The Hilton Head area and Beaufort continue to lead the state in home, condo and villa sales.
Home sales in both areas increased by more than 24 percent in February compared to the same time last year -- a bigger jump than any other part of the state, according to numbers released Friday by S.C.
But home prices in both areas are still depressed.
The Hilton Head area, which includes nearby outlying areas, led the state last year in sales -- up nearly 22 percent to 3,305 homes. In the Beaufort area and some of its outlying areas, sales rose nearly 12 percent to 1,103.
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That trend continued in February, with 229 homes, condos and villas sold in the Hilton Head area -- 38 more than were sold in February 2012. The Beaufort area saw a 24.6 percent increase in sales, with 86 homes, condos and villas sold in February compared to 69 in February 2012.
Statewide, sales were up 16.1 percent for the 12-month period spanning March 2012 through February 2013, and the median sales price increased 1.4 percent to $150,000.
Hilton Head and Beaufort area home prices, though, are still low.
The Hilton Head area's median sales price was $228,000, down 4.2 percent compared to February 2012. In the Beaufort area, the median sales price was $162,750, down 7 percent from February 2012.
"The economy continues to grow at a snail's pace," the Realtor's association said in its news release. "Sequestration is more of a nuisance than a real threat to recovery; and there's significant pent-up demand from renters, first-timers, parental basement dwellers and investors to counteract it."
As a result, inventory levels continue to shrink and lower-priced homes in the $100,000 to $300,000 continue to sell well, with about 9.5 months supply for single-family homes and condos, down 23.5 percent compared to February 2012.
Check back with The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette for more to this story later today.