We have passed the halfway mark for 2008.
2007 closed out the year with just under 13,000 closed transactions. We are behind the mark as of June 30, 2008. During the same time frame in 2007, January through June, There were 16,223 new listings that came on the market. 7634 went under contract or pending and 7015 sold with an average list price of $300,975 with an average days on market of 78 days. The median price was $209,142 and sellers received 96% of list price.
From January to June, 2008, there were 12,706 new listings. As of June 30, 2008, 4,677 properties were contingent or pending. And 4,777 sold with an average sold price of $305,795 with an average days on market of 107 days. Seller received 95% of list price and the median price was $205,000.
What does this mean? Here's how I interpret the numbers.
The good news is that the number of new listings has decreased by over 3500 homes. That's a 22% reduction. This is an important piece of the local market dynamics. The reason for the seller's market in 2003-2005 was due to the lack of supply. Currently we have about 11,000 homes to choose from whereas at any given time in 2003, there were only about 3,500 available. So they started flying off the shelves like hotcakes. Builders couldn't build them fast enough to meet demand. Part of normalization in the Charleston SC real estate market will require a reduction in inventory where supply and demand is more balanced. We need to be closer to 7,000-8,000 in active inventory for days on market to get back down to 4-5 months. This means that sellers that don't have to sell and builders not being spec homes will help significantly in this area.
As far as pending properties, we are down by 39% closely followed by 32% down on sold. The good news is that earlier in the year, we were close to 40%. The lack of pending and sold properties can be related to many factors. Lack of financing alternatives and low consumer confidence are the 2 greatest factors. Interestingly when I pulled stats back to 1991 from the Charleston MLS, we have never had one single year where there was an across the board depreciation. There were years of slower appreciation as low as .46% but then there were double digit years also. The most interesting part was that for every 2-3 years of slower growth, it was followed by 2 years of faster or greater growth. Charleston is an exceptional market and the numbers are fascinating.
The further good news is that the average sales price has inched up and has continued too which also delineates to strong appreciation. The most noticeable difference is the extension of days on market which jumped 29 days up to 107 days for sold properties. That doesn't even include the average days on market for active listings which is current 161 days. Sellers are noticing this the most! However, given the average is selling in 107 days, there are way to shorten the timeframe! Price, condition, staging and incentives are just a few! Not to mention...marketing. It's a tough market out there and it's important to be proactive and armed with the facts! For a FREE NO OBLIGATION consultation, contact the Charleston Relocation Expert!