Looking to buy a condo in Downtown Charleston or Mount Pleasant? Know the market first.

For many a second-home buyer, or even first-time homebuyers and downsizers, condos or townhomes are great options considering they can be lower maintenance then single family homes and often they are less expensive. Let’s look at two very different markets – Downtown, and Mount Pleasant inside of the IOP Connector. In both, the median price of a condo/townhome is about HALF of what a home is ($587,000 versus $1,025,000 Downtown, and $247,000 versus $585,000 in Mount Pleasant.) Granted, there are a bunch of one bedroom condo sales bringing that median down, but that pricing is why this type of property can be a great first step into a market.

Let’s look at some market stats to help educate you about what you’ll encounter. Later, I’ll mention some of my favorite places in both areas!

Market Stats – Supply

Let’s look at Months of Inventory or Supply. 6 months is considered a balanced market. Downtown, it is VERY CLEAR that if you want to buy a condo now, you have your pick. We’ve got 14 months of inventory, a 56% increase over last year. If you want to live in Mount Pleasant, be prepared to battle it out with other buyers, as we have only 3 months of inventory there – a strong sellers market. Why the huge difference and the sudden spike in inventory Downtown?? I stand by my proposition that people were buying condos to use as Short-Term Rentals, and when the new ordinances went into effect in December 2018, they decided to sell their places rather than rent long term. In February of this year, we went from 10 months of inventory to 17, in just two months. Anyone have another explanation?

Market Stats – Closed Sales

If you look at the number of closed sales (each data point is 3 months of activity), we are actually UP 50% Downtown, and up 3% in Mount Pleasant compared to last year at this time.  That drop you see is typical for this time of year.  If you just look at September sales, we are off 22% Downtown, and up 21% in Mount Pleasant. I generally don’t pay attention to those single month numbers however, because they do not reveal an overall trend.

Market Stats – Sales Volume

And then just for fun – let’s look at Dollar Volume  – the total worth of all the sales – about $30,000,000 in both locations this year. If you look closely, these numbers tell you a story about new construction! The green Mount Pleasant spike in 2016 reflects the sales of the Tides Condominiums, and the blue Downtown spike at the end of 2018 reflects the sales at The Gadsden. So when the end of year numbers come out for Downtown, showing a massive drop in year over year volume, and number of sales, IGNORE the gloom and doom. We don’t have any other new condo buildings closing this year Downtown.

My Favorite Building – Downtown – Dockside

I’m a huge fan of Dockside Condominiums – that tall somewhat ugly white building you see right on the Charleston Harbor. It’s got amenities galore – and the views from almost every single residence are spectacular. Prices are still below other condos in town of similar square footage – partly because the interior common hallways hadn’t been updated. Well now they have so prices are going up. While you can still get a great one bedroom for $450,000 – there’s an unprecedented sales price about to happen for one of the corner spots. Priced at $2,650,000 – 12F&G is over $1100 per square foot, a near record on the Peninsula and it is under contract.  Check out this modern beauty with views to cry over.

Now that you’ve cried you can’t have that, here’s a link to a few others that ARE available and a photo of the building below.

Provided by Doug Berlinsky

My Favorite Building – Mount Pleasant – Simmons Pointe

Ok – this is not technically one building, rather it’s a complex with condos and small homes. My husband owned one of these at one point for his mother, who lived happily there until the end. And I can tell you why she was so happy. All of the condos on the water have extraordinary sunrise views across the marsh and intracoastal waterway to Sullivan’s Island.  There’s a community dock for fishing and gazing as well as great pool and clubhouse. And the location is marvelous! Just a 5-minute drive to Sullivan’s Island beaches, 20 minutes to Downtown, and lots of Mount Pleasant’s shopping and restaurants are just a golf cart ride away. My colleague Vannessa sold her house there this year, so I’m stealing one of her photos (thanks V!) to show you the view. And it doesn’t even come close to the real thing.

Photo cred Vannessa Carter

Simmons Pointe is so great there aren’t even any for sale there right now. But here are the ones that sold in the past year so you can see what I’m talking about! Prices start at about $550,000.

Shameless Self and Client Promotion

So if you are considering a move to Charleston, or just across it, let me know and I can certainly give you direction! I’ve sold scads of condos in all price ranges in my 10 year real estate career. I know the buildings, the amenities, what to look for in the Master Deed, how to research past and current lawsuits if any, and more. I also have my ear to the ground about new projects coming to market, before they are even announced.  Here’s a link to a post I wrote back in 2010 (updated since then) about all the condo buildings Downtown if you want to start getting some insight!

And of course I just had to take a moment to mention the great condos I personally have listed. You wouldn’t want to hire me if I didn’t right? 🙂

58-D Rutledge Ave

2BR | 1BA | 977 SQ FT | $459,000 – Beautiful historic condo overlooking Colonial Lake in Harleston Village

55-B Barre Street

3BR | 3BA | 2666 SQ FT | $1,845,000 – Brand new turn-key condo with a private garage in the enclave of Halsey Park

Harleston Gates

#202 and 204 – The last two residences available at this boutique building, completed next Spring! $1,875,000-$2,253,000.

58-D Rutledge Master Bedroom


One Response to “Looking to buy a condo in Downtown Charleston or Mount Pleasant? Know the market first.

  • Gary Odachowski
    5 years ago

    Great stuff as usual, Diane and I are contemplating a move back downtown. If you here of a two bedroom at Dockside let us know ! Thanks

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *