Here is the latest on Charleston housing. Does not look like a good time to buy.
---Area home sales continue to weaken
The Post and Courier
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Charleston region's home sales market continued to weaken last month in step with waning consumer confidence and rising unemployment.
Newly released figures from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors show that 363 homes sold during February, a slight drop compared to January, which is typically the slowest month of the year.
Last month, the sales total was down 43 percent compared to February 2008.
The median sales price was $183,180, down from about $200,000 a year ago but a slight increase from January. Inventories remained high, with 10,051 homes currently listed with the association's Multiple Listing Service.
At Carolina One Real Estate, the region's largest residential agency, local home sales have dropped to 1997 levels.
Patty Scarafile, Carolina One's chief executive officer, said February's numbers were affected by broader economic trends.
"This is reflective of the fourth quarter, when the country was reeling from the global economic crisis," she said.
The number of homes listed as "under contract" on Tuesday had risen in the previous 30 days to 277 from 239, but it was unclear whether the 16 percent increase came after the Feb. 17 tax credit announcement. National studies estimate first-time purchasers make up more than half of current buyers.
Other types of buyers also are in the market, though not in the numbers they were a few years ago.
Reach Katy Stech at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-5549.