Things change though, and as of today, 49 Morgan Place is the only home listed for sale. Two weeks ago there were three, but last week, 4 Morgan Place and 14 Morgan Place went under contract. One of them was only on the market for a couple of weeks.
Now, we know in a sellers market, home prices tend to move upward. I don’t think this means we will see prices soar like they did from 2005 to 2007 (any increase will be gradual), but, with a limited supply, and proof of demand in the pudding (evidenced by two contracts last week), sellers just might have a window to demand more than they could, not so long ago.
I have to say it feels good to dust off the saying, sellers market, although it may be a little to early. Or maybe not?
– Donnie Whitaker, dunes properties Real Estate Agent | 843.607.0954
A somewhat recent large assessment, coupled with pending litigation has caused a depressed market in the Shipwatch Villa community of Wild Dunes. Condo sells since the assessment was announced are proof as the difference in list price to sell price is astounding. Going back to July 1st, 2012, statistics show owners getting only 76.54% of what they were asking (does not include price reductions). This is significantly lower than when you combine all condo sells in Wild Dunes since that time (87.82%).
Below I have listed the last five to sell with the asking price and sell price:
122-D Shipwatch $525,000 > $440,000
420-C Shipwatch $725,000 > $475,000
318-C Shipwatch $699,000 > $525,000
413-B Shipwatch $740,000 > $535,000
405-A Shipwatch $675,000 > $600,000
These numbers show that buyers are taking advantage of the opportunity presented and doing well with it. The owners knowing of the assessment just want out and are ready to negotiate big time because of it (if they can). Now, there is a catch. In most cases, the buyers are agreeing to take on the current assessment, therefore taking on an additional $40K +/- to what they are getting the property for. On top of that, usually, with condo litigation, lenders are wary and will not loan. Therefore, more times than not, 100% cash becomes necessary to purchase. Still, the deals are there and for the savy investor, with interest in Shipwatch or owning a condo in Wild Dunes, it could be time to make the jump. Additionally, with the assessment comes repairs, and with repairs comes improvement only helping property values.
dunes properties agent Donnie Whitaker updates his blog every month with a list of everything that is currently for sale in Shipwatch Villas. Check out the full Shipwatch Post for more information.
Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors, delivered the keynote address and discussed the Charleston real estate market last Wednesday for area members of Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. He had lots of good things to say about the Charleston market in general. Read the whole story and watch the videos HERE.
Now what does all this mean to you as a homeowner, Buyer, or Seller? Be sure to talk to your agent, they are there for you whenever you have a question about home ownership and the market in general, not just if you are interested in buying or selling right now. You can speak pressure and commitment free to a dunes properties agent any time by calling 800.476.8444 or stopping by one of our four offices at 214 King St. downtown, 31 Center St. on Folly, 1400 Palm Blvd. on the Isle of Palms, or at Bohicket Marina near Seabrook/Kiawah Islands.
Residential Real Estate Sales Volume Continues Growth; Prices Follow Suit
Inventory Continues Decline; Nears 6k Mark
CHARLESTON, SC—(May 11, 2012) According to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (CTAR), 831 homes sold at a median price of $183,000 in April. There were 24,213 property showings recorded by the MLS in April.
Last April, preliminary figures showed 776 homes sold at a median price of $175,000, following an almost equal number of property tours.
“The number of showings our REALTORS® are completing in 2012 is almost equal to the number of showings we saw in 2009, when the market was significantly depressed, but inventory was much higher. This tells us that the prospective buyers in today’s market aren’t just looking. They are serious buyers, making offers and closing transactions” said 2012 CTAR President, Herb Koger.
Heading into what is typically the busiest season of the year, year to date figures reflect a market that is in the midst of sustainable, healthy growth. Inventory is 29% lower than it was at this time last year; sales volume is almost 6% ahead and prices have increased a healthy 4% from this time last year.
“There has been a substantial decrease of inventory in the last 12 months and a far more serious mindset by those looking to purchase a home—there are fewer homes to choose from, prices are increasing and interest rates remain at unprecedentedly low levels. People have a renewed confidence in our market and buyers are moving much faster than they did in the past few years” said Koger.
There were 6,361 homes listed as actively for sale in the CTMLS as of May 10, 2012. On May 10, 2011, there were 8,899 homes for sale.
476 homes sold at a median price of $228,125 in Charleston County in April. This represents an increase in sales and pricing from April 2011’s 451 sales at a median price of $208,000.
Full article here on CharlestonRealtors.com
In a report published earlier today in the Charleston Regional Business Journal, 1st Quarter in the Charleston Trident Market resulted in 898 sales, up 4.4%, with median price at $182,240, up 2.5%. To see a list of 1st Quarter sales and prices for the entire state by region/market, read the entire article HERE.
Did you know that South Carolina still has plantations? A plantation by definition is an estate on which crops such as coffee, sugar, and tobacco are cultivated by resident labor, or usually a large farm in tropical or semitropical climates. Plantations were developed and established long before the Civil War and are still around.
In today’s society plantations exist for many different purposes. Most are simply residential, used as family houses, vacation homes, or converted into inns for guests and visitors to reside. A few are open to the public as historic sites, used for tours, event use such as weddings or formal affairs, and in a few rare cases, some have petting zoos.
A handful of these plantations, however, are still functional today producing fruits and vegetables instead of the cotton or tobacco that helped shape their purpose hundreds of years ago. Original slave houses still stand on several plantations and offer a vast amount of history to those willing to learn.
Harriet McLeod, of the Chicago Tribune explains that finding buyers for these “antebellum plantations that one grew the indigo, rice and cotton that made South Carolina rich can prove quite the challenge.” In fact, ten plantations are up for sale in South Carolina according to www.plantationservicesinc.com. Heavy with history from colonial times through the Civil War,these Southern plantations were almost impossible to maintain without slave labor and most have fallen to decay.
As in the past, South Carolina looks to the North for help. ChipHall, real estate broker, claims, “An infusion of ‘Yankee money’ after the Civil War saved and preserved many historic Southern plantation houses and land.” His assumptions about Northern help are correct as most modern buyers do indeed come from the Eastern and Northern areas of the country.
Max “Macky” Hill III, whose family has owned Middleburg Plantation (built in 1697) for more than 30 years supposes that recent plantation buyers are looking for an investment, an area to hunt, or just a family vacation home. “Some are looking for the rarity of a surviving period house as if it were agigantic piece of antique furniture,” he said.
Plantations do cost at least $500,000 a year to maintain and those that are open to the public must charge an entrance fee to help maintain the property. It is normally a reasonable price to pay and well worth the history and experience. Four of the largest functioning plantations open to the public are Boone Hall, Magnolia, Drayton Hall and Middleton Place.
Boone Hall Plantation, located in Charleston County, is open daily for tours, special events, school field trips, and U-Pick season, where visitors can pick their own fruits and vegetables that the plantation produces. Their tour times and prices can be viewed at their website, and tickets purchased ahead of timeonline if desired.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, founded in 1676, is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry and the oldest public gardens in America. This diverse property houses varieties of gardens, the plantation home, a nature train, boat tours, standing slave houses, a petting zoo and hold several weddings and events a season. Admission and tour costs can be found on their website with all children 6 and under free.
Drayton Hall Plantation is a historic home located in Charleston Countypreserved since its building in 1738 by the Drayton family. It is the oldest surviving example of Georgian Palladian architecture in the United States and remains close to its original condition today. Tours include the main house with readings from diary entries and photos of the family, an African American history with a walk through the cemetery on the grounds, and toursof the land and creeks that run through it. Prices are available on the website.
Middleton Place is 65 acres of gardens with something in bloom all year round, a house museum that was built in 1755 that still holds the family’s possessions, and plantation stableyards where costumed interpreters demonstrate life on a Lowcountry rice plantation. Special events are held regularly in the mansionand around the gardens, self-guided tours are available along with general tours and a restaurant is located on the grounds and open to all. Guests are also welcome to stay at the inn in one of the 55 spacious rooms. Tickets and admission information are available at the plantation’s website.
Whether you come to South Carolina to buy, stay in, or simply visit a historic plantation, it will be an experience you will never forget!
– Amanda Graham
Here is an excerpt from the informative and entertaining blog of Kristin Walker, one of our Charleston Peninsula experts. She does her research and she knows her stuff!
“In the past few months I have noticed a selection of homes and condos on the Charleston Peninsula come on the market, then go under contract in 45 days or less. These are not just bank-owned ones which are obviously priced to sell – rather they include a wide variety of styles, price ranges and locations. So what does this tell me and you? That all the places that have been sitting on the market for a VERY LONG TIME, have been sitting there for a reason – undesirable price, location or condition (or any combination thereof). And more importantly, that when something comes up that is beautiful, well-priced and/or in high demand (or any combination thereof), it goes quickly. So does this answer the burning question on everyone’s minds?
Have we hit the bottom of the real estate market in Charleston?
The answer is: It all depends. If you consider the bottom only related to prices, then no, we haven’t hit the bottom yet. If you factor in activity and competition as well, then I’d say the bottom was last winter.”
Want to see the list of properties that recently went under contract in 45 days or less? Go to her Kristin’s Blog to check them out!
Or so says data released a few days ago by the US Census Bureau. Even though the numbers are only slightly up, home ownership is up, and this is good news. You have to consider that major media outlets have been predicting a further decline for some time now. The actual figures are surprising and welcome!
Read the full msnbc article HERE
I was reading this article recently that was on marketwatch.com about how being a nosy neighbor and going to open houses near your home can help you out in the long run.
I immediately thought of my mother in law in New Jersey who recently admitted attending a party so she could “see what they’ve done to the house” and hits almost every open house in her neighborhood. My husband and I sort of laughed at her fondly for that. But after reading this article, she’s a smart cookie apparently.
According to the article, attending nearby open houses is smart if you’re putting your home on the market soon, but also smart if you’re planning on staying for awhile. The article points out that those homes are going to be your home’s competition.
Take a look at what has and hasn’t been upgraded and make comparisons to your own home and be aware of where your home “falls short.” Their upgrades may help you prioritize your own. You should also be aware of not over improving your home, though because you want to make sure you get a good return on your investment. Seeing what your neighbors are doing can help you make those decisions.
As for the reason my mother in law goes- to see the furnishings and layouts in spaces that are similar to yours- that’s a good thing to see to0. You can possibly steal some decorating ideas.
Another benefit of attending those local open houses- meet the real estate agents and start forging a relationship early so when the time does come to sell, you’ll have someone to work with you are comfortable with and who you know is familiar with your market.
Many people don’t realize that your local real estate agents love to chat with you- even if you are not selling or buying a home right now or in the near future. Your local agent is a font of information. They work with area vendors everyday and have great recommendations for- minor repairs, plumbers, HVAC repair, painters, decorators, lawn care, irrigation systems, cleaners, pressure washers, you name it, they probably know a reputable, trustworthy person to refer you to.
So what are you waiting for? Before or after taking in a Spoleto event, go visit some local open houses, be inspired and start a new relationship with your local real estate agent.