Columbia SC Real Estate and Community News

July 19, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

June 2021

School’s out, and as vaccination rates rise and America enters a new normal, the
U.S. housing market continues along at a frenzied pace, with low interest rates and
limited inventory fueling record-high sales prices. May saw the median existing home
sales price exceed $350,000, a 24% increase and the largest year-over-year
increase since 1999, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Eager
buyers are making multiple offers, some for well over the asking price, while others are
making offers on homes sight unseen.

New Listings were up 19.0 percent to 1,768. Pending Sales increased 6.3 percent to
1,586. Inventory shrank 46.1 percent to 1,109 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 17.5 percent to $235,000. Days
on Market decreased 60.8 percent to 20 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 52.9 percent to 0.8 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

The increase in sales prices comes with a slight decline in existing home sales
nationwide, as homebuyers struggle with declining affordability amid a lack of
inventory, forcing some buyers to simply wait it out in hopes of more inventory and
less competition. Meanwhile, home builders are trying to meet the increased market
demand, with housing starts up 3.6% in May from April, according to the Commerce
Department. As we ease into new routines and look forward to a post-pandemic
future, one thing remains certain: America desperately needs more homes.

 

Information courtesy of CMLS*

June 22, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

May 2021

As the weather warms and pandemic restrictions ease across much of the country,
the U.S. housing market shows little sign of cooling. Robust buyer demand, fueled
by low mortgage rates, continues to outpace supply, which remains near historic
lows. Nationwide, inventory remains much lower than it was at this time last year,
and sales prices are surging as a result.

New Listings were up 19.3 percent to 1,721. Pending Sales increased 11.1 percent
to 1,697. Inventory shrank 56.2 percent to 995 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 12.5 percent to $225,050. Days
on Market decreased 46.8 percent to 25 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 63.2 percent to 0.7 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

With such limited supply of existing homes to purchase, all eyes are on home
builders to provide a much-needed boost of inventory to the market to help meet
buyer demand. However, increasing material and labor costs, along with supply
chain challenges have contributed to significantly higher construction costs, with
builders passing these costs on to homebuyers. And while the warmer
temperatures, rising sales prices, and the reopening of the economy may draw more
sellers to the market, historically low levels of homes for sale are likely to continue
for some time.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

May 17, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

April 2021

April was another strong month for home sales. The busy spring market continues to
see many multiple offer situations driving sales prices above asking price. With such
strong activity, by the time a property sale closes, the market may have already
moved higher than that sold price suggests. Such markets can create stress and
frustration for prospective homebuyers, who are frequently having to submit offers
on multiple properties before they are able to secure a purchase.

New Listings were up 37.3 percent to 1,730. Pending Sales increased 46.8 percent
to 1,724. Inventory shrank 61.2 percent to 994 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 18.6 percent to $224,000. Days
on Market decreased 43.1 percent to 29 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 68.2 percent to 0.7 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

In the spirit of the great Wayne Gretzky, buyers, sellers, and their agents are all
trying their best to skate to where the puck, or rather, the housing market, is going,
not where it has been. While housing affordability remains an area to watch as
prices continue to rise, strong buyer demand and limited housing supply show no
signs of easing soon, pointing to a continuation of this market trend through spring
and into summer.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

April 14, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

March 2021

Normal spring increases in sales activity, coupled with relaxing COVID-19 policies,
created a very busy March real estate market as buyer demand continued largely
unabated in the face of rising home prices and mortgage rates. Existing home seller
and new construction activity continue to remain below levels necessary to bring the
market back into balance, pointing to a busy and competitive buyer market in the
coming months.

New Listings were down 11.1 percent to 1,590. Pending Sales increased 28.6
percent to 1,698. Inventory shrank 62.4 percent to 1,002 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 14.8 percent to $218,000. Days
on Market decreased 39.7 percent to 35 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 68.2 percent to 0.7 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

While many homebuilders are working to increase their activity, the cost of lumber
and other materials and a backlogged supply chain continue to limit new home
construction and have increased costs substantially. New methods of construction,
including 3d printed homes, could speed construction and reduce costs in the
future, but realistically are several years away from making a measurable impact in
the market.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

March 31, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

February 2021

Mortgage interest rates ticked a bit higher in February, but remain below their
February 2020 levels. Interest rates may rise a bit further in coming weeks, but
according to Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater, “while there are multiple
temporary factors driving up rates, the underlying economic fundamentals point to
rates remaining in the low 3 percent range for the year.” With rates still at historically
low levels, home sales are unlikely to be significantly impacted, though higher rates
do impact affordability.

New Listings were up 6.1 percent to 1,313. Pending Sales increased 24.9 percent to
1,463. Inventory shrank 53.2 percent to 1,194 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 14.0 percent to $208,200. Days
on Market decreased 39.1 percent to 39 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 57.1 percent to 0.9 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

For homeowners currently struggling due to COVID-19, government agencies are
continuing efforts to help those in need. The Federal Housing Finance Agency
announced they will allow homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac to receive an additional three months of forbearance, extending total
payment relief to up to 18 months. Qualified homeowners must already be in a
forbearance plan as of the end of February.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Feb. 17, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

January 2021

January started off strong for the housing market, with healthy buyer demand and
strong market fundamentals. A robust increase in housing starts in December points
to an active year for new construction, but higher material costs, especially lumber,
and a limited supply of buildable lots will temper the number of new units.

New Listings were down 9.9 percent to 1,290. Pending Sales increased 19.6 percent
to 1,333. Inventory shrank 49.5 percent to 1,371 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 22.0 percent to $209,900. Days
on Market decreased 39.7 percent to 38 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 56.5 percent to 1.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s January research estimates approximately 2.7
million homeowners with mortgages are currently in forbearance plans. Some of
these homes may eventually come to market, but given the strong appreciation in
most market segments in recent years, these eventual home sales are likely to be
mostly traditional sellers. However, a modest increase in short sales and
foreclosures at some point this year would not be surprising.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Jan. 26, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

December 2020

December is normally one of the slowest months of the year but strong buyer
demand across most segments of the market, buoyed by near-record low interest
rates, continue to drive a healthy sales pace in the face of a new wave of COVID-19
infections and a softening jobs market.

New Listings were up 28.6 percent to 1,094. Pending Sales increased 44.1 percent
to 1,137. Inventory shrank 43.9 percent to 1,477 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 11.3 percent to $210,000. Days
on Market decreased 34.5 percent to 38 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 50.0 percent to 1.1 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

With low mortgage rates and strong buyer demand in most market segments, the
housing market of early 2021 looks to continue the trends we saw in the second half
of 2020. Low inventory and multiple offers on in-demand properties and market
segments are likely to remain common while the market waits and hopes for a boost
in new construction and a surge in home sellers to help provide more balance to the
market.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Dec. 17, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

November 2020

November saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average top 30,000 for the first time, while
mortgage rates reached new record lows again. These new records have provided
encouragement for buyers to move forward on home purchases, which continued to
remain strong overall for the month.

New Listings were up 1.7 percent to 1,098. Pending Sales increased 34.1 percent to
1,214. Inventory shrank 41.1 percent to 1,642 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 11.4 percent to $209,500. Days
on Market decreased 37.7 percent to 33 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 45.8 percent to 1.3 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

Showing activity remains higher than the same period a year ago across most of the
country, suggesting that strong buyer demand is likely to continue into what is
typically the slowest time of year. With inventory remaining constrained in most
market segments, sellers continue to benefit from the tight market conditions.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Nov. 25, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

October 2020

October continued to be busier than the calendar normally suggests. Buyer activity
remains higher than normal for this time of year, while in many segments of the
market housing supply remains much lower than one year ago. Multiple offers
remain a common occurrence in many areas, keeping housing hot while the
temperatures continue to fall.

New Listings were up 13.0 percent to 1,525. Pending Sales increased 32.1 percent
to 1,448. Inventory shrank 34.6 percent to 1,864 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 13.9 percent to $205,000. Days
on Market decreased 25.0 percent to 39 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 37.5 percent to 1.5 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

Mortgage rates dropped to new record lows again in October, helping to offset the
monthly mortgage payment increases caused by the rise in home prices seen in
many segments of the market across the country. While prices often dip a bit in the
winter months, continued buyer demand may temper any price retreats this year.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Oct. 21, 2020

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

September 2020

Strong buyer activity has continued into the fall, which is normally the start of the
seasonal slowing of the housing market. With stronger buyer activity in the market
this year and the continued constrained supply of homes for sale, speedy sales and
multiple offers are likely to remain a common occurrence and will keep the housing
market hot even when the weather is cooling.

New Listings were up 18.6 percent to 1,470. Pending Sales increased 32.8 percent
to 1,401. Inventory shrank 33.8 percent to 1,866 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 18.6 percent to $210,000. Days
on Market decreased 19.6 percent to 41 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 37.5 percent to 1.5 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

While mortgage rates remain near record lows, The Mortgage Bankers Association
reports that lending standards are tightening, which makes it a bit more difficult for
some buyers to qualify. At the same time, unemployment remains substantially
higher than a year ago due to COVID-19. Despite all this, buyers are out in full force
this fall, showing amazing resilience in the middle of a pandemic.

Information courtesy of CMLS*