Wagener Terrace Hot – North Mount Pleasant Not

Every month I send out a newsletter that includes events, news articles and statistics on real estate in the Charleston Metro area.  As the year draws to a close,  I’ve noticed some trends that I thought worthy of discussion.  So check out the stats below and read my interpretation of them.  Let me know if you agree, disagree or have something you’d like to add.

November 2009 vs November 2010 year-to-date number of properties purchased (source of statistics: MLS)

Area Homes Condos/Townhomes
Downtown (below the Crosstown)
56.1% increase
5.2% increase
Downtown (above the Crosstown)
75.4% increase
16.7% decrease
Isle of Palms
40.0% increase
35.7% increase
Folly Beach
65.2% increase
100.0% increase
Mount Pleasant
31.6% increase
7.4% increase 



A couple interesting items to note:

1) The incredible increase in home sales Downtown above the Crosstown, including the neighborhoods of Wagener Terrace, North Central, Longborough, Lowndes Point, Hampton Park Terrace and the Westside.  Another 23 houses are currently under contract there.

2) When I look at the Mount Pleasant statistics I usually only report the numbers for the area south of Hwy 41. The area north of Hwy 41 which includes newer neighborhoods like Park West and Dunes West has only seen an 8% increase, less than the increase for Charleston County overall (16.4%) and significantly less than the areas I have been tracking. Note that for 2011, the MLS has changed the Mount Pleasant areas to be South and North of the IOP Connector (instead of Hwy 41)

So what does all this mean?  I’ll venture to postulate that these numbers point to the severe decline in demand for the exurbs (far out commuter suburbs) and the increase in demand for close-in neighborhoods.  Now that homes in these areas are more affordable than they were in 2006 – you don’t have to add on to your commute time just for an extra bedroom.

I’ll also go out on a limb here and say that “We’ve hit the bottom” for the area Downtown above the Crosstown.  Risky I know – but I don’t mind being proved wrong :).  The Spring of 2011 will tell the tale….

So if you are looking for a home now and are concerned about short-term value, my recommendation would be to limit your search to the close-in neighborhoods of Metro Charleston, until we see where the Great Recession will dump us.

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