August 15, 2014

July housing remains weak in Columbia; SC markets largely flat

Whether it’s a temporary stall or something that will take longer to work out, such as a wage increase, the housing market remains anemic compared to 2013, a breakout year.


Home sales in the Midlands have fallen every month in 2014. July’s 0.2 percent drop was no exception to that downward trend. Sales slipped to 938 from 940 a year ago. At this point last year, closed sales were ripping the rugs, up almost 27 percent for the year, compared to 2012.


While sales were down in July, prices for homes in the Columbia area rose by 2 percent. The median price point for all sales last month climbed to $153,043 from $150,000 a year ago. Median home prices in the Midlands have risen five of the seven months in 2014, and 8 out of 10 months going back to October 2013, giving sellers an edge.


Would-be sellers know a good thing when they hear about one, apparently. Like in June, more area sellers sought to put skin in the housing game in July, offering up 1,583 units for buyer consideration, a full 6 percent increase over listings a year ago. Listings in July 2013 were up 10 percent over listings in July 2012, and for this year, listings are up 6.4 percent since January.


Pending sales looked even better last month. Contracts were signed on 983 houses in July, compared to 907 houses in July 2013. That’s not as dramatic as last year’s increase. Shaking the doldrums of the Great Recession, pending sales in July 2013 – where a contract had been signed on a house but the deal had not yet been closed – were up 26.9 percent over July 2012.

9.7 months

The supply of inventory stayed exactly where it was a year ago at 9.7 months, taking a hiatus from at least 12 straight months of inventory depletion dating back to August 2013. A six- month supply of inventory is considered by experts to be just right. Two years ago, the months’ supply of inventory was right at 14 months.

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