Columbia SC Real Estate and Community News

Sept. 22, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

August 2020

The housing and stock markets continue to be the leaders in the economy. In
August, showings and pending sales remained at strong levels while housing
inventory remained limited, continuing the competitive bidding market we have seen
in recent months. With the stock indexes at or near record highs as mortgage rates
remain near record lows, signs point to a busy fall housing market.

New Listings were down 1.7 percent to 1,482. Pending Sales increased 26.7 percent
to 1,565. Inventory shrank 36.7 percent to 1,852 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 10.8 percent to $204,990. Days
on Market decreased 8.0 percent to 46 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down
40.0 percent to 1.5 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

As we look towards the fall, we normally see housing activity begin to slow a bit as
the back-to-school season begins, but this year is far from normal. While uncertainty
remains on what effects the upcoming elections and any seasonal resurgence of
COVID-19 may have on the financial and housing markets, the healthy housing
demand we see today will create significant tailwinds in the near term.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Aug. 20, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

July 2020

Healthy buyer demand and constrained supply continue to be the story for much of
the country. Nationally, showing activity in July remained substantially higher than a
year before and multiple offer situations are a frequent experience in many markets.
With the inventory of homes for sale still constrained, a competitive market for
buyers shows little sign of waning.

New Listings were down 2.3 percent to 1,611. Pending Sales increased 18.5 percent
to 1,617. Inventory shrank 31.4 percent to 2,009 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 11.4 percent to $208,300. Days
on Market decreased 4.1 percent to 47 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down
32.0 percent to 1.7 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

While the number of unemployment insurance weekly initial claims have been far
lower in recent weeks than their peak in March and April, more than 1 million new
claims are still being filed each week and more 31 million were claiming benefits in
all programs as of early July, compared to fewer than 2 million in July 2019. Despite
this significant economic impact, home buyers remain extremely resilient. With
mortgage rates remaining near record-low levels and home purchase mortgage
applications up from a year ago, high buyer activity is expected to continue into the
late summer and early fall market.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

July 24, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

June 2020

While much of the country was working on a phased reopening of the economy in
June, real estate activity continued to strengthen as well. Nationally, June showing
activity as tracked by ShowingTime was up notably from the COVID-19 depressed
levels in recent months but was also up from June 2019, reflecting pent-up demand
by prospective home buyers.

New Listings were down 1.0 percent to 1,533. Pending Sales increased 20.8 percent
to 1,622. Inventory shrank 27.6 percent to 2,098 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 5.8 percent to $200,000. Days
on Market held steady at 52. Months Supply of Inventory was down 32.0 percent to
1.7 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

While buyer activity continues to be robust, seller activity continues to be a bit
softer, with fewer homes being listed for sale than a year ago. Many housing experts
believe sellers remain reluctant to list their homes due to continued concerns over
COVID-19, which was beginning to see a resurgence in June. Until sellers regain
confidence, housing inventory will continue to be constrained during what is
expected to be an active summer selling season.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

June 23, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

May 2020

While the effects of COVID-19 in the broader economy continue, real estate activity
is beginning to recover across much of the country. According to Freddie Mac,
mortgage rates have been below 3.3 percent for more than four weeks and are
hovering near all-time lows, spurring strong interest by buyers and lifting showing
activity up 4% nationally versus a year ago in the final week of May.

New Listings were down 16.2 percent to 1,459. Pending Sales increased 13.1
percent to 1,632. Inventory shrank 20.3 percent to 2,350 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 6.4 percent to $200,000. Days
on Market decreased 7.7 percent to 48 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 23.1 percent to 2.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

Buyers have been quicker to return to the housing market in force than sellers,
who have been showing a bit more reluctance to list their homes than is typical for
this time of year. But trends are improving and as states and localities continue to
moderate their COVID-19 policies, real estate activity is expected to continue to
improve in the coming weeks.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

May 20, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

April 2020

While the stock market recovered significantly in March, the effects of COVID-19 to
the economy continues to build. In just the last four weeks, more than 20 million
people filed initial unemployment claims according to the United States Department
of Labor, fueled by stay-at-home orders and a slowdown of economic activity across
the country. Added to the unemployment claims from March, more than 30 million
people have become unemployed since COVID-19 has become widespread in the
U.S. In the face of these challenging times, real estate activity in April slowed
significantly.

New Listings were down 18.8 percent to 1,287. Pending Sales decreased 6.6
percent to 1,292. Inventory shrank 4.4 percent to 2,702 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 6.1 percent to $188,900. Days
on Market decreased 15.0 percent to 51 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 8.0 percent to 2.3 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

While the effect of COVID-19 continues to vary widely across the country, it is
expected that social distancing, higher unemployment, and lower overall economic
activity is likely to continue to constrain real estate activity in the near term. At the
same time, the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting
business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers
and sellers with their housing needs in the face of these challenges.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

April 22, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

March 2020

As COVID-19’s impact spread across the country in March, the stock market
declines started in February accelerated downward before recovering a bit in the
last week of the month. With volatility across all the financial markets, lenders began
tightening underwriting standards and some buyers found they no longer were
approved for a loan. Massive layoffs also shook the economy with 3.28 million initial
jobless claims filed in a single week—the highest in history more than four times
over.

New Listings were up 16.0 percent to 1,843. Pending Sales increased 4.8 percent to
1,454. Inventory shrank 0.5 percent to 2,819 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 9.8 percent to $189,900. Days
on Market held steady at 59 Months Supply of Inventory was down 8.0 percent to
2.3 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

While the effect of COVID-19 is varied throughout the country, we are likely to see
impacts to housing activity now and into the coming months. Its continued spread is
leading many companies and consumers to change their daily activities.
ShowingTime is closely monitoring the situation and releasing daily updates on
changes in showing activity. See national and state showing activity trends at
Impact of Coronavirus.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

March 13, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

February 2020

As we progressed through February, the actual and expected impacts of COVID-19
continued to grow, with concerns of economic impact reaching the stock market in
the last week of the month. As the stock market declined, so did mortgage rates,
offering a bad news-good news situation. While short term declines in the stock
market can sting, borrowers who lock in today’s low rates will benefit significantly in
the long term.

New Listings were up 1.0 percent to 1,288. Pending Sales increased 30.0 percent to
1,366, the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Inventory shrank 3.1
percent to 2,780 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 2.5 percent to $182,500. Days
on Market increased 4.8 percent to 65 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down
8.0 percent to 2.3 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

The recently released January ShowingTime Showing Index® saw a 20.2 percent
year-over-year increase in showing traffic nationwide. All regions of the country
were up double digits from the year before, with the Midwest Region up 15.7
percent and the West Region up 34.1 percent. As showing activity is a leading
indicator for future home sales, the 2020 housing market is off to a strong start,
though it will be important to watch the spread of COVID-19 and its potential
impacts to the overall economy in the coming months.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Feb. 21, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

January 2020

For 2020, The National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun
sees good news for home prices. “National median home price growth is in no
danger of falling due to inventory shortages and will rise by 4%,” the long-term NAR
economist predicts. He is also expecting the new-home construction market sales
to increase 10%. Yun and others would like to see home builders bring more
affordable units to market to help ease shortages and slow price gains in that
segment.

New Listings were up 1.8 percent to 1,477. Pending Sales increased 17.4 percent to
1,208, the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Inventory grew 5.5
percent to 3,009 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 4.2 percent to $172,000. Days
on Market held steady at 63. Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 2.5,
indicating a stabilizing supply-demand balance.

We start off the year with continued low-interest rates, low unemployment, and rising
rents nationally. These factors should encourage healthy buyer demand and sets us
up for a strong start to the 2020 housing market and a lot of optimism for the
coming spring market.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

 

Feb. 13, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

December 2019

In 2019 home prices were up again in most markets. Buyer demand continues to be
strong but with tepid seller activity still in many locations, total sales are lower than
they would normally be in a more balanced market. While up from their recent lows
a few months ago, mortgage rates end the year close to three-quarters of a percent
lower than a year ago, helping to improve affordability and offset rising home prices.

New Listings were up 17.6 percent to 915. Pending Sales increased 19.5 percent to
876. Inventory grew 9.2 percent to 2,991 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 7.6 percent to $189,900. Days
on Market decreased 6.6 percent to 57 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
4.2 percent to 2.5 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

With low mortgage rates, low unemployment, and continued wage growth, home
buyer activity is expected to remain healthy into the new year. New construction has
been on the rise in 2019 and is expected to continue into 2020, but many experts
note that the country is still not building enough new units to quench demand. It
remains to be seen whether existing homeowners will be enticed to sell by higher
home prices, which could finally bring the overall housing market into greater
balance.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Dec. 17, 2019

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

November 2019

In November, the Federal Reserve reduced its benchmark rate for the third time this
year. This action was widely anticipated by the market. Mortgage rates have
remained steady this month and are still down more than 1 percent from last year at
this time. Residential new construction activity continues to rise nationally. The U.S.
Commerce Department reports that new housing permits rose 5% in October to a
new 12-year high of 1.46 million units.

New Listings were up 16.7 percent to 1,171. Pending Sales increased 9.2 percent to
1,007. Inventory grew 11.3 percent to 3,266 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 12.2 percent to $187,679. Days
on Market decreased 13.3 percent to 52 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
7.7 percent to 2.8 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

While many economic signs are quite strong, total household debt has been rising
for twenty-one consecutive quarters and is now $1.3 trillion higher than the previous
peak of $12.68 trillion in 2008. While delinquency rates remain low across most debt
types (including mortgages), higher consumer debt loads can limit future household
spending capability and increase risk if the economy slows down.

Information courtesy of CMLS*