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Tag: charleston sc home sales

Has the Real Estate Market Stabilized?

I read a couple of articles this past week that on the surface are contradictory. I tried to make sense of what I read below.

That depends on who you ask and what real estate market you are talking about: new homes or resale; national, local, or my neighborhood. The market that is important to you is the market in which you are buying or selling.

New home sales have been in turmoil in almost every market. November, 2009 sales figures are a good indication of just how much turmoil. The number of transactions for new home sales nationally dropped 11% from the October sales. That represents the lowest number of monthly new home sales since April, 2009. the median sales price is down by approximately 2% year over year, but up about 4% from the previous month.

The resale market shows a different story on the national market. Resale of existing homes in November surged to the highest level in nearly 3-years. About half of the transactions in November were first-time buyers taking advantage of the tax credit for first-time buyers. That tax credit was to expire November 30, 2009. It has now been extended until April 30, 2010 and expanded to include current home owners who relocate.

What does it mean for me?

Real estate is a local business. The only markets that mean anything to you, individually, is the real estate market you live in or want to live in. National market statistics cannot give you the true picture of what is happening in your neighborhood. Whether you are buying or selling, you need to know what the market is doing in your neighborhood. If you are a buyer you want to know what’s available and what is the average price of homes that are selling that meet your requirements. If you are selling a home you want information about comparable sales in your neighborhood.

  • What was the listed price and what was the selling price?
  • How long are homes on the market?
  • What is the current inventory of homes that are similar to mine?

All of this data tells you if the market has stabilized in your neighborhood. A FREE tool for buyers and sellers in the Charleston Trident area is available at:


More Good News in Real Estate

There is more good news for real estate in the Charleston Trident area! Both the Post and Courier and The Charleston Regional Business Journal are reporting real estate sales for the month of September, 2009, saw an increase of 7% year over year.

The breakdown is:
• Berkley County saw 135 transactions closed for a 9% increase. The median sale price was $150,000.
• Charleston County had 259 transactions close which translates to an 11% increase. Charleston County saw improvement in sales in Mount Pleasant below Hwy 41 and in Carolina Bay in West Ashley. The median sales price was $214,000.
• Dorchester County had 164 sales, remaining stable. The median price was $154,000.

The $8,000 Federal Tax Credit for first time home buyers may have been the reason for increased sales. Time is running out for first time home buyers to take advantage of this incentive since it is set to expire on November 30, 2009. October could see another increase in sales as a result.

This is a great market for buyers to take the advantage. Inventories are still over 10,000 units in the Tri-County and the median sales prices for the area are continuing to trend down. Combine that with reasonable mortgage interest rates and the fist time buyers tax credit. It might be your best time to get into real estate, or move up to the home you always wanted.

If you have questions about the market, or just need more information, call us.

Short Sale…no thanks. Just show me a motivated seller.

Everybody wants a deal, and now is the time.  Don’t believe it’s the time to buy Real Estate yet?  I disagree.

I must admit as a Realtor I may sound somewhat biased, but I practice what I preach.  I’m a Buyer myself.  I’ve purchased 3 homes myself in the last 2 years and tried for a fourth just last week losing out on a home that had 6 offers on it within days of coming on the market.  Are you thinking that must have been a good deal?  It was.  1600 square foot ranch home on James Island in a great neighborhood (mine in fact).  List price…$99,000.  Not a short sale.  Not bank owned.  It was an estate sale being executed by an attorney.  Motivated Seller.

I avoid short sales. When I hear short sale,  I think headaches and heartbreak for almost everyone involved.  You can find a deal that way.  And if you really love a property in a short sale situation, I would definitely attempt to purchase it via short sale first.  But in my experience, you still may be paying more than you need to… but that’s a conversation for another day.

Motivated Sellers come in all forms and I do my homework to find them.  I watch bank owned and estate sales.  I watch for multiple reductions in a short period of time.  I watch for major reductions.  But these are not the only telling factors.  People need to sell for all kinds of reasons…job transfer, loss of job, marriage, divorce, kids, up-sizing, downsizing, graduation, retirement, travel, health reasons and yes, financial reasons.  These motivating factors happen in any market.

Here are some examples of the motivated sellers I’ve found for my buyer clients in the last 6 months:

Downtown Charleston – 1025 sq ft house with 2 off street parking spots and a yard. 1 block from Marion Square and steps off Calhoun .
Purchased for $190,000 – Tax appraisal valued the land alone at $228,000. Bank owned multiple offer situation.
(Link to listing – 2912368)

Folly Beach – Full .24 acre street to street lot with main house of 1500 sq ft and two 1 bedroom cottages on same property. 3 blocks to the beach.
Purchased for $360,000 – 3rd lowest residential purchase on Folly Beach in the last 3 years. Estate sale multiple offer situation.
(Link to listing – 2902489)

Mariners Cay – 2 bedroom, 2-story condo with views overlooking Folly River and the Marina
Purchased for $215,000 – Lowest priced purchase in Mariners Cay the last 5 years. Motivated out of town Seller.
(Link to listing – 2906274)

James Island – 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1528 sq ft ranch home in Lighthouse Point
Purchased for $120,000 – Bank owned property multiple offer situation.
(Link to Listing – 2828792)

West Ashley – 2 bedroom, 1 bath single family home in Parkwood Estates
Purchased for $101,000 – Bank owned property multiple offer situation.
(Link to Listing – 2921950)

There ARE deals out there.  When they are this good, they don’t last more than a few days and sometimes they are under contract in hours. I can notify my clients within minutes of them coming on the market.   I’m not a salesman. I present my clients with the facts, the comparable sales and they decide for themselves. The Charleston area is full of deals, and I can help find them.  Feel free to call or contact me with questions.

-Eric Peth

cell: 843.252.7800

Priced Like a Short Sale Without the Hassle

Real estate activity has really picked up here on the Charleston Coast. Showings are up substantially on properties across the board, regardless of price. The motivating factor seems to be the “deal.” Investors are looking for “deals” – the common thread being a short sale or a foreclosure.

What many investors don’t realize is just how many properties for sale are priced like a short sale … but aren’t a short sale. THOSE are the real deals because you can avoid the hassles of a short sale, some of which include:

  1. List prices that aren’t even approved by the bank.
  2. Three to four month response time from the lender, in some cases a rejection of the offer with no counter offer.
  3. The possibility of missing out on real buys as you wait for a response.

I could go on and on. For a preview of just some of my properties that are Priced Like a Short Sale but aren’t, click here.

-Betty Poore

Charleston’s real estate market taking a turn for the better

Those of us who live in Charleston always consider ourselves lucky.  There are so many wonderful advantages to being in such a serene environment that is rich in both historical significance and natural beauty.  From the real estate perspective, Charleston’s market remained a strong draw long after other parts of the country were deeply embroiled in the housing market crisis. But as time passed it was inevitable that we would see our market slow, the inventory swell, the prices take a natural decline.  When folks visiting our downtown Studio have asked our agents about the area market, I have heard words like “softened”, “slowed”, or personal my favorite, “unhurried” which I believe is a genteel, Southern way of saying “not moving quickly and requiring more time than is usual or expected”.  While it’s true that in the South we generally prefer things at a more languid pace, this definitely does not apply to our real estate markets.

So it’s a very good thing that an article by M. Anthony Carr posted yesterday in RealtyTimes indicates that our market is poised for a quick recovery. It seems that CTAR has reported some interesting changes in inventory and median sales prices over the past month that have market followers very optimistic.  For more information,  read the full article HERE.

Home Sellers on the Charleston Peninsula Finally Get It

For the past couple years we’ve been watching and waiting as real estate sales plummeted, yet home sellers held firm on their asking prices.  Call it stubbornness, pride or disbelief,  but people weren’t budging.   Well, they are now – whether by force, generosity or pure exhaustion.  If you are in the market for a new home in Charleston, or if you have been eyeing a home for awhile but thought the asking price was too high (it probably was), the tides have definitely turned in your favor.

I pulled a selection of homes and condos sold on the Charleston Peninsula since April 1, 2009.  You can see that even homes that haven’t been on the market for that long (4 days!), have sold for significantly less.  So if you are ready, or just think you might want to try, make an offer.  You might just get the home of your dreams, at a price you love.

—Kristin Walker – Charleston Peninsula Expert

Address Original Asking Price Sold Price Days onMarket % Sold For from Asking Price
23 Elliot St $2,995,000 $2,300,000 847 77%
27 Smith St $1,495,000 $675,000 777 45%
85 Nunan St $149,710 $63,000 675 42%
109 East Bay St $795,000 $592,000 600 74%
14 Alberta Ave $376,000 $240,000 407 64%
69 Morris St $559,000 $440,000 346 79%
7 Smith St $1,150,000 $887,500 338 77%
1 Bee St $699,900 $580,000 308 83%
377 King St $490,000 $325,000 288 66%
11-C West St $289,000 $225,000 276 78%
6 Franklin St $995,000 $627,000 263 63%
19 East Battery $7,300,000 $5,400,000 161 74%
806 Rutledge Ave $459,000 $345,000 149 75%
27 Wentworth St $795,000 $595,000 140 75%
33 Calhoun St $499,000 $435,000 59 87%
101 St Margaret St $330,000 $275,000 4 83%

Show and Tell

To summarize the 2008 Real Estate market in the Charleston and surrounding areas one could easily say it was “it was not a banner year”.

2009 has already showed signs of improvement and activity has been steady at Dunes Properties downtown Real Estate Studio on King Street. Sellers have finally decided to price their home(‘s) to sell based upon todays market and not 2004-2005 levels. Buyers from the Northeast,Midwest,Southeast and West coast have made the decision to move to our city because this is where they want to live. In doing so they have adjusted the pricing on their home to make this transition possible realizing that they can now find “value” in our marketplace and make-up some of the potential loss that might occur when the sell their home in 2009.

The charts listed below focus on # of transactions and median price of homes in the Charleston and surrounding areas for the periods 2001-2008. In all areas with the sole exception of “Ion” we experienced double digit transaction decreases from 2007. These decreases range from 8.6% to 50.7%.

Median prices only increased in The City of Charleston, Daniel Island and North Charleston inside of I526. Numbers do not lie but can be interpreted in many different ways. They are at best a guide to what has happened and not what can happen. Our new President has already inspired millions of people to help make a difference. A can-do attitude can lead to many positive changes, especially in Real Estate.

What is happening? There are 30 yr fixed mortgage rates as low as 4.5% for qualified buyers, an incentive that will not be here in years to come. Fewer investors are buying property with the intention to “flip” their property for a considerable short term gain. Owners with adjustable rate mortgages that mature in 2010-2011 are feeling pressure to sell and/or refinance when possible to avoid higher interest rates to follow. Buyers are “buying” properties with the intention of making Charleston their permanent residence. Banks are beginning to ease up on some of the lending requirements for qualifying for loans. There are “great values” in downtown areas such as South of Broad, Ansonborough, Harleston Village, and the French Quarter as well as beach destinations such as Folly Beach, Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. The are buyers for homes priced at a value and homes appropriately priced will sell.

In closing, January 2009 is off to a solid start. There is optimism about the economy, our new President, interest rates, gas prices, etc. It will still be a very challenging year for the economy and the real estate market but it certainly will be better then the second half of 2008.

-Joe Spector

2008 Market Stats – Single Family Homes in Select Neighborhoods

South of Broad: There were 32 closings in 2008 vs. 63 in 2007.   The price of the average sale was up 3% from 2007.

Harleston Village: There were 9 closings in 2008 vs. 33 in 2007.  The price of the average sale ($1.658 million) was up 81% from 2007.

Ansonborough: There were 4 closings in 2008 vs. 9 in 2007. The price of the average sale was up 1% from 2007.

The French Quarter: There were 2 closings in 2008 vs. 2 in 2007.  The price of the average sale ($2.23 million) was up 57% from 2007.

-Dave Landry

Sawyer’s Landing is heating up

Check out the recent Charleston Post & Courier article “Soft Landing” featuring the new development Sawyer’s Landing, located off Ben Sawyer Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant with views of the bridge by the same name. The first phase of construction for this high-end village is almost complete, with the first buyers slated to move in by the end of next month. Interest in the highly-anticipated development seems to be heating up.

Sawyer’s Landing overlooks a beautiful bay, pristine marshes, the Intercoastal Waterway, Sullivan’s Island and even the inlet to the Charleston harbor.  Sawyer’s Landing is conveniently situated only a few minutes from the beach and a very short drive to historic downtown Charleston.  All remaining homes have three bedrooms with large porches on every floor, gas fireplaces, optional elevators and gourmet kitchens with granite counter tops and stainless steel.

For more information on these stunning townhomes, contact real estate agent RICK FAIN at or call 843-513-1731 (office) 843-412-0189 (cell)

Downtown Charleston Sales Stats

Real estate sales in Charleston inside the Crosstown are bucking the national trends we hear so much about.

Through November, 2008 there were 252 residential sales inside the Crosstown for an average price of $853,037. That compares with 366 closings in the first eleven months of 2007 for an average price of $840,022 according to MLS. So, while sales were down 31% the price of the average sale was up 1.5%. That’s strong.

Looking at condo sales below the Crosstown, this year there have been 105 closings with an average price of $675,188. Last year through November there were 176 sales with an average price of $539,500. So, while sales were down 40%, the price of the average sale was up 25%.  Great news!

Please remember these are macro numbers dependent on the products sold.

-Dave Landry