South Carolina Home Sales Update: Spring 2023
The SC REALTORS recently dropped their update on the South Carolina housing market. The state saw across-the-board declines in home sales, putting the total April 2023 home sales down 23.4% year-over-year.
We’ve been reporting on similar trends nationwide, so it’s not exactly breaking news, but trust us, there’s still plenty to uncover in this fresh update. Here’s the latest update to see what’s happening in South Carolina real estate.
Significant Drop in Home Sales
April 2023 is the most recent data available for South Carolina. State totals declined from over 9,000 in April 2022 to 7,204 in April 2023.
In most regions examined in the REALTORS report, the percentage change in sales activity was down in every market area. The most significant downturn was in Greater Augusta and Greater Columbia, where the number of closed home sales declined 27.9% in both markets. The Charleston Trident was down 25.8%.
The Pee Dee region did have the lowest percentage of decrease, with 9.9%, followed by Greenwood at 12.4%.
Additionally, the REALTORS report looked at the most recent quarter rather than just the monthly numbers. A quarter includes three full months; the most recent quarter in the REALTORS data was Q1 2023. The data compared these numbers to Q1 from 2021, creating a more distant look at the housing market.
Quarterly numbers were even worse with the larger sample size, suggesting the market activity is significantly declining. The total number of residential homes, condos, and villas sold dropped 27.1%, from 26,311 total in 2021 to 19,176 in Q1 of 2023.
This dispels illusions that the April numbers are a blip in an overall market trend.
Median Prices Keep Rising
In contrast with the declining number of homes sold, the median price of the houses, condos, and villas sold rose in year-over-year and quarterly categories.
In April 2023, the median price of real estate sold was $322,980, up slightly from $315,000 in April 2022. This 2.5% increase contrasted with the year-over-year total sales dips.
Additionally, these numbers were fairly consistent throughout South Carolina. Only three regions (Central Carolina, Greenwood, and Piedmont Regional) saw the median prices decline. Median prices went up significantly in a few areas, like Cherokee County and Sumter/Clarendon County. In Sumter/Clarendon County, the median sales price grew almost 14% to $250,000.
In contrast to the monthly total homes median prices, the quarterly numbers had a significant mismatch. The numbers were far more optimistic for the median prices, as they increased 22% from Quarter 1 2021 to Quarter 1 2023, reaching $310,995 for the state.
With how much the economy feels like it’s been bouncing around in recent years, particularly during a tumultuous 2022 that saw inflation rise, perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising to see that the numbers were more drastic when comparing 2023 to 2021 quarterly.
Days On Market Increasing
The average days on the market until sale, or DOM (days on the market), looks at homes that were on sale and averages how long they had to sit around waiting until the sale took place. Statewide, the monthly average for April 2023 was 69 days.
As with the other data, SC REALTORS split the data into monthly and quarterly comparisons. Comparing April 2023 to April 2022 produced the biggest difference, as the average DOM increased by around 50%. In Spartanburg, the average DOM went from 14 to 45, a 221% increase. The Piedmont Region had the fewest DOM average at 35.
The increase was still present on the quarterly side, but it was more modest. The overall DOM went up 13.6% between Q1 2021 and Q1 2023. This hints at a significant dip in DOM in 2022 that could skew these stats.
Buyers Remain on Pause
Lower sales numbers, higher median prices, and higher DOM reflect a housing market in flux right now. If it were a weather pattern, it would be cloudy, especially for the home buyers.
Zooming out to a comparison with the first quarter of 2021 gives the changes some context and shows just how stark the differences have been in 2022 and 2023. We can attribute much of that to the unfavorable interest rate environment plaguing the housing market through 2023. The slowing sales pace indicates home buyers are more reluctant to take on a mortgage in this highest interest rate environment.