Columbia SC Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 15, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

September 2021

Nationwide, existing home sales were down slightly in August, falling 2% after two
consecutive months of increases, according to the National Association of
REALTORS®. The decline in existing home sales coincides with rising sales prices,
which have continued to soar into fall, with the median sales price of existing homes
up 14.9% compared to last year. Declining affordability has had a significant impact
on homebuyers, many of whom have been priced out of the market and are
choosing to wait for sales prices to ease before resuming their home search.

New Listings were up 8.5 percent to 1,575. Pending Sales increased 14.1 percent to
1,465. Inventory shrank 21.0 percent to 1,457 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 13.2 percent to $237,750. Days
on Market decreased 53.7 percent to 19 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 33.3 percent to 1.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

There are signs the market may be shifting, however. New listings have continued to
hit the market, bucking seasonality trends commonly seen in the fall, a time when
listing and sales activity typically slows as children return to school. As inventory
increases, competition for homes may soften, and could even bring a moderation in
sales prices, which, after 114 months of year-over-year gains, would be music to the
ears of homebuyers throughout the country.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Sept. 22, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

August 2021

The booming U.S. housing market has spilled over to the rental market, which has
seen demand for apartment and single-family rentals skyrocket this year, as high
sales prices and an inadequate supply of available housing have forced many
prospective buyers to rent for the foreseeable future. Increased demand for housing,
along with an improving economy, has competition for rental units soaring, and
landlords are taking note, with the national median rent increasing 11.4% in 2021 so
far, according to Apartment List.

New Listings were up 14.2 percent to 1,657. Pending Sales increased 13.8 percent
to 1,617. Inventory shrank 24.8 percent to 1,395 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 11.7 percent to $230,000. Days
on Market decreased 60.9 percent to 18 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 33.3 percent to 1.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

In new construction, home builders continue to struggle to meet buyer demand, as
housing starts nationwide dropped 7% last month, according to the Commerce
Department. Single-family home construction declined 4.5%, and multi-family home
construction, which includes condos and apartment buildings, was also down,
falling by 13%. Labor shortages, rising material costs, and supply-chain setbacks
continue to challenge builders, with some projects temporarily paused due to
availability and cost of materials.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Aug. 17, 2021

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

July 2021

The White House recently announced additional measures to help struggling
homeowners avoid foreclosure as they exit forbearance, including loan
modifications and payment reductions. Borrowers with federally backed mortgages
can lock in lower interest rates and extend the length of their mortgages. For
borrowers who can’t resume their monthly mortgage, HUD will offer lenders the
ability to provide all eligible borrowers with a 25% principal and interest reduction.

New Listings were up 21.5 percent to 1,950. Pending Sales increased 11.5 percent
to 1,677. Inventory shrank 31.1 percent to 1,365 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 10.6 percent to $228,625. Days
on Market decreased 63.0 percent to 17 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 41.2 percent to 1.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

The National Association of REALTORS® reported inventory of homes for sale
nationwide rose slightly in June as more sellers list their homes, hoping to take
advantage of record-high sales prices across the country. Even with renewed home
seller interest, inventory overall remains 18.8% lower than a year ago, according to
NAR.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

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*