YORK COUNTY — With a littering of new home communities coming to York County, there’s reason for developers to bank on the area.
The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association last week released 2013 home sale figures for its 18-county area. Listings, sales and sale prices increased area-wide, and sales were faster than in 2012.
“Though inventory is somewhat limited across the region and the new mortgage rules for lenders could hamper sales a bit,” said association president Joe Rempson, “the Charlotte market still provides more opportunities than challenges. Realtors are optimistic about the outlook for 2014.”
York County saw 4,556 new listings in 2013, up 19 percent from 2012. At this same time last year, there was a 1.3 percent bump in listings from 2012, while from 2010 to 2011, there was 13 percent drop.
Sales also showed continued growth in 2013. There were 2,958 sales in York County, up more than 25 percent from 2012. That increase follows a 30 percent uptick from 2011 to 2012 and a 7 percent lift from 2010 to 2011.
The average sales price of $214,809 is up 2.5 percent from 2012, and homes were on the market 8 percent to 12 percent fewer days in 2013 than the year before.
“We had a very, very busy month of December,” said Liz DePalma, Realtor with Rinehart Realty in Lake Wylie.
In Lake Wylie and southern Belmont, there were 1,058 new listings in 2013. That number is up 6.5 percent from 2012 and 18 percent from 2011. Sales increased more than 30 percent in 2013 from 2012. The average sales price dropped 1 percent to $334,076. Homes spent 4 percent to 12 percent less time on the market before selling.
Steele Creek and eastern Belmont saw even stronger results. There were more sales there (1,139) than total listings in the Lake Wylie area. The 1,549 listings in 2013 rose more than 30 percent from 2012 and sales increased 28 percent. The average sales price of $164,993 upped the 2012 figure by more than 11 percent, and homes spent 20 percent to 30 percent less time on the market.
Rinehart’s office in Lake Wylie added five new agents in the past six months to keep up with demand. Realtor Leigh Anne Cooper sees new construction in Shoppes at the Landing, Five Points area and other places as reaction to demand. Inventory is low in Lake Wylie and Fort Mill, she said.
“We do need the new construction,” Cooper said.
Realtors are seeing buyers in the $175,000 to $275,000 range. They’re seeing people who went bankrupt or foreclosed at the lowest point of recession, and who had to wait three years before re-entering the market.
“They’re all coming back,” Cooper said.
Joe Cronin, planning director for Fort Mill, said the 255 new single-family home permits issued by his town in 2013 outpaced larger municipalities like Columbia, Greenville, Rock Hill, Lexington and others, trailing only coastal areas like Mount Pleasant, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.
“This appears to have been the second busiest year on record, and only a dozen or so permits fewer than our peak year of 2007,” Cronin said.
Two Fort Mill project, Walden Park and Jones Branch, reached full buildout since this time last year. Springfield is almost there now, while Kimbrell Crossing and the Forest at Fort Mill have only a few dozen remaining lots. Massey remains active, too. Set into motion in 2013 were a host of other projects including Waterside on the Catawba (1,300 units), Riverchase (231), Pecan Ridge (200), Sutton Park (95), Springfield Meadows (87) and the Greens at Fort Mill (64 apartment units).
An annexation request for up to 650 more units will come to Town Council in February, and a spring opening of one Fort Mill Southern Bypass phase “will likely create development pressure along the entire corridor,” Cronin said.
“There are couple more projects in the pipeline, and things will continue to pick up as the new subdivisions come on line,” Cronin said. “2014 will be a very busy year.”
John Marks • 803-831-8166