The Charleston Real Estate Market is consistently poor for sellers with inventories remaining 10,000 and days on market climbing, and sales to list price rations dropping. It’s not doom and gloom in Charleston like other parts of the country. Average sales prices are actually staying around $300,000 plus or minus $10,000 from one month to the next. What does this mean to sellers? Merchandising is everything, and as always, pick an agent that is going to be honest with you about price and listen to them. Pick the agent first based on your perceptions of their integrity and ability first, and leave price discussions for later.
What does this mean for people buying a home? This is only my opinion, but I think that prices are going to drop. They are not dropping as you would expect, but the days on market and sales to list price ratio trends indicate that prices should be dropping. What you don’t know is, are buyers using all of their purchasing power to buy more home, instead of using the current market conditions to save money. My experience working with buyers is that everyone wants a home that is more than they can spend, so given the opportunity, most people are going to try to get more home. What this could mean is that even though the average home price isn’t going down, that on a house to house basis, prices are dropping and it’s just not showing up on the market wide statistics. Again, I can’t prove this to be a certainty, but I think you can get a lot more home for your money now than a year ago.
This does sound self-serving of course, but a big problem right now for buyers is finding an agent that will tell them the truth about the market. The big agencies are all advertising, “Now is a great time to buy!” That is a mixed truth. Maybe it is depending on your situation and maybe it isn’t. I would say that if your career is moving you to Charleston right now, and you want to buy, you will probaby come out OK. Even when homes were appreciating at 10% plus, it was hard to get out of a home in less than two years.
There are many factors is such a complex decision. Talk to an agent you’re comfortable with and get the facts.