FILE - South Carolina home sales

In this Wednesday, April 20, 2016, file photo, real estate agent Lauren Newman (right) prepares to show a home for sale in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

(The Center Square) – Home sales across South Carolina slipped for the third consecutive month in September, according to South Carolina Relators (SCR).

Fear not, SCR President Morris Lyles said: “The market is still strong.”

“We are definitely starting to see the normal cycles of real estate coming into play,” Lyles said. “It’s also the time of year that it typically slows down because people don’t like to move their children around after school starts back in the fall.”

Residential sales across the Palmetto State declined by 5% last month after a 0.2% dip in August and a 10% plummet in July.

SCR said 9,323 homes across South Carolina were sold and bought in September at a median price of $282,000, up $29,000, or 11.4%, from September 2020, when more than 10,000 homes exchanged hands.

But that’s actually a $3,000 decline in median prices in one month. SCR’s report showed the statewide median home sales price increased by almost 13% in August to $285,000. In 2020, the median sales price was $252,000.

There were 9,670 homes sold across South Carolina in August, a 0.2% drop compared with August 2020, when 9,686 homes were sold.

Home sales across the state are up almost 15% for the year. The median price for a home in South Carolina is 14.5% higher this October than it was last at nearly $275,000, according to SCR.

Sales in the four-county Charleston area, accounted for 48% of all September sales statewide.

Nevertheless, sales were down nearly 10% from 2020 in the region compared with the previous year. Sales in the Myrtle Beach area dipped by 5%, but it remains South Carolina’s hottest real estate market.

Charleston’s median price of $340,000 in September was more than 13% higher than August prices. Homes in the Rock Hill area in suburban Charlotte increased by more than 10% to $330,000.

Hilton Head Island and Beaufort, two other coastal areas that have seen dramatic growth in recent years, saw homes sales taper since mid-summer for the first time in a decade.

September home sales in Hilton Head were down by 30%. Hilton Head continued to the lead the state with a median price of $394,000, up 1.3% in September over the same month last year. Sales in Beaufort declined by 17% in September.

Aiken had the biggest increase among coastal areas at 12% compared to this time last year, the report said.

Meanwhile, SCR maintains “inland metro areas of the state” saw brisk September sales; up 11% in Columbia and more than 3% in Greenville.

SCR said there is 16 months’ worth of inventory in South Carolina, down almost 42% from a year ago.

It’s a countrywide trend. The National Association of Realtors reported nationwide inventory increased slightly over the summer but is still down overall by almost 20%.