Columbia SC Real Estate and Community News

Jan. 23, 2018

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

December 2017

The number of homes for sale, days on market and months of supply were all down
in year-over-year comparisons in a majority of the country for the entirety of 2017,
as was housing affordability. And although total sales volumes were mixed, prices
were consistently up in most markets. Buyers may not benefit from higher prices,
but sellers do, and there should be more listing activity by more confident sellers in
2018. At least that would be the most viable prediction for an economic landscape
pointing toward improved conditions for sellers.

New Listings were up 31.1 percent to 1,033. Pending Sales increased 10.1 percent
to 839. Inventory grew 9.2 percent to 3,637 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 4.5 percent to $161,936. Days
on Market decreased 19.3 percent to 67 days. Months Supply of Inventory remained
flat at 3.3

Unemployment rates have remained low throughout 2017, and wages have shown
improvement, though not always to levels that match home price increases. Yet
housing demand remained incredibly strong in 2017, even in the face of higher
mortgage rates that are likely to increase further in 2018. Home building and selling
professionals are both cautiously optimistic for the year ahead. Housing and
economic indicators give reason for this optimism, with or without new federal tax
legislation.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Dec. 21, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

November 2017

The facts of residential real estate have remained consistent in 2017. In year-overyear
comparisons, the number of homes for sale has been fewer in most locales,
and homes have been selling in fewer days for higher prices. This hasn't always
been true, but it has been a common enough storyline to make it an overarching
trend for the year.

New Listings were up 26.7 percent to 1,294. Pending Sales increased 19.4 percent
to 971. Inventory grew 10.6 percent to 3,956 units, the eleventh consecutive month
of year-over-year gains.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 6.6 percent to $159,900. Days
on Market decreased 12.5 percent to 70 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
2.9 percent to 3.6 months, the eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

New tax legislation could have ramifications on housing. The White House believes
that the tax reform bill will have a small impact on home prices, lowering them by
less than 4 percent, and could conceivably boost homeownership. The National
Association of REALTORS® has stated that eliminating the mortgage interest
deduction could hurt housing, as the doubled standard deduction would reduce the
desire to take out a mortgage and itemize the interest associated with it, thus
reducing demand. This is a developing story.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Nov. 22, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

October 2017

Supply will dip for the remainder of the year, but there are some hopeful signs that we may see a bump in the new year. To say that more inventory will immediately impact housing markets is premature, especially if affordability continues to drop and prices continue to rise. For the 12-month period spanning November 2016 through October 2017, Pending Sales in the CMLS region were up 6.5 percent overall. The price range with the largest gain in sales was the $200,001 to $300,000 range, where they increased 10.6 percent.

The overall Median Sales Price was up 1.2 percent to $159,900. The property type with the largest price gain was the Single-Family Homes segment, where prices increased 2.1 percent to $164,900. The price range that tended to sell the quickest was the $100,001 to $150,000 range at 63 days; the price range that tended to sell the slowest was the $300,001 and Above range at 82 days.

Market-wide, inventory levels were up 13.9 percent. The property type that gained the most inventory was the Single-Family segment, where it increased 14.4 percent. That amounts to 3.8 months supply for Single-Family homes and 3.4 months supply for Condos.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Oct. 24, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

September 2017

Every market is unique, yet the national sentiment has given rise to the notion that
housing markets are stalling. Although desirous buyers are out on an increasing
number of showings, there remains a limited number of desirable listings. And
although mortgage rates have remained enticingly low, home prices have reached
unaffordable levels for many new entrants into the housing pool at exactly the same
time that established owners are proving to be less interested in moving.

New Listings were up 9.2 percent to 1,307. Pending Sales increased 4.5 percent to
999. Inventory grew 13.2 percent to 4,210 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 2.4 percent to $160,000. Days
on Market decreased 11.7 percent to 68 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
5.4 percent to 3.9 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

Last year at this time, the national storyline was about how high demand was
propping up sales and prices despite low inventory and months of supply. That has
actually continued to be a familiar refrain for many months in 2017 and now for the
past couple of years. But with the likes of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, different
employment outlooks, disparate incomes, varying new construction expectations
and potential housing policy shifts, regional differences are becoming more
prevalent and pronounced.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Sept. 29, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

August 2017

August tends to mark the waning of housing activity ahead of the school year. Not
all buyers and sellers have children, but there are enough parents that do not want
to uproot their children during the school year to historically create a natural market
cool down before any actual temperature change. Competition is expected to
remain fierce for available listings. Savvy sellers and buyers know that deals can be
made well into the school months, as household formations take on many shapes
and sizes.

New Listings were up 8.1 percent to 1,519. Pending Sales decreased 5.2 percent to
1,139, the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. Inventory grew 11.9
percent to 4,276 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 3.8 percent to $168,667. Days
on Market decreased 17.1 percent to 63 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up
5.3 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

The prevailing trends lasted through summer. This was expected, since there have
not been any major changes in the economy that would affect housing. Factors
such as wage growth, unemployment and mortgage rates have all been stable.
Every locality has its unique challenges, but the whole of residential real estate is in
good shape. Recent manufacturing data is showing demand for housing
construction materials and supplies, which may help lift the ongoing low inventory
situation in 2018.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

Aug. 18, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

July 2017

How long can the residential real estate market go on like this? We are about two
years into a national trend of dropping housing supply and increasing median sales
prices. There are some regional variations to the story, but the shift to a
predominantly seller's market is mostly complete. Multiple-offer situations over
asking price are commonplace in many communities, and good homes are routinely
off the market after a single day. It is evident that a favorable economy keeps hungry
buyers in the chase.

New Listings were up 17.8 percent to 1,554. Pending Sales increased 10.8 percent
to 1,212, the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Inventory grew 8.1
percent to 4,305 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 1.1 percent to $162,000. Days
on Market decreased 12.3 percent to 64 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 2.4 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

Although the unemployment rate remains unchanged at its favorable national 4.3
percent rate, wage growth has not been rising at the steady clip that would be
expected in an improving economy. Sales activity manages to keep churning along
despite looming shortages in new construction. Lower price ranges are starting to
feel the effects of the supply and demand gap, as first-time buyers scramble to get
offers in at an increasing pace.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

July 13, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

June 2017

There has been a general slowdown in sales across the country, and this cannot be
blamed on negative economic news. Unemployment remains low and wage growth,
though nothing to overly celebrate, has held steady or increased for several years in
a row. There is strong demand for home buying, emphasized by higher prices and
multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets. As has been the case for
month after month – and now year after year – low inventory is the primary culprit for
any sales malaise rather than lack of offers.

New Listings were up 14.9 percent to 1,678. Pending Sales increased 16.7 percent
to 1,336. Inventory grew 4.5 percent to 4,311 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 0.6 percent to $165,000. Days
on Market decreased 21.2 percent to 67 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 4.8 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

With job creation increasing and mortgage rates remaining low, the pull toward
homeownership is expected to continue. Yet housing starts have been drifting
lower, and some are beginning to worry that a more serious housing shortage could
be in the cards if new construction and building permit applications continue to
come in lower in year-over-year comparisons while demand remains high.
Homebuilder confidence suggests otherwise, so predictions of a gloomy future
should be curbed for the time being.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

June 23, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

May 2017

Home prices across the U.S. are reaching all-time highs, prompting worry over
another boom-and-bust scenario like we experienced roughly ten years ago. Yet, as
we glance across the state of residential real estate, what is clear compared to the
last extended run of price increases is that lending standards are now much stronger
than they were before. Incomes must be verified, a reasonable amount of money
must be paid toward the home prior to purchase and a more stringent loan approval
process is in place to prevent a repeat performance of the Great Recession.

New Listings were up 14.5 percent to 1,788. Pending Sales increased 12.7 percent
to 1,371. Inventory grew 4.9 percent to 4,357 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 0.1 percent to $163,850. Days
on Market decreased 14.8 percent to 69 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 4.7 percent to 4.1 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

In addition to a stronger base upon which to conduct real estate transactions, the
overall economy is in better shape than it was a decade ago. More jobs are
available, unemployment is relatively low and workers have more faith in their wages
and the potential for wage increases. Although we continue to battle an inventory
shortage in much of the country, optimism remains high for a successful summer for
buying and selling homes.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

May 19, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

April 2017

The employment landscape and wages have both improved over the last few years,
allowing for more people to participate in the home-buying process. When the
economy is in good working order, as it is now, it creates opportunities in residential
real estate, and right now is a potentially lucrative time to sell a home. Houses that
show well and are priced correctly have been selling quickly, often at higher prices
than asking.

New Listings were up 9.0 percent to 1,610. Pending Sales decreased 2.9 percent to
1,192. Inventory grew 4.6 percent to 4,304 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 2.2 percent to $158,975. Days
on Market decreased 23.0 percent to 67 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 4.7 percent to 4.1 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

Although there is a mounting amount of buyer competition during the annual spring
market cycle, buyer demand has not abated, nor is it expected to in the immediate
future unless something unpredictable occurs. While strong demand is generally
considered a good problem to have, it creates an affordability issue for some
buyers, especially first-time buyers. And yet, prices will continue to rise amidst
strong demand.

Information courtesy of CMLS*

April 26, 2017

Columbia SC Real Estate Market Update

March 2017

We can comfortably consider the first quarter to have been a good start for
residential real estate in 2017. There was certainly plenty to worry over when the
year began. Aside from new national leadership in Washington, DC, and the policy
shifts that can occur during such transitions, there was also the matter of
continuous low housing supply, steadily rising mortgage rates and ever-increasing
home prices. Nevertheless, sales have held their own in year-over-year comparisons
and should improve during the busiest months of the real estate sales cycle.

New Listings were up 18.0 percent to 1,881. Pending Sales increased 16.6 percent
to 1,402. Inventory grew 1.2 percent to 4,234 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 1.6 percent to $157,500. Days
on Market decreased 12.6 percent to 83 days. Months Supply of Inventory was
down 9.1 percent to 4.0 months, indicating that demand increased relative to
supply.

The U.S. economy has improved for several quarters in a row, which has helped
wage growth and retail consumption increase in year-over-year comparisons.
Couple that with an unemployment rate that has been holding steady or dropping
both nationally and in many localities, and consumer confidence is on the rise. As
the economy improves, home sales tend to go up. It isn't much more complex than
that right now. Rising mortgage rates could slow growth eventually, but rate
increases should be thought of as little more than a byproduct of a stronger
economy and stronger demand.

Information courtesy of CMLS*