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“Bidding wars” are being set off in some S.C. neighborhoods as the supply of homes shrinks and potential sellers hold off from listing their property, the trade group S.C. Realtors said in its monthly report released Wednesday. “The prickliest thorns in our collective side are still the lack of inventory and subdued listing activity,” the Columbia-based trade group said. “In some neighborhoods, consumers have 50% or 60% fewer options from which to choose than they did a few years ago. That’s causing bidding wars in popular areas.” Still, home sales are climbing. The number of homes sold in South Carolina climbed 22.3% in April, indicating the “spring market is here in full swing,” the group said. “The housing recovery varies by geography and market segment, but things are certainly better than they have been and are showing no signs of letting up,” S.C. Realtors said.
Thirteen of the state’s 15 housing markets that S.C. Realtors tracks posted double-digit increases for April. The largest percentage year-over-year sales increase in April — 95.8% — was reported in Cherokee County, where 47 homes were sold for the month. Sumter/Clarendon County posted a 59.1% year-over-year increase with 105 sales, followed by greater Pee Dee, up 49.5%, and Aiken, up 41.8%.
The April sales report for the state’s three major metro markets showed:
•Charleston trident: Sales up 20.1% to 1,011 units; median price up 11.8% to $203,800; and average days on the market down 30.1% to 85.
•Greater Columbia: Sales up 16.3% to 807 units; median price up 0.7% to $141,000; and average days on the market down 8.4% to 115.
•Greater Greenville: Sales up 30.8% to 807 units; median price up 7.8% to $152,000; and average days on the market down 15.7% to 91.
Year to date, sales are up 17.9% in Charleston to 3,444 units, while the median price has climbed 8.4% to $193,030, and average days on the market fell 6.9% to 88. For the first four months in Columbia, sales are up 20.6% to 2,617 units compared with a similar period in 2012. Meanwhile, the year-to-date median price slipped 0.1% to $138,900, and the average number of days on market dropped 3.4% to 117. In greater Greenville, year-to-date figures show sales are up 21.6% to 2,609 units; median price rose 5.4% to $147,900; and the average number of days decreased 10.8% to 99. For the state, S.C. Realtors reported a year-over-year increase for April in new listings, up 8.6% to 9,908 units. Pending sales were up 11.2% to 5,961 units and the median sales price rose 3.8% to $151,500. Meanwhile, inventory levels shrank 8.9% to 47,073 units — less than a 10-month supply. The number of days on the market slipped 16.1% to 121 days.