Property sales jumped in June along the coast and statewide, but prices continued to fall, largely due to the continuing foreclosure problem, according to a local real estate analyst.
The number of homes and condos sold in Horry, Georgetown and southern Brunswick County, N.C., rose 3.8 percent, to 789, in June compared to the same month last year, according to data released Tuesday from the South Carolina Realtors association.
Statewide, real estate sales jumped 5 percent, to 5,081 homes, condos and villas sold, in June compared to the same month last year, according to SCR.
A more detailed report for the Grand Strand will be released sometime next week.
“The smart investor is going to purchase now and find money for it,” because prices are so good, said Tom Maeser, a real estate analyst with the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors.
If the area continues to have increased sales through the summer, despite “spotty” months in sales this year, then the market would be more stabilized, Maeser has said.
The Hilton Head area had the biggest increase in sales, jumping 60.9 percent, to 346 homes, condos and villas sold, in June compared to the same month last year, according to SCR. North Augusta jumped 19 percent in sales in June, Charleston Trident jumped 10.3 percent, and Greater Greenville jumped 9.9 percent, according to the association.
Even though sales rose, real estate prices dropped along the coast.
The median price of a home or condo sold along the Grand Strand and in southern Brunswick fell 6.7 percent, to $140,000, in June compared to the same month last year, according to SCR.
Maeser said prices are driven by foreclosures in the area and will continue to drop until the area gets rid of them and short sales. Banks have released some of the foreclosures they were holding back, which area Realtors said is, in part, probably the reason why the foreclosure filing rate in Horry County has jumped.
The western Upstate had a more significant decline in price, dropping 9.5 percent, to $133,000, in June compared to June 2011, according to the association.
Statewide, the median price increased 1.9 percent, to $158,000 in June compared to the same month last year, according to SCR.
Contact JANELLE FROST at 443-2404.