The October housing report released days ago by Charleston Trident Association of Realtors echoed what has been a gradual turnaround in residential real estate trends since October 2011: Sales are rising, inventories keep falling and the overall uptick in the median price hints that broader real estate values are starting to rise.
All great, right? Well, except the median price for October totaled $185,005, down 2.6 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
Local and national real estate experts tie the drop to a variety of factors: from a possible surge in short sales to some homeowners aggressive pricing to nudge buyers to ink a deal before the end of the year.
Nonetheless, it was hard to finding anyone panicking over the drop. National Association of Realtors spokesman Walter Molony called the month's data a "small pot of numbers and it's less important."
His sentiments were echoed by Doug Holmes, an agent with Carolina One Real Estate who analyzes sales market statistics for his website CharlestonRealEstateStats.com.
"It's too small a sample to worry about," Holmes said. "I'd rather look at the year as a whole."
Through October, the association tallies 8,794 homes changed hands at a median price of $187,597, up from 7,827 homes sold at a median price of $179,925 through October 2011.
Prices continue to be a major issue for homeowners across the nation, poised to see values rise since watching losses amid the housing meltdown.
Mount Pleasant's newly resurrected Carolina Park subdivision recently announced three model homes open for viewing. Six homes are under construction in the 1,700-acre development along U.S. Highway 17. New homes range from 1,800 to 3,100 square feet, and prices start in the low $300,000s. The much-ballyhooed project is moving forward after some hiccups stemming from the housing meltdown.
Ryland Homes is hoping to nudge some Charleston area buyers to the closing table before the year ends, offering in select developments a washer, dryer and refrigerator.
Buyers have to be under contract by Nov. 30 at eligible properties, which include Brickhope Plantation, Carolina Park, Charleston Oaks, Taylor Plantation, Victoria Pointe, Wellborn Village and Whitney Lake.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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