Columbia SC Real Estate and Community News

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*

Nov. 14, 2019

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

October 2019

In October, mortgage rates increased slightly from the three-year lows seen in
September. While the Federal Reserve reduced the federal-funds target rate by
.25%, this decline was widely expected and largely factored into mortgage rates
already, which are still approximately 1% lower than this time last year. Fannie Mae
is predicting that continued low rates, and possibly lower rates, are expected in
2020.

New Listings were up 12.5 percent to 1,438. Pending Sales increased 15.6 percent
to 1,195. Inventory grew 8.3 percent to 3,346 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 6.0 percent to $180,000. Days
on Market decreased 5.5 percent to 52 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
3.7 percent to 2.8 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

As we begin the slower time of year for home sales, historically low mortgage rates
will continue to support buyer demand and may create additional lift to home prices
as excellent affordability gives buyers the ability to offer more to secure their dream
home. Throughout much of the country, the continued low level of housing inventory
also continues to constrain sales activity from where it would likely be in a balanced
market.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Oct. 21, 2019

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

September 2019

With the kids back in school and the weather cooling, the housing market begins its annual cooldown as well. Nationally, buyer and seller activity remained strong, buoyed by low mortgage rates and a strong economy. The market fundamentals suggest no significant changes from recent trends, other than the seasonally tempered pace we see this time of year. As we move into the final three months of 2019, buyers will find fewer homes coming on the market, but also less competition for those homes.

New Listings were up 27.4 percent to 1,361. Pending Sales increased 28.6 percent to 1,143. Inventory grew 7.8 percent to 3,363 units.

Prices moved lower as Median Sales Price was down 0.6 percent to $175,865. Days on Market decreased 5.6 percent to 51 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up 3.7 percent to 2.8 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

In Washington there are discussions around a broad overhaul of the housing finance system, including the re-privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reforms to federal agencies involved with financing substantial portions of the mortgages made every year. Many of these policy conversations and eventual changes will take months or years to be implemented and their impact is not yet clear. While Halloween decorations are beginning to adorn homes around the country, the real estate market this fall is looking far from scary.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Sept. 13, 2019

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

August 2019

As the summer draws to a close, multiple opposing factors and trends are
competing to define the direction of the real estate market. After the Federal
Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate on July 31, 30-year mortgage rates
continued to decline, approaching all-time lows last seen in 2016. Yet most experts
agree these reductions are unlikely to bring sufficient relief, at least in the short term,
for first-time home buyers. The lack of affordable inventory and the persistence of
historically high housing prices continue to affect the housing market, leading to
lower-than-expected existing home sales at the national level.

New Listings were up 8.3 percent to 1,620. Pending Sales increased 6.2 percent to
1,346, the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Inventory grew 8.0
percent to 3,425 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 11.8 percent to $185,000. Days
on Market decreased 5.7 percent to 50 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
3.6 percent to 2.9 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

As many homeowners refinanced their homes to take advantage of declining
interest rates, consumer confidence in housing was reported to be at historically
high levels. Even so, real estate professionals will need to monitor the market for
signs of continued imbalances. Although the inventory of affordable homes at this
point remains largely stable, it is stable at historically low levels, which may continue
to push prices higher and affect potential buyers across the U.S.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Aug. 21, 2019

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

July 2019

In July, the U.S. economic expansion that began in June 2009 became the longest in
the nation's history, marking 121 straight months of gross domestic product growth
and surpassing the 120-month expansion from 1991 to 2001. The average rate of
growth during this expansion has been a milder 2.3 percent per year compared to
3.6 percent during the 1990s. Although the economy should continue to perform
well for the rest of 2019, most economists see a mild recession on the horizon.

New Listings were up 13.1 percent to 1,785. Pending Sales increased 13.8 percent
to 1,482, the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Inventory grew 5.0
percent to 3,412 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 9.8 percent to $187,000. Days
on Market decreased 3.9 percent to 49 days. Months Supply of Inventory remained
flat at 2.9, indicating a stabilizing supply-demand balance.

During the record-setting 121-month economic expansion, the unemployment rate
has dropped from 10.0 percent in 2009 to 3.7 percent, yet many consumers
continue to struggle financially. Low mortgage interest rates have helped offset low
housing affordability, but high home prices are outpacing median household income
growth. In a move to stoke continued economic prosperity, the Federal Reserve
reduced the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to about 2.25 percent,
marking the first reduction in more than a decade.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

July 17, 2019

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

June 2019

As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve did not change the target range for
the federal funds rate – currently set at 2.25 to 2.5 percent – during their June
meeting. Although the economy is still performing well due to factors such as low
unemployment and solid retail sales, uncertainty remains regarding trade tensions,
slowed manufacturing and meek business investments.

New Listings were up 0.9 percent to 1,656. Pending Sales increased 12.3 percent to
1,443. Inventory grew 3.0 percent to 3,346 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 8.6 percent to $190,000. Days
on Market decreased 5.5 percent to 52 days. Months Supply of Inventory remained
flat at 2.9, indicating a stabilizing supply-demand balance.

In terms of relative balance between buyer and seller interests, residential real estate
markets across the country are performing well within an economic expansion that
will become the longest in U.S. history in July. However, there are signs of a slowing
economy. The Federal Reserve considers 2.0 percent a healthy inflation rate, but the
U.S. is expected to remain below that this year. The Fed has received pressure from
the White House to cut rates in order to spur further economic activity, and the
possibility of a rate reduction in 2019 is definitely in play following a string of
increases over the last several years.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

June 21, 2019

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

May 2019

At this point in the year, we are getting a good sense for how the housing market is
likely to perform for the foreseeable future. And although it is not a particularly
exciting forecast, it is a desirable one. Markets across the country are regulating
toward a middle ground between buyers and sellers. While it remains true that sales
prices are running higher and that inventory options are relatively low, buyers are
beginning to find wiggle room at some price points and geographies.

New Listings were up 10.3 percent to 1,863. Pending Sales increased 11.4 percent
to 1,573. Inventory grew 8.0 percent to 3,360 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 10.7 percent to $188,000. Days
on Market decreased 7.3 percent to 51 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
3.6 percent to 2.9 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

An extended trend of low unemployment, higher wages and favorable mortgage
rates has been a terrific driver of housing stability in recent years. What is different
about this year so far is that prices are not rising as quickly. Some of the hottest
Western markets are even cooling slightly, while some Northeast markets are
achieving a state of recovery after a decade of battling back from recession. As a
whole, the selling season is looking fairly stable across the nation.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

May 23, 2019

Home Buying Seminar

Mark your Calendars and Register for this Free event! All your questions regarding buying a home will be answered on this day at Fort Jackson. Looking forward to seeing you.

Posted in Buying a Home