The Summerville real estate market has seen a surge in demand from home buyers in the past few years. During this time, the areas closest to downtown Charleston and the beaches (such as James Island, Mt. Pleasant, and West Ashley) saw such a high rate of appreciation that the areas quickly became unaffordable to most home buyers.
Summerville has attracted home buyers for decades because of its charm and small town feel. However, it has only been in the past few years that the Summerville market has reached a new height. New neighborhoods (and new commercial construction to supplement the increase of new residents) have popped up all over the Summerville area. However, affordability relative to the other Charleston areas has remained quite constant.
In looking at the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) statistics for the first quarter of the year, you can see more objectively a trend that was already apparent: Summerville is an ideal real estate market for buyers in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range.
From January 1 to May 31 of 2009, 751 homes were sold in Dorchester County. The average days on market for homes that sold were 94. In other words, the average home that sold only took 94 days to go under contract. Additionally, the absorption rate is 12 months. This means that if no more homes were to be listed for sale, it would take 12 months at the current rate in order to sell the inventory of homes that are on the market right now. Compared to other markets around the country (and even some of the city markets within the Charleston Metro area), these numbers are showing Summerville to be a relatively strong market right now. These stats help to see the bigger picture for Summerville’s real estate market.
Narrowing in the view a bit, we can also see from the MLS stats that 508 of the 751 homes were priced under $200,000. That is about 68 percent of homes sold. In the $200,000 to $300,000 price range, 179 homes sold (which is about 24 percent of the total homes that were sold).
So, what does that leave? In the $300,000 plus price range, there were only 64 homes sold (about 8 percent). And, in fact, nothing over $700,000 sold in the Summerville area, even though there were about 35 homes listed in this price range.
What can these stats tell us about resale value? The homes that are in demand are the ones that are most affordable. In many years from now, as prices steadily appreciate, who knows what the average home price in Summerville will be. However, the numbers tell us that for now, buyers choose Summerville for its affordability. If you’re in the market to buy Summerville real estate right now, it would be best to look in the under $300,000 price range. If you’re wanting to spend more, look in other areas that can support your new home purchase (such as James Island or Mt. Pleasant).