Good News for Charleston Real Estate: Housing Market Named Among Top 5 in U.S.

March 12, 2010

National trade publication Builder Magazine has included Charleston in its annual roundup of the nation’s 20 healthiest housing markets, placing it in the fifth spot among markets most likely to rise to the top as the national housing market begins to recover. The annual study is conducted by the publication’s market research arm, Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.


“The markets that (rebound) first will be the ones with the strongest core dynamics; places where house prices never got out of hand, cities where a diverse and progressive employment base drives job creation, and towns that continue to draw population despite the economic recession,” writes Boyce Thompson in an article summarizing the results of the “Builder Market Health Index” for 2010.

The Carolinas took seven of the top 20 spots, with Charleston ranking highest among the South Carolina markets making the list.

“The city of Charleston may be steeped in history, but it isn’t resting on its laurels; it is currently the fastest growing city in South Carolina,” Thompson writes. “Its 2% annual population growth over the last five years ranks very high among the 100 largest housing markets. Underlying demographic strength helped the city escape some of the pain felt in other top housing markets. Home prices, which fell only 4.2% last year, are expected to climb in 2010 as the region begins to add jobs again. Two of the four biggest employers here are military bases, and the health sector accounts for the other two. Recovery appeared to begin in the fourth quarter of last year, when builders pulled 641 building permits, a 27% increase over the previous year.”

“This is great news for anyone interested in buying or selling a home on Daniel Island,” said Rick Vale, Vice President of Sales for Daniel Island Real Estate. “It verifies what we’ve always believed to be true: That the appeal of our coastal location and lifestyle have helped protect the housing markets on Daniel Island and in Charleston from the worst of the national decline, and will help us recover quickly as the economy begins to improve.”

To compile its results, Hanley Wood Market Intelligence evaluated 2009 data and 2010 projections for household formations, resale values and job and income growth. It also took into consideration forecasts from Moody’s and other sources.

Since 1976, Hanley Wood, the publisher of Builder Magazine, has focused exclusively on North America’s important residential and commercial construction industry. Through its four divisions, Hanley Wood develops magazines, Web sites, e-newsletters, exhibitions and conferences, and custom marketing and data services that support builders’ critical information needs.