Bob Williams…, Real Estate Pro in Lexington, SC

I have been looking at Seabrook Island as a second home. Given the changes in the market recently, how have

Asked by Bob Williamson, Lexington, SC Sun Jan 20, 2008

Seabrook values held up? Any thoughts on how the new amenities that are being built will affect future pricing?

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Thanks for posting the question about Seabrook Island, Bob!

One of the major developments that is now occurring is the first phase of the Horizon Plan, a $31 million refurbishment project which includes a new community center with a 6000 square foot and lakeside pavilion, a new golf clubhouse and dining facilities, a new beach club, and a remodeled 22-acre equestrian center along with a renovated tennis complex. More information on this can be found in an article published in the Charleston Regional Business Journal

When asked a question on Trulia, I like to respond with specifics directly in the posting. This not only provides you with real estate details but other interested readers as well. As an Accredited Buyer Representative, I certainly would be happy to chat with you in more detail but I don’t think that should be a prerequisite to getting the information you are seeking.

So, how have market values held up on Seabrook, you asked. I have just completed a year-end analysis comparing median price, days on the market (DOM), list price to sales price (LP/SP), and inventory of homes. Here is what I found.

On Seabrook Island the median sales price of a single family home for 2007 was $749,000, which represents a 3.3% reduction from 2006. However, the Seabrook market has shown much more significant declines, notably in 2002 which witnessed a 15% decrease compared to the median sales price of the year before. 2007 recorded the fewest sales of homes (n=39) during the past eight years and a two-thirds drop from 2006 (n=104). The good news is that since 2000, property values on Seabrook Island, in terms of median sales prices of single family homes sold since 2000, have increased 42.7%. Further, successful sellers are waiting much less time (118 days) than those who sold between 2000 and 2004 where the DOM average was double (240 days). In short, 2007 saw substantially fewer island homes sold for a slightly lower price at about the same length of time than during 2006.

For single family homes the LP/SP ratio in 2007 was 92.2% compared to 95.7% in 2006 and 96.1% the year before. Below 95% is considered a “soft market.” These data, however, mask the magnitude of price drops in 2007 on Seabrook. The LP/SP ratio is based on the final listing price—many homes are reduced two or more times before a buyer is found. In order to more accurately assess the strength of the market it is important to compare the original listed price (OLP) compared to what is finally paid at closing. These data are not available through the MLS, but are compiled by Sears & Partners. During the last half of 2007, the LP/SP ratio for existing single family homes on Seabrook Island was 92.4%. But, comparing the sale price to the original list price yields a ratio of 88.9%. The average price reduction on a Seabrook home sold during the last six months was $132,745 (details for Seabrook and other areas can be found at Further, incentives such as the seller paying some or all of buyer’s closing costs or giving cash credit to the buyer for repairs are not reflected in the OLP/SP ratio.

Inventory of homes is another major factor contributing to the Seabrook market. Six months inventory represents a balanced market. At the height of the seller’s market, in 2005, the average for all single family homes on Seabrook was 6.2 months, the next year it was 8.8 months, and last year it was 31.8 months.

Given these sets of data, this is a terrific time to purchase a home on Seabrook. Values will very likely increase as the local and national markets equalize toward the end of 2008 and into 2009. Further, the new facilities brought through the Horizon Plan coupled to the continued influx of boomer retirees into the Charleston area, and the relative value of Seabrook compared to other high-end areas (e.g., Kiawah, Wild Dunes, Daniel Island) will mean that your move to purchase a home will be a wise investment. More detailed information about Seabrook Island and other Charleston market areas can be found on my website. Good house hunting!

James Sears, PhD, ABR
Sears & Partners
CSA Real Estate Services
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
The new amenities won't have near the affect on future pricing as will the coming PGA Championship in 2012.
Prices on both Kiawah and Seabrook Islands rose greatly after the Ryder Cup in 1991 and I can only forsee the the same happening after the 2012 PGA Championship.
So if you're going to buy; buy soon.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
Seabrook prices are holding strong compared to real estate on a national scale. Island real estate is unique in that there is a finite amount of land and a strong demand because of the close proximity to the beach. This basic principle of supply and demand drives prices upward. If you are looking for a second home which you would keep for a number of years then it would be a great investment for yourself.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 7, 2008
I think that values on Seabrook are maintaining. In a resale situation, you might not get as much today as you would have 3 years ago (I base this on the competition that you might be up against when selling). You should, however, get more than you paid for it. I am sure that you know that when looking to buy or sell real estate, you should look at the market locally and not nationally or even regionally. Nationally, the real estate market is definitely being challenged...locally, our market is still strong and vibrant.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
In comparison to any other beach community in the Charleston metro area, you will not find a better deal than Seabrook. Even taking into account the costs associated with being a property owner on Seabrook (club membership, POA assessments), there is still no other beach community in this area where you can buy a lot or a villa THAT close to the ocean for 200K. You cannot touch Folly, IOP or Sullivan's Island for even close to that. Couple this with the exclusivity of Seabrook, the commitment the island has to preserving its' natural beauty and all the amenities (soon to be top notch) and I feel that Seabrook is a great value. Seabrook has sunk a lot of money in recent years marketing the island and it continues to have a thriving vacation rental clientele. It's my belief that the Horizon Plan will only help property values as it will help Seabrook appeal to a much broader spectrum of buyers. Where in the past ,the amenities really focused on the retirement age owners, the new amenities around Palmetto Lake are very family friendly and are very appealing to younger families. Right now out there I think the best deals can be found in the lots under 300K (there are many really nice options) as well as a few units in the High Hammock Villas that are priced super competitively (circa late 2004/early 2005 prices). I've also seen some great prices come up on homes that need updating/remodeling if that is something you are willing to consider. If there is any additional insight I can provide please feel free to drop a line at
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
There is a reason Seabrook is now the cheapest place to buy real estate of all the sea islands in the Charleston area. This was not always the case. The market is speaking. I strongly suggest you do your research before buying there and consider the long term implications. Prices have basically been on a downward slide since 2006-2007, with no real signs of stopping even during the most recent recovery in the national real estate market. Number of sales per year has increased it is true, but prices keep going down. The Horizon Plan which instituted Mandatory membership in the club is actually suppressing not increasing demand for Seabrook Real Estate, and the steady decline in prices reflects that.
Flag Sat Dec 28, 2013
Dear Bob,

The real estate market is building strength quickly in the greater Charleston SC area.

Are you still interested in researching Seabrook Island?

If I can help please contact me.

Maureen Cody
The Keys To Charleston SC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
Hi Bob,

For the statistics on what the real estate market is doing in Charleston, check out the site below.…

This is the data provided by the Charleston MLS for the month of June for Seabrook and Kiawah. According to the data, home values have fallen slightly since last year. Since we are on the path to recovery, that means now is the best time to invest.

Kim Boulter
Healthy Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 26, 2011
With respect to condos/villas on Seabrook, this past quarter (Jan-March) was actually better in terms of number of sales and median sales price than in the same quarter of 2007. The median price in 1Q 08 was $399k compared to $345k. However, those properties which have sold (n=4 in this past quarter) were on the MLS market an average of 247 days compared to 163 in 1Q 07. Having said that, 2007 was not a good year compared to the year before: only half as many villas/condos were sold last year (taking twice as long) and the average monthly inventory was 32 months (compared to just 7 months of inventory in 2006). Nevertheless, the median sales price continued to climb in 2007 to $465k, compared to $393k the year before.

Looking at Seabrook Island as an investment in the long term, as I noted in my January posting below, is a “no brainer.” Even given the market’s downturn in 2007, the median sales price of a condo/villa has increased 105% since 2000.

And, Diana’s point about the time to buy is correct. Currently there are 116 villas/condos listed for sale on the MLS with a median price of $480k and average DOM of 206. However, I would suggest looking at condos/villas that have been on the market above this average, AND especially those which are now under foreclosure or subject to “short sale.” These properties are listed on my website (along with additional real estate sales data for Seabrook).

James Sears, PhD, ABR
Sears & Partners
CSA Real Estate Services
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
I know of a newly renovated 3 bedroom villa on the golf course and my Husband builds on Seabrook. Give me a call if you'd like some no pressure help Diana 843 270 6448 and view my Husbands web site. Prices have come down and ability to negotiate is strong. Construction prices have dropped too. Good Luck, Diana
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
Hi Bob,

Good question but it depends. The lower priced condos are showing some weakness. The new amenities will only help Seabrook. At the moment it's the time in the market. We have experienced great appreciation over the last few years and now the market is reacting to the runup. Long term Seabrook is a good buy.

I hope this helps.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 16, 2008
Hi Bob,

I would Love to send you my Market analysis on Seabrook Island. It should provide you with a complete picture of the Island. Please visit my website and register and I’ll either Email or UPS it to you Monday Morning. I think Seabrook is a wonderful place to have a second home. Have you looked on the other side of Charleston at Wild Dunes? It might be a good option for you as well (lots of amenities). I'll be happy to send you some good information on that area as well.

Have a Great day,
Dave Creaturo

Dave Creaturo
Creaturo & Associates
Century 21 Beachside
1113 Market Center Blvd
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2008
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