In the days and weeks ahead, my goal is to tell you everything you need to know about the Beaufort real estate market, whether you are a first-time home-buyer, seasoned investor, or a real estate professional from another market trying to find out a lttle more about our robust little market.
I know this seems an ambitious goal, but it is my commitment to bring you this information, and I believe it to be doable.
A couple of qualifiers -- Please note that, for this particular blog, I am just focusing on the traditional areas of the Northern Beaufort County real estate market. With each passing year, areas South of the Broad River - namely Bluffton -- play a bigger role within the Beaufort County MLS. I'll be touching more on the role of Bluffton and Southern Beaufort County in the weeks ahead.
Secondly, if you are looking for information that you are not seeing in this first blog, sit tight, as there is much more to come. We're just getting our feet wet here.
If you are consumer or a real estate professional involved in the market in 2015, you don't need me to tell you the Beaufort real estate market -- like many markets around the country -- is hot. Properly priced homes sell quickly, and they sell for about 97 percent of asking price.
Before I begin the first of my annual series of blogs regarding the stats of the Beaufort real estate market, I wanted to touch for a moment on why statstics are important.
For instance,, it may be interesting to find out what the median sales price in the downtown Beaufort area was in 2015, but what value does this information have?
These numbers are important because statistics are knowledge. Statistics tell the story of where the Beaufort real estate market is going.
As a consumer, statistics tell you where you may want to focus your search.
For instance, in 2015, the median sales price in downtown Beaufort was $195,000, while the market-wide median sales price was $196,500. So, based on these numbers, downtown Beaufort is a place to pick up a bargain, right?
Not exactly. You see, the median home size sold in 2015 in downtown Beaufort was 1400 square foot, compared to 1754 square feet across the whole market, so the median cost per square foot in downtwn Beaufort was $142, about 17 percent HIGHER than the market-wide median of $118.
So, despite a lesser median sales price, downtown Beaufort is the most expensive non-resort (Fripp and Harbor Islands) segment of the greater Beaufort Real Estate market.
The reigning champion in terms of number residential unit sales is once again the sprawling community of Burton, where 317 homes sold at a median sales price of $196,000, just ahead of Lady's Island and it's 291 sales at a median of $230,000.
Just "over the bridge" from downtown Beaufort, Lady's Island is Beaufort's most populous and fastest-developing sea island. It's growing so fast, it is getting its very own Wal-Mart.
Port Royal, Beaufor'ts sister city, is next, with 136 sales, at a median sales price of $179,000. Port Royal is a neat, artsy little town at the confluence of the Beaufort River, Battery Creek and Port Royal Sound.
Port Royal is poised to change in a significant and positive way, as the 50-acre development tract at the edge of town is slated to be auctioned off for development later this year, after more than a decade of fruitless attempts to sell the property.
When the old port property sells, look out, because these 50 acres set on the deep waters of Battery Creek.
Mossy Oaks and downtown Beaufort were next, with 103 and 102 sales, respectively. Mossy Oaks had a median sales price of $155,000, while Beaufort had the aforementioned $195,000 median sales price.
The resort community of Fripp Island is next, with 71 sales, at a median sales price of $334,000, followed by Dataw Island, a golf community with 49 sales at a $299,000 median sales price.
The sea island community of St Helena Island had 60 home sales at a median sales price of $151,250.
Harbor Island rounds things out, with 25 sales at a median sales price of $215,000.
Fripp and Harbor Islands are Beaufort's two gated 'beach' communities, with some six miles of combined beachees between them.