2017 Mid-Year Report

July 27, 2017

Welcome to the second half of the year. What? Already?! The Charleston real estate market is as hot as a summer sidewalk, and we’ve been so busy trying to keep up that we’ve lost track of time.

The number of Charleston area real estate transactions are up almost 8% compared to the first half of 2016. It’s looking like we will surpass 18,000 transactions this year, which will set yet another record. The median sales price for the greater Charleston area is also up – by 4% compared to the same period in 2016. The median price is now at an all-time high of about $255,000.

However, recent data suggests that prices here are starting to level off. With banks now lending only what buyers can afford, prices have been restricted from climbing too steeply and outpacing income levels, as happened before the housing market crash nearly a decade ago. This is a healthy trend: Stable and moderate appreciation is what we want in order to maintain a healthy and sustainable market. It appears that prices are likely to remain fairly stable through the end of the year, and in some specific areas where prices have increased a little too aggressively, we may even see a slight reduction.

Meanwhile, Charleston continues to receive attention and accolades from the national media. Earlier this month it was named the #1 city in North America in Travel + Leisure magazine for the 5th consecutive year, and earlier this summer SmartAsset, a data crunching personal finance firm, named Charleston the #1 most under-valued city in America. The world has discovered us and they are coming to visit and to live.

Despite a long run of increasing sales activity and publicity, Charleston still offers one of the strongest real estate investments in the country. As our graph indicates, based on a 4% annual appreciation rate since 1991 our median sales price should actually be closer to $270,000. Being undervalued like this helps our outlook in two areas. First, it shows us that prices are still at the point where there is room for additional appreciation. It also shows that we are not in a danger zone of prices getting too high like they did in 2006-2008 before the downturn.

The real estate market is in fact solid and Charleston is one of the best places you’ll find to live and invest.