Daniel Island a Highlight Among Strong First Quarter Results for Charleston, SC Real Estate

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Across the Charleston region, sales volume is tracking 7% higher and the median price is 4% higher than it was at the end of the first quarter last year.

Charleston Real Estate - Daniel Island

Charleston Real Estate on Daniel Island

On Daniel Island we’re talking to an increasing number of people who are ready to make an immediate buying decision, and with inventories back to healthy levels and prices showing signs of increasing, people are finding that they have to act quickly.

The Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS has released its preliminary Charleston real estate sales results for March and the first quarter of 2012: Across the Charleston region, sales volume is tracking 7% higher and the median price is 4% higher than it was at this point last year. The report goes on to recognize Daniel Island, an award-winning master planned community located within the City of Charleston, as a “hotspot of market activity” within the area.

“Buyers appear to be ready to act once again,” said Julie Dombrowski, Communications Director for The Daniel Island Company. “On Daniel Island we’re talking to an increasing number of people who are ready to make an immediate buying decision, and with inventories back to healthy levels and prices showing signs of increasing, people are finding that they have to act quickly.”

“Sales activity (in Charleston) has been consistently increasing at a healthy and sustainable level for over a year now, and this is the busiest March we’ve seen since 2007—which makes for a very encouraging start to the spring buying season” said Herb Koger, 2012 President of the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS. “The warm weather has probably helped get buyers going a little earlier this year, along with the urgency being created by our declining inventory” he said.

Overall, inventory levels in Charleston are at their lowest point since 2007, with less than 6,500 active listings on the market. During the height of the boom in 2004 and 2005, the number of listings shrunk to about 4,000, and during the worst of the market (in 2008) the number of listings approached 10,000. This number has shown a steady declining trend ever since it peaked.

At the same time, market activity in Charleston has reached a five-year high. The Charleston market recorded more than 9,000 closed sales in 2011, an increase compared to the past several years when annual closed sales typically ranged from 7,500 to 8,500.

"Consumer confidence appears to be improving and income and unemployment numbers are stabilizing and even showing some signs of improvement," says Bart Jackson, a buyer representative with Charleston Preferred Properties. "Buyers no longer appear to be afraid of real estate."

While median sales prices for the overall Charleston market are still declining, many key submarkets are now showing increasing trends. Distressed properties (such as lender-owned properties and short sales) made up a significant portion of closed and pending sales over the last 6-9 months, and the median sales price for the Charleston area continues to be reflective of those lower priced properties. But as the number of distressed properties continues to decrease, the median prices will begin to increase in more areas throughout the region. And with the national spotlight shining brightly on Charleston in recent months - the city has recently received a deluge of accolades for its tourism, culinary and economic development endeavors - increased interest in Charleston real estate will continue to help drive Charleston's market stabilization.

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Julie Dombrowski
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