Charleston heads home prices statewide

The Post and Courier

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Median cost of area home above $200,000

Keeping up a trend, the greater Charleston housing market tops the state in prices and is also among the more active in construction.

The figures are supplied by John Burns Real Estate Consulting in its periodic Local Building Market Intelligence report.

photo

Photo by Leroy Burnell

The Charleston area has the highest midpoint home price in the state, according to a consulting firm’s recent findings. As an example of the healthy pricing, homes in upscale Coosaw Creek cost $275,000 to $1.3 million.

The midpoint price of a house in Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties is $217,452. That’s more than 30 percent higher than Myrtle Beach at $142,651, the next steepest of eight metro markets surveyed.

The most affordable city is Sumter with a median home price of $93,155. It also has the lowest volume of home-building activity with 368 permits issued.

The report looks at dozens of metro areas in all 50 states nationwide.

“We are often asked to make a call on how much further home prices have to correct,” says John Burns, chief executive. “We have spent a lot of time and dollars trying to perfect the formula to project prices, and so have others, and it just doesn’t work.”

According to Burns, accurate predictors are hard to model because so many factors go into housing prices. He citied the impact of loan modifications as just one example.

“Rolling up the data nationally, prices have corrected back to first quarter 2003, and our best guess is that they’ll end up near third quarter 2002 prices. However, look at the huge differences by market,” Burns says.

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