Columbia SC Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 22, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

October 2017

Supply will dip for the remainder of the year, but there are some hopeful signs that we may see a bump in the new year. To say that more inventory will immediately impact housing markets is premature, especially if affordability continues to drop and prices continue to rise. For the 12-month period spanning November 2016 through October 2017, Pending Sales in the CMLS region were up 6.5 percent overall. The price range with the largest gain in sales was the $200,001 to $300,000 range, where they increased 10.6 percent.

The overall Median Sales Price was up 1.2 percent to $159,900. The property type with the largest price gain was the Single-Family Homes segment, where prices increased 2.1 percent to $164,900. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $100,001 to $150,000 range at 63 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $300,001 and Above range at 82 days.

Market-wide, inventory levels were up 13.9 percent. The property type that gained the most inventory was the Single-Family segment, where it increased 14.4 percent. That amounts to 3.8 months supply for Single-Family homes and 3.4 months supply for Condos.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Oct. 24, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

September 2017

Every market is unique, yet the national sentiment has given rise to the notion that
housing markets are stalling. Although desirous buyers are out on an increasing
number of showings, there remains a limited number of desirable listings. And
although mortgage rates have remained enticingly low, home prices have reached
unaffordable levels for many new entrants into the housing pool at exactly the same
time that established owners are proving to be less interested in moving.

New Listings were up 9.2 percent to 1,307. Pending Sales increased 4.5 percent to
999. Inventory grew 13.2 percent to 4,210 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 2.4 percent to $160,000. Days
on Market decreased 11.7 percent to 68 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
5.4 percent to 3.9 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

Last year at this time, the national storyline was about how high demand was
propping up sales and prices despite low inventory and months of supply. That has
actually continued to be a familiar refrain for many months in 2017 and now for the
past couple of years. But with the likes of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, different
employment outlooks, disparate incomes, varying new construction expectations
and potential housing policy shifts, regional differences are becoming more
prevalent and pronounced.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Sept. 29, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

August 2017

August tends to mark the waning of housing activity ahead of the school year. Not
all buyers and sellers have children, but there are enough parents that do not want
to uproot their children during the school year to historically create a natural market
cool down before any actual temperature change. Competition is expected to
remain fierce for available listings. Savvy sellers and buyers know that deals can be
made well into the school months, as household formations take on many shapes
and sizes.

New Listings were up 8.1 percent to 1,519. Pending Sales decreased 5.2 percent to
1,139, the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. Inventory grew 11.9
percent to 4,276 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 3.8 percent to $168,667. Days
on Market decreased 17.1 percent to 63 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
5.3 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

The prevailing trends lasted through summer. This was expected, since there have
not been any major changes in the economy that would affect housing. Factors
such as wage growth, unemployment and mortgage rates have all been stable.
Every locality has its unique challenges, but the whole of residential real estate is in
good shape. Recent manufacturing data is showing demand for housing
construction materials and supplies, which may help lift the ongoing low inventory
situation in 2018.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Aug. 18, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

July 2017

How long can the residential real estate market go on like this? We are about two
years into a national trend of dropping housing supply and increasing median sales
prices. There are some regional variations to the story, but the shift to a
predominantly seller's market is mostly complete. Multiple-offer situations over
asking price are commonplace in many communities, and good homes are routinely
off the market after a single day. It is evident that a favorable economy keeps hungry
buyers in the chase.

New Listings were up 17.8 percent to 1,554. Pending Sales increased 10.8 percent
to 1,212, the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Inventory grew 8.1
percent to 4,305 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 1.1 percent to $162,000. Days
on Market decreased 12.3 percent to 64 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 2.4 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

Although the unemployment rate remains unchanged at its favorable national 4.3
percent rate, wage growth has not been rising at the steady clip that would be
expected in an improving economy. Sales activity manages to keep churning along
despite looming shortages in new construction. Lower price ranges are starting to
feel the effects of the supply and demand gap, as first-time buyers scramble to get
offers in at an increasing pace.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

July 13, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

June 2017

There has been a general slowdown in sales across the country, and this cannot be
blamed on negative economic news. Unemployment remains low and wage growth,
though nothing to overly celebrate, has held steady or increased for several years in
a row. There is strong demand for home buying, emphasized by higher prices and
multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets. As has been the case for
month after month – and now year after year – low inventory is the primary culprit for
any sales malaise rather than lack of offers.

New Listings were up 14.9 percent to 1,678. Pending Sales increased 16.7 percent
to 1,336. Inventory grew 4.5 percent to 4,311 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 0.6 percent to $165,000. Days
on Market decreased 21.2 percent to 67 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 4.8 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

With job creation increasing and mortgage rates remaining low, the pull toward
homeownership is expected to continue. Yet housing starts have been drifting
lower, and some are beginning to worry that a more serious housing shortage could
be in the cards if new construction and building permit applications continue to
come in lower in year-over-year comparisons while demand remains high.
Homebuilder confidence suggests otherwise, so predictions of a gloomy future
should be curbed for the time being.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

June 23, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

May 2017

Home prices across the U.S. are reaching all-time highs, prompting worry over
another boom-and-bust scenario like we experienced roughly ten years ago. Yet, as
we glance across the state of residential real estate, what is clear compared to the
last extended run of price increases is that lending standards are now much stronger
than they were before. Incomes must be verified, a reasonable amount of money
must be paid toward the home prior to purchase and a more stringent loan approval
process is in place to prevent a repeat performance of the Great Recession.

New Listings were up 14.5 percent to 1,788. Pending Sales increased 12.7 percent
to 1,371. Inventory grew 4.9 percent to 4,357 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 0.1 percent to $163,850. Days
on Market decreased 14.8 percent to 69 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 4.7 percent to 4.1 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

In addition to a stronger base upon which to conduct real estate transactions, the
overall economy is in better shape than it was a decade ago. More jobs are
available, unemployment is relatively low and workers have more faith in their wages
and the potential for wage increases. Although we continue to battle an inventory
shortage in much of the country, optimism remains high for a successful summer for
buying and selling homes.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

May 19, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

April 2017

The employment landscape and wages have both improved over the last few years,
allowing for more people to participate in the home-buying process. When the
economy is in good working order, as it is now, it creates opportunities in residential
real estate, and right now is a potentially lucrative time to sell a home. Houses that
show well and are priced correctly have been selling quickly, often at higher prices
than asking.

New Listings were up 9.0 percent to 1,610. Pending Sales decreased 2.9 percent to
1,192. Inventory grew 4.6 percent to 4,304 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 2.2 percent to $158,975. Days
on Market decreased 23.0 percent to 67 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 4.7 percent to 4.1 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

Although there is a mounting amount of buyer competition during the annual spring
market cycle, buyer demand has not abated, nor is it expected to in the immediate
future unless something unpredictable occurs. While strong demand is generally
considered a good problem to have, it creates an affordability issue for some
buyers, especially first-time buyers. And yet, prices will continue to rise amidst
strong demand.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

April 26, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

March 2017

We can comfortably consider the first quarter to have been a good start for
residential real estate in 2017. There was certainly plenty to worry over when the
year began. Aside from new national leadership in Washington, DC, and the policy
shifts that can occur during such transitions, there was also the matter of
continuous low housing supply, steadily rising mortgage rates and ever-increasing
home prices. Nevertheless, sales have held their own in year-over-year comparisons
and should improve during the busiest months of the real estate sales cycle.

New Listings were up 18.0 percent to 1,881. Pending Sales increased 16.6 percent
to 1,402. Inventory grew 1.2 percent to 4,234 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 1.6 percent to $157,500. Days
on Market decreased 12.6 percent to 83 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 9.1 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

The U.S. economy has improved for several quarters in a row, which has helped
wage growth and retail consumption increase in year-over-year comparisons.
Couple that with an unemployment rate that has been holding steady or dropping
both nationally and in many localities, and consumer confidence is on the rise. As
the economy improves, home sales tend to go up. It isn't much more complex than
that right now. Rising mortgage rates could slow growth eventually, but rate
increases should be thought of as little more than a byproduct of a stronger
economy and stronger demand.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

March 20, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

February 2017

The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market,
higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing
prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability
crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the
market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the
country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely
remained strong this month.


New Listings were up 20.3 percent to 1,511. Pending Sales increased 16.0 percent
to 1,096. Inventory grew 2.1 percent to 4,190 units.


Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 2.8 percent to $154,250. Days
on Market decreased 14.3 percent to 84 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 7.0 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.


Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic
about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher
paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won't matter for potential
buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue
their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market.
The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of
homes to choose from when they become buyers.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Feb. 27, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

January 2017

 

January brings out a rejuvenated crop of buyers with a renewed enthusiasm in a
new calendar year. Sales totals may still inevitably start slow in the first half of the
year due to ongoing inventory concerns. Continued declines in the number of homes
available for sale may push out potential buyers who simply cannot compete for
homes selling at higher price points in a low number of days, especially if mortgage
rates continue to increase.


New Listings were up 15.0 percent to 1,395. Pending Sales increased 26.1 percent
to 1,030. Inventory grew 3.3 percent to 4,198 units.


Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 1.3 percent to $151,475. Days
on Market decreased 3.3 percent to 89 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down
7.0 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.


In case you missed it, we have a new U.S. president. In his first hour in office, the
.25 percentage point rate cut for loans backed by the Federal Housing
Administration (FHA) was removed, setting the table for what should be an
interesting presidential term for real estate policy. FHA loans tend to be a favorable
option for those with limited financial resources. On a brighter note, wages are on
the uptick for many Americans, while unemployment rates have remained stable and
relatively unchanged for several months. The system is ripe for more home
purchasing if there are more homes available to sell.

Information courtesy of CMLS*