The expiration of the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers still seems to be spurring activity in the Charleston market.  Pending sales were up 23.8% in August, which marked the largest increase in pending sales since 2005.

There are fewer new listings on the market, with 1,583 new listings in August, which is a 6.8% decrease from last August 2008.  This is great news, which means less housing inventory to absorb.

Prices are still in decline, showing a 5.2% drop from last August 2008.  However; this is a smaller decline than seen in prior months, indicating that prices may be a little stronger...slightly.

Here are some visual market stats for you, taken from the Charleston MLS:

New Listings for Charleston



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We are excited to announce that we have now added Virtual Tours to the functionality of our Charleston real estate website.  This means that if any Realtor in the Charleston MLS adds a virtual tour of any kind to their listing, our website will pull that data from the Charleston MLS and display the Virtual Tour for everyone to view.

So now you have one place to view all of the virtual tours, without having to go to other companies’ websites to view only their virtual tours.  You can see them all here- from every company, and every agent.

In the past, we have added Microsoft’s Birds Eye View and Google’s Street View, and now virtual tours.  We believe this will give you, the buyer, the best opportunity to view the home and surrounding area without actually…

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More pending properties, more keysGood news in a sluggish economy- Pending homes sales increase.  A NAR (National Association of Realtors) Pending Home Sales index reported more pending homes sales in July than in June.  The NAR index, making its sixth straight increase, showed an increase of 3.2% in July, the quickest climb since the group starting tracking the market 10 years ago.  This was up 12% from July's '08 level.  This reading has far exceeded forecasts of economists that were surveyed.  The first-time homebuyers tax credit is cited as the major reason for this trend.  The NAR index also shows that the West out-performed the Northeast and Midwest, jumping over 12% in July, and that the South also did well.

This increase was much better than the 1.5% increase economists were…

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bayview_farmsI haven't written about any of the neighborhoods in the Charleston, SC area so far on this blog, so I thought I'd tell you a little bit about Bayview Farms located on James Island.  This is one of the top neighborhoods in all of James Island, and for a number of good reasons.  First of all, the homes are of newer construction.  Having newer materials and great floor plans makes it a little more modern for the average buyer looking at something other than the typical 60's style brick ranch found on James Island.  They have open floor plans, high ceilings, more closet space, larger master bedrooms, and just seem to be more bright with many windows.

Homes for sale in Bayview Farms typically begin in the 250's, and can go up into the 400's.  There are two…

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dollarsignsDon't forget that the $8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit expires on December 1st, 2009!  This means that you will have to have closed on your property by that November 30th, NO EXCEPTIONS.  I would not wait until the last minute.  Closings are often delayed, and especially short sales (which I am hesitant to even recommend at this point- you may not have enough time) will be delayed.

Once again, here is a breakdown of the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit:

  1. You must be a first-time home buyer.  This means you must not have owned a principal residence within the last 3 years.  What if I've never purchased a home, but my wife has?  For married tax payers, both you and your spouse must be first-time homebuyers.  For those that are unmarried joint purchases

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