Friday, February 15, 2013

Housing market off to strong start this year, report says

The Post and Courier
Tyrone Richardson
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Home sales were strong in the Charleston region in January, giving the local industry its best start in five years, according to a new sales figures released Monday.
Home sales were strong in the Charleston region in January, giving the local industry its best start in five years, according to a new sales figures released Monday.

County breakdown

Charleston County
363 homes sold at a median price of $228,726. Mt. Pleasant had 108 sales. Other areas of activity included North Charleston/Summerville outside Interstate 526, with 47 sales, and West Ashley outside I-526, with 37 sales.

Berkeley County
125 sales at a median price of $157,000. Much of the volume was in the areas bordered by U.S. Highway 17-A and College Park Road, as well as Goose Creek/Moncks Corner, bordered by U.S. Highway 52 and the Cooper River.

Dorchester County
123 sales at a median price of $146,000. The Summerville/Ridgeville and Summerville/Ladson areas were the most active, with 55 and 41 sales, respectively.

Source: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors said 634 homes were sold at a median price of $181,750 last month.

The association said it was the highest sales volume for the month since 2008, when 648 homes changed hands in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties.

The housing market is off to a strong start this year with sales volume up 16 percent and median price up 3 percent compared to 2012.

The report showed continued momentum from last year, which has been described as a turning point for the local housing market.

The association reported 10,588 homes changed hands in 2012, the most since 2007, when 12,921 homes were sold. The region’s median home price climbed to $190,145 last year, almost 5 percent higher than 2011. It remained about 9 percent off the 2007 figure of $207,850.

“As was the case in 2012, we expect to see nominal, but sustainable, growth in prices this year” said Owen Tyler, the association’s president, in a written statement. “2012 closed out with a 4.4 percent increase in median price, which is an excellent rate of growth in a recovering market. It’s all about sustainability”

Housing experts have said the combination of falling prices, low borrowing costs and the mending economy have driven home sales higher.

Monday’s housing report showed Charleston County continues to mark the highest volume of sales for the region.

Housing hotbed Mount Pleasant accounted for nearly 30 percent of the 363 homes sold in the county last month. Other strong areas include West Ashley and the North Charleston and Summerville areas.

The report also signaled strong sales for a traditionally slow month in terms of home sales.

Local real estate website reported January started off at the traditional slow pace in terms of homes under contract, but activity picked up later in the month.

The site hinted that strong sales should roll into February since 298 homes were under contract last week, the strongest single week of activity since 2010, when buyers clamored to take advantage of a federal tax credit.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Don't forget!

It's that time of year time.

While it's not necessarily worthy of a Hallmark card, tax time for homeowners has its benefits.

Homeownership allows for certain tax breaks that can make visiting your accountant a little more bearable.

For information on how these tax breaks apply to you and how to best utilize them we've collected a list of articles that we hope will be educational.

6 Tax Breaks Every Homeowner Should Know

Homeowner Tax Breaks

Deductions for Homeowners

What are some of your biggest questions about taxes for new homeowners?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tips for Hosting a Great Super Bowl Party!

We're down to the wire now with only two more days until the Super Bowl.

Whether you've been planning your get-together for weeks or just decided to invite over some friends, here are some tips to make your party a hit!

1. Plan for your guests:  Some will be there for the game, some for the commercials, and some for the chance to catch up with friends.  Have an area with seating available for those not interested in watching the game. This will make the talkers comfortable and keep the serious game watchers from getting upset.

2. Keep the food simple and portable. You'll want to have finger foods that can easily be eaten while sitting on the couch cheering on your favorite team.  Make plenty of space on coffee and end tables with coasters and napkins readily available.

3. Enjoy your own party. The Super Bowl is not a formal event. Keep your decorations low-key, the food easy, and the mood light. Ask friends to bring a dish or beverages. Don't get trapped in the kitchen!