Report: Charleston a Top 10 housing market to watch based on website search

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New homes line the streets in the growing Nexton neighborhood near Summerville in Berkeley County. Leroy Burnell/Staff

The Big Apple may be taking a bite out of Charleston.

A real estate website says residents of New York City are looking for a refuge away from high home prices and they are searching Charleston more than anywhere else.

Realtor.com says the price of housing there and in other major metropolitan areas across the nation is driving searches beyond their suburbs, which it says have become unaffordable as well.

Apparently, Charleston’s home prices, though among the highest in South Carolina, are a bargain for people in New York.

The median list price in Charleston is $364,000 while the median list price in New York City is $474,000, according to realtor.com.

Because of the website searches, Charleston landed No. 7 on a list of the top 10 housing markets to watch. Spokane, Wash., took the top spot.

The report cited Charleston’s strong job market and higher housing availability as other reasons for the ranking.

The website ranked areas with the highest ratio of inbound searches compared to outbound searches. Realtor.com says it captures home-search activity early in the buying cycle and acts as a good predictor of eventual sales activity.

“Buyers have traditionally sought refuge in the suburbs during times of high home prices,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com. “But with today’s record highs, even the suburbs have gotten pricey, which has demand flooding outward as options disappear and prices move further out of reach in top job hubs.”

Though a lack of available housing stock continues to plague the Charleston market and the rest of the nation, realtor.com said the percentage of homes available for sale in the top 10 markets on its list is higher than those of the top 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Charleston has 1.8 percent of inventory available, compared to 0.8 percent in New York, according to the report.

Other cities on the list, in descending order, include: Portland, Maine; Knoxville, Tenn.; Deltona, Fla.; Boise, Idaho; Jacksonville, Fla.; North Port, Fla.; Bakersfield, Calif., and Chattanooga, Tenn.

FrontDoor Communities builds several homes throughout the Charleston region, including this house in the Mixson neighborhood of North Charleston. The Atlanta-based company has been sold to Stanley Martin Communities of Virginia. File/Jim Parker/Staff
Changing names

A home builder with a presence in Charleston and Atlanta over the past six years is changing its name after being acquired by a Virginia real estate company.

FrontDoor Communities will become Stanley Martin Homes after the Reston, Va.-based business acquired FrontDoor’s home-building assets recently.

The new owner announced in December it planned to buy FrontDoor, but the company did not say if the FrontDoor brand would remain as an affiliate.

Stanley Martin acquired more than 1,300 home sites and more than 150 houses under construction, expanding its presence across the Southeast.

Founded in 1966, Stanley Martin’s previous turf included Richmond and Charlottesville in Virginia, Raleigh and the metro Washington, D.C. area. The company’s mortgage subsidiary, First Heritage Mortgage, will also expand to Charleston and Atlanta. The location was not announced.

Wellmore on Daniel Island is the Charleston region’s newest retirement community. Provided
Retirement living

A new luxury retirement community in Charleston will celebrate its launch this week.

Wellmore of Daniel Island will hold its grand opening and ribbon-cutting 3:30-6 p.m. Thursday.

The 216-unit development with 312 beds at 722 Island Park Drive is a third for the Wellmore brand in South Carolina. Others are in Tega Cay and Lexington.

The facility offers assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing services and short-term rehabilitation.

A new park and boat slip is part of Riverview at Dunes West, a new housing developing near the Wando River in Mount Pleasant. Provided/John Wieland Homes
On the waterfront

A new Mount Pleasant development is launching a waterfront amenity.

Riverview at Dunes West, being developed by John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, has opened a boat slip along with a playground and picnic area on the banks of the Wando River.

By this summer, 10 daily boats slips, available on a first-come basis, will be completed.

New housing lots also have been released for sale, and an additional phase with new floor plans is in the works for the gated community.

The first Riverview phase includes 33 home sites, some with water views, with plans priced from $500,000 to more than $1 million. When completed, the development will have 116 single-family homes and 23 townhomes.

Home buyers currently can choose from 10 floor plans, ranging in size from 2,400 square feet to more than 4,300 square feet. The sales center is at 2305 Braided Lane.

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