2007 closed out the Charleston residential MLS with 12,653 closed transactions. This is down from 2006 close out at 16,760, but when we look back at 2003 (the start of the boom), we only closed 11,720 homes. Let's face it: Things did get carried away in 2004 and 2005. But when you consider where we started, we are still up on transactions.
2007 was different in that there were a total of 27,476 NEW listings during the year (compared to 2003's 16, 486 new listings). The good news is that we closed out the year with 9,862 active listings down from year's high of almost 13,000. This means that inventory is reducing!
What we saw differently in 2007 is the average days on market was extended for sold properties to 96 days on the market, compared to 68 days in 2006. Sellers receivied 96.46% of list price (compared to 2006 list to sale ration of 97.26%). The average list to sale ratio has hovered around 97% since 2003 (with the exception of 2005 at 98.13%) which also shows that we really aren't that far off from normal. Active listings have currently been on the market for an average of 169 days which still shows that there's a lot of property out there that isn't getting sold.
Sellers that want to sell really need to consider making improvements to attract buyers (hardwoods floors, updated kitchen and baths) or reducing the price. Otherwise, they need to be prepared to wait it out. Average showings only 2-3 per month per house, only the best looking AND best priced homes will show. Overall, I think 2007 was a success! Charleston has held strong compared to other falling national markets. While appreciation has slowed on average, we are still in the positive. Falling numbers have less to do with property depreciating, but desperate builders and sellers dropping prices to unload. At the current rate of appreciation, I would recommend buyers carefully considering their purchase in order to not overpay and make sure they will be able to hold onto the property for a minimum of 3-5 years to break even.
Year New Sold Avg Sold $ Avg DOM %SP/LP % +- appreciation
2003 16,486 11,720 $225,545 140 97.08% 4.83% (from 2002)
2004 18,834 14,277 $252,997 80 97.47% 10.85%
2005 24,023 18,074 $277,875 61 98.13% 8.95%
2006 28,782 16,760 $290,687 68 97.26% 4.4%
2007 27,476 12,653 $298,545 96 96.46% 2.63%