Columbia SC Real Estate and Community News

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*

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*