2016 Charleston Real Estate Market Year in Review

The first month of 2017 is well under way and it has been a busy one for us at Simply Lowcountry Real Estate! Not only did we launch the brokerage, Simply Lowcountry Real Estate, LLC, but we have also been busy helping buyers looking to move into new homes this month.

Last week we had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Year in Review Market Update hosted by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. The 600+ plus event was led by economists Dr. Joseph von Nessen with the USC Moore School of Business and Stephen Slifer with Numbernomics. Slifer spoke mostly about the economy as a whole across the nation and internationally, and Von Nessen focused more here in the South Carolina and Charleston areas.

We thought we would share with you a quick look at some of the takeaways from the 2016 Market Review:

Distressed Properties are no longer a large part of our market and finding foreclosures are becoming more difficult for buyers. In 2016 the percentage of short sales and foreclosures dropped by 17.3%, making them only 6.2% of the 2016 market.  More information on distressed properties in review below.

We are seeing large increases in new construction, however new homes are only being built at half the rate the nation actually needs them at. In our local market, new construction was up 17,249 units compared to 16,314 in 2015.

Closed Sales

In 2015 there were 16,218 closed sales, 2016 saw a total of 17,720 closed sales. This is an increase of 9.3% from 2015. The top 5 areas in the Charleston MLS for change in closed sales from 2015 were: Goose Creek/Moncks Corner, Hollywood/Ravenel/Meggett, Johns Island, Downtown Charleston and the Dorchester Road corridor. The below chart will show the percentage of increase in the top 5 areas listed above and the percentage of decrease in the 5 areas that saw a change from closed sales in 2015.



We have been talking about inventory for most of 2016. The inventory continues to be lower in year-over-year projections and during the 2016 Market Review we were told that 2017 inventory is also going to see low home supply. At the end of 2016, the inventory was down a total of 19.5% over 2015. In 2015 there were 5,879 homes for sale, and at the end of 2016 there were 4,733 homes for sale.


Average Sales Price

The average sales price in 2015 was $307,420, and in 2016 was $321,102, this is a 4.5% increase over 2015. As you can see in the graph below, the average sales price across the Charleston tai-county area has continued to only increase since 2012. The average sales price increased in the most in the following five areas: Isle of Palms, Wando/Cainhoy, Folly Beach, the Upper Charleston Peninsula, and Greater North Charleston.


Days on Market

The average number of days on market (DOM) for 2016 was 58, a 3.3% decrease from 2015 (60 DOM). The number of days on market has been decreasing since 2012 year-over-year.


The average number of DOM for a single family home in the Charleston tri-county area was 57, and 60 DOM for condos.



Percentage of Original List Price Received

The percentage of original list price received on listings in the Charleston tri-county area increased from 2015 by .5% in 2016. The average percentage of original list price received in 2016 was 96.4%, compared to 95.9% in 2015. The top 5 areas for change in the percentage of original list price received were: Hollywood/Ravenel/Meggett, Kiawah, Folly Beach, Goose Creek/Moncks Corner and West Ashley area.  On average, condos received 96.3% of their original list price, and single family homes received 96.6% of their original list price.


Distressed Properties

We touched briefly on distressed property sales at the top of this 2016 Market Review. In 2012, 25.8% of sales were distress sales, and now in 2016 only 6.2% of sales are distress sales (short sales and foreclosures). To compare 2016 to 2015, 2015 saw 7.5% of sales as distress sales, which means from 2015 to 2016 there was a 17.3% decrease in distress sales. The top 5 areas with distressed market share in 2016 were: Folly Beach (20.4%), Hollywood/Ravenel/Meggett (12.3%), James Island (10%), Hanahan (8.9%) and Great North Charleston (8.3%). We have included CTAR’s chart below with all MLS area’s distressed market share for 2016.



**Please note: A property is counted as Distressed when the SPECIAL field in CTARMLS is marked as “Lender Owned,” “Corp Owned” or “Possible Short Sale,” or if the POTENTIAL SHORT SALE field is marked “Yes,” or if the REMARKS or AGENT NOTES fields contain a phrase that 10K Research has determined will very likely mark a distressed property.

New Construction

We also touched briefly on new construction at the top of this report, but wanted to note the top areas for new construction market share in 2016 in the Charleston Tri-County area.  The percentage of original list price received for new construction in 2016 was 100.5%, previously owned was 95.3%. The peak of new construction inventory was in March of 2016 and at years end of 2016 there was a total of 3.4 months of new construction inventory supply, compared to 3.1 of previously owned.


Area Overview

We aren’t going to break down each MLS area separately, however we did want to note the number of closed sales in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkley County’s.

Charleston County had a total of 9,221 closed sales, up 7.3% from 2015. The median price in Charleston County was $310,000.

Berkley County had 4,442 closed sales, up 14.3% from 2015. The median price in Berkley County was $210,143.

Dorchester County saw 3,386 closed sales, up 13.2% from 2015. The median sales price was $200,000.


What to Expect in 2017?

According to Dr. Joseph Von Nessen of the USC Moore School of Business, we can expect to see at 8.1% growth in MLS sales activity in 2017 from 2016’s activity. In addition, we can also expect to continue to see low levels of inventory across the area.


** All data and charts/graphs are from the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service. Simply Lowcountry Real Estate, LLC does not guarantee this information.

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