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Homebuyers Favor Charleston; Market Heats Up as an Inbound Destination

Charleston is an increasingly desirable destination for homebuyers who are planning to acquire a new home. ATTOM Data documents that homebuyers are increasingly choosing Charleston. Their Q2 2017 Pre-Mover Housing Index signals Charleston as the 10th most preferred location. The data ATTOM have collected indicates that there were likely many sales of homes in Q2 preceding new purchases and relocation in Q3 to in-demand markets such as Charleston.

ATTOM’s index is created by using the markets with the highest pre-mover indices during the second quarter. These data were collected from purchase loan applications on residential real estate transactions. According to ATTOM Data, “Solutions Pre-Mover Housing Index is based on the ratio of homes with a “pre-mover” flag during a quarter to total homes in a given geography, indexed off the national average. An index above 100 is above the national average and indicates an above-average ratio of homes that will likely be sold in the next 30 to 90 days in a given market.” ATTOM reports that the Pre-Mover Index number for Charleston is 188.


Most desired cities for homebuyers in Q3

  1. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  2. Chicago
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Reno, Nev.
  5. Lexington, Ky.
  6. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
  7. Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.
  8. Lancaster, Penn.
  9. Jacksonville, Fla.
  10. Charleston, S.C.

What makes Charleston so appealing to home buyers?

Data collected by ATTOM show that Charleston has low unemployment which to the study authors indicate “a healthy mix of access to good jobs and relatively affordable housing.” Though a review of the reported data for Charleston County indicate that the Charleston market is fairly expensive with a reported 50.4% of wages required to purchase a median priced home. As documented by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, the median price of homes sold in the Charleston Market in July 2017 was $258,705.

Charleston Q2 2017 Pre-Mover Index

  • June 2017 unemployment rate: 3.5
  • Percentage Investment Homes: 3.6%
  • Percentage of Pre-Movers Closed in 30 Days: 61.7%
  • Percentage of Second Homes: 8.4%
  • Percentage Wages to Buy Median-Priced Home: 50.4%
  • Q2 2017 Pre-Mover Index (100 is Nat’l Avg):  177
  • YoY Percentage Change in Pre-Movers: -34%

While Charleston County is desirable, Berkeley County is affordable

Compare Charleston’s hot pre-mover index with that of Berkeley, which above the “hot” category with an index of 225, as noted by ATTOM

Berkeley County’s Q2 Pre-Mover Index

  • June 2017 unemployment rate: 3.8
  • Percentage Investment Homes: 2.4%
  • Percentage of Pre-Movers Closed in 30 Days: 63.1%
  • Percentage of Second Homes: 2.4%
  • Percentage Wages to Buy Median-Priced Home: 29.1%
  • Q2 2017 Pre-Mover Index (100 is Nat’l Avg):  225
  • YoY Percentage Change in Pre-Movers: -37%

Click to view the entire country with an interactive heat map of all data as reported by ATTOM.

Berkeley is active, but not nearly as desirable as Charleston County, though it’s percentage of pre-movers who closed on homes in Berkeley is greater. According to ATTOM, this indicates that the nearby county’s homes are perhaps not as affordable as the outlying county. We can discern this in the data with Charleston ranking at 50.4% of wages required to buy a median-priced home (which is $330,500 in Charleston County in July 2017) as compared to Berkeley County where only 29.1% of wages are required to afford a home. The median price of a home was $224,578 in Berkeley County in July 2017.


Begin your new home search now, to find the home you want

If Charleston County is on your radar as a desirable new home destination, you’re not alone. According to the news, perhaps 1 in 10 movers are also choosing the Charleston metro area as their new hometown community. And with market velocity being what it is, starting your search for a new home sooner rather than later is the best way to find what you desire.


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