Beaufort County home sales lead state in 2012, but prices still lag

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Beaufort County home sales lead state in 2012, but prices still lag

By GINA SMITH
gsmith@islandpacket.com
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013   |  412 Words  |  

The number of home sales in the Hilton Head area increased by more than 20 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year -- a bigger jump than any other part of the state, including the Beaufort area, where sales also were relatively strong.

But home prices in both areas are still depressed.

Those are the findings of the year-end report released Thursday by the S.C. Realtors. The report shows:

  • The Hilton Head area, which includes nearby outlying areas, led the state last year in sales -- up nearly 22 percent to 3,305 homes. In the Beaufort area and some of its outlying areas, sales rose nearly 12 percent to 1,103.
  • The Hilton Head area's median sales price was $226,055, down 28 percent compared to 2008. In the Beaufort area, the median sales price was $175,348, down 14 percent from 2008.
  • Statewide, there were 53,375 home sales, up nearly 13 percent from the previous year. The state's median sales price of $150,000 is down 6 percent from 2008.
  • It's proof of a slow and steady housing market recovery, according to Edward Dukes, agent with Lowcountry Real Estate in Beaufort.

    "That's the healthiest way for us to come out of it," Dukes said. "Things are definitely getting better each year -- (2012) finished a better year than it started, and 2011 was better than '10," he said.

    And although home prices are still low, Dukes notes that's true for all of the S.C. coast.

    "That's just the reality of being on the coast that was harder hit than the rest of the state," he said.

    In the Hilton Head area, lower-priced homes, in the $100,000 to $375,000 range, are selling well, with as little as six month's worth of inventory on the market, said Jean Beck, executive vice president of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors.

    "But when you start to get into the higher price-point and luxury homes, it's still 18 to 20 months of inventory there," said Beck, who is also optimistic about the new statistics.

    "We're feeling confident. We're seeing a lot of positive signs," she said.

    Related content

    1. Beaufort County gains momentum in home sales, Nov. 15, 2012
    2. Home sales up, prices down across Beaufort County, Sept. 25, 2012