Home sales plummet in SC by double digits. Here’s where it’s worst and why buyers aren’t biting

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Home sales fell by double digits across most of South Carolina in June as rising costs took their toll on buyers.

Some housing industry experts say a spike in mortgage interest rates this year combined with ever more soaring home prices have caused a slowdown in the market.

According to the latest South Carolina Realtors statistics, the state had a 13.5% decline in June home sales year over year. Of the 16 housing markets in South Carolina, all but four had double digit drops in sales.

The Central Carolina housing market had the biggest decrease with 28.1% fewer homes sold in June compared to a year ago. The Greater Greenville housing market saw the smallest dip with a 4.5% decrease.

Bucking the trend, Aiken sold 6.9% more homes in June year over year.

But Aiken was an outlier for good reason.

The Federal Reserve in June approved the largest interest rate hike since 1994 to curb inflation, which had reached 8.6% in May. The combination of 30-year fixed mortgage rates approaching 6% and higher prices have reduced affordability and rapidly cooled demand, a South Carolina Realtors report states.

“With monthly mortgage payments up more than 50% compared to this time last year, the rising costs of homeownership have sidelined many prospective buyers,” South Carolina Realtors writes. “Nationally, the median sales price of existing homes recently exceeded $400,000 for the first time ever, a 15% increase from the same period a year ago.”

The median sales price in South Carolina hasn’t reached that high, but it has jumped significantly — 17.5% in June to an eye-watering $329,000.

“In time, price growth is expected to moderate as supply grows; for now, however, inventory remains low, and buyers are feeling the squeeze of higher prices all around,” South Carolina Realtors states.

Here is a list of home sales for every South Carolina housing market year over year in June.

  • Aiken: 332 (2021) | 355 (2022) | 6.9%

  • Beaufort: 332 (2021) | 277 (2022) | -16.6%

  • Central Carolina: 57 (2021) | 41 (2022) | -28.1%

  • Charleston Trident: 2,694 (2021) | 2,185 (2022) | -18.9%

  • Cherokee County: 48 (2021) | 41 (2022) | -14.6%

  • Coastal Carolinas: 2,161 (2021) | 1,715 (2022) | -20.6%

  • Greater Augusta: 1,127 (2021) | 977 (2022) | -13.3%

  • Greater Columbia: 1,661 (2021) | 1,436 (2022) | -13.5%

  • Greater Greenville: 1,772 (2021) | 1,692 (2022) | -4.5%

  • Greenwood: 125 (2021) | 117 (2022) | -6.4%

  • Hilton Head area: 708 (2021) | 593 (2022) | -16.2%

  • Pee Dee: 292 (2021) | 249 (2022) | -14.7%

  • Piedmont Regional: 883 (2021) | 787 (2022) | -10.9%

  • Spartanburg: 598 (2021) | 510 (2022) | -14.7%

  • Sumter/Clarendon County: 271 (2021) | 216 (2022) | -20.3%

  • Western Upstate: 634 (2021) | 635 (2022) | 0.2%