Last year was a record one for home sales in South Carolina, according to the state’s realtor association.
According to its annual report on the state housing market, the South Carolina Association of Realtors calculated more than 83,000 closed sales in the state. The mark was the highest number of closed sales on record.
“Our economists at the national level had indicated that we were going to experience a growth market,” CEO Nick Kremydas said. “The only hindering factors were potential inventory problems. And I think had we had better inventory, the numbers would have been even better.”
Kremydas said every market is unique.
“We’ve got to work on increasing our inventory otherwise, as long as the demand is there, the prices are going to continue to climb,” he said.
Prices also were up compared to last year at this time. The median sales price increased five percent to $189,250, according to the report.
“Sales price is directly correlated to the type of inventory that we’re experiencing across the state,” he said. “And it’s even more exaggerated in the high-growth coastal areas, the Upstate, Rock Hill, York County, the border county with North Carolina.”
Sellers got the price they asked for, as the original list price received at sale rose to 97 percent since last year. These numbers also reflect the nation as a whole, with the National Association of REALTORS® reported 2017 as the best year for existing home sales in eleven years.
Kremydas said some South Carolina communities are easing restrictions on development and building that could lead to an increase in available new inventory.
“In those communities that are working with developers and builders we’re starting to see an easing on permits for single-family construction but it’s still way behind normal levels,” he said. “If left uncorrected, South Carolina could experience a real housing crisis for the first time ever.”
Kremydas said based on U.S. Census figures, South Carolina’ s population growth is expected to continue. Factors such as increased jobs from economic expansion, retirees and the availability of natural resources increase the demand for homes in South Carolina.
“We’re still one of the top 10 destination states in the country,” he said. “All of those factors lead to more demand.”
With prices on the rise, the association of realtors expects 2018 to be a strong seller’s market.