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South Carolina Home Prices Show Modest Gain in 2011

The South Carolina real estate market, like those in the rest of the country, has been hurting since the start of the recession. Home prices have fallen significantly - a boon for buyers, but a burden for people who want to sell their residential real estate.

New data shows the market may be back on the upswing. Statewide, home prices were 3.6 percent higher in November 2011 than they were the year before, excluding distressed sales. In Charleston, the increase was more modest - just 0.6 percent.

Still, distressed home sales are preventing the market from fully recovering. When distressed sales are included, the statewide home price increase was only 1 percent.

The housing picture isn't entirely rosy, though. Charleston-area foreclosures went up .94 percent over the last year, bringing the area's overall foreclosure rate to 4.04 percent. The Charleston area is still doing better than the state as a whole - nearly 7 percent of South Carolina mortgages are in foreclosure.

State Doing Better than U.S. as a Whole

The South Carolina residential real estate market is doing better than most of the country.

South Carolina had the second-largest increase in home prices last year, bested only by Maine, which saw a 4.9 percent bump.

Nationwide, home prices fell in 2011. Again, the decrease can be largely attributed to the uptick in foreclosures and short sales.

Although prices are increasing faster in South Carolina than in the rest of the nation, the state still has a higher than average share of foreclosures. Statewide, 6.58 percent of homes are in foreclosure as compared with 3.51 percent in the United States as a whole.

Potential home buyers may do well to get in the market while home prices are still low. If you are thinking of buying a home in South Carolina, make sure you are represented by an experienced residential real estate attorney who can protect your interests during closing.

Source: The Post and Courier, "Housing Prices, Foreclosure Rates Both Rise in Charleston Area," Jan. 14, 2012.

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