Housing seemed to have a slow start to the spring selling season, but appearances
deceive. Dig into that spring soil and you begin to unearth differences in individual
areas and market segments. Inventory is slowly rising in some areas. Activity is
picking up in the upper price tiers. Rents continue to climb in most metros. And
interest rates are generally lower than a year ago, to the surprise of some and the
delight of others.
New Listings in the Charleston area increased 6.6 percent to 1,786. Pending Sales
were up 23.4 percent to 1,500. Inventory levels fell 5.0 percent to 6,101 units.
Prices forged onward. The Median Sales Price increased 2.5 percent to $225,056.
Days on Market remained flat at 71 days. Absorption rates improved as Months
Supply of Inventory was down 15.3 percent to 5.4 months.
Housing is one part of a broader ecosystem that thrives on a strong economy that
churns out good jobs. First-quarter employment figures were adequate but not
thrilling, but second-quarter numbers figure to be more positive. Access to mortgage
capital remains an ongoing concern. As cash and investor deals fade, first-time
buyers typically step to the forefront, but tight credit can and has been a real hurdle.
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