Real estate prices dropped in July along the coast even though they rose statewide, according to data released this week from the South Carolina Realtors association.
The median price of homes and condos sold in Horry, Georgetown and southern Brunswick County, N.C., dropped 2.3 percent, to $136,750, in July compared to the same month last year, according to SCR. Statewide, the median price jumped 4 percent, to $156,000 in July compared to the same month in 2011.
Tom Maeser, a real estate analyst with the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors, said the area continues to see prices drop because the foreclosure rate is higher with investors -- who make up two-thirds of the market -- than it is with permanent homeowners. Prices are driven by foreclosures in the area and will continue to drop until the area gets rid of them and short sales, Maeser said.
About 30 percent of single-family home sales and about 34 percent of condo sales still are either foreclosures or short sales, Maeser said.
Radha Herring, the broker-in-charge of Watermark Real Estate Group, said the banks halt on foreclosures are also finally making way through the system, so until they make it all the way through the system, the area is going to see a slight decline in prices in some areas.
Even though prices have been dropping, real estate sales jumped in July along the coast for at least the third consecutive month.
The number of homes and condos sold in Horry, Georgetown and southern Brunswick County, N.C., rose 14.2 percent, to 723, in July compared to the same month last year, according to SCR.
Herring said the increased sales are a continue indication that buyers are taking advantage of an opportunistic market.
“Right now it is a buyer’s market and people realize the value of the market,” Maeser said. He said more properties have been selling in the $100,000 to $250,000 price range. “Even though the prices dropping is not good for sellers it is wonderful for buyers and we are seeing that in sales.”
The Hilton Head Island area had the biggest increase in sales, jumping 25.7 percent, to 279 homes, condos and villas sold, in July compared to the same month last year, according to SCR. Spartanburg jumped 25.1 percent in sales in July, the Southern Midlands and the Western Upstate both jumped 20.8 percent, according to the association.
Statewide, sales increased 13.4 percent, to 4,840 homes, condos and villas sold in July compared to the same month in 2011, according to SCR.
Contact JANELLE FROST at 443-2404.