Welcome and Thank You!

I want to personally thank you for cheking out our blog and staying in touch with the real estate market in this area. I have a daily focus on the market and keep my finger on the pulse of each community we serve. I hope that you find the information contained here to be insightful and helpful and that your connection allows you comfort in relying on me for all your real estate needs no matter where you live in the country. Have an awesome day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

4 Advantages to Investing in Myrtle Beach Real Estate

The Horizon at 77th - The Hoffman GroupWith the housing market showing signs of improvement both in Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas, opportunities are in abundance for purchasing a vacation home or investment property. Whether you are a homeowner, a seasoned investor or desire to purchase a vacation or investment property, there are many advantages in doing so.
Following are 4 key advantages of investing in real estate in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area:

1. Supply and Demand

The current real estate market in the Myrtle Beach area is considered a buyer’s market providing ample supply of competitively priced properties. When supply exceeds demand this results in record low prices. With an improving local economy, demand is showing increased growth. Demand, which closely follows an improving economy, is an enticing factor for investors who are looking for an ROI from vacation economies such as Myrtle Beach.

2. Rental Income Demand

Many investors find Myrtle Beach real estate attractive because of the rental demand for vacation or resort type properties. This has only become more in demand over the last few years due to attractive pricing and availability of properties.
A professional real estate agent knowledgeable about Myrtle Beach real estate will be able to provide advice that will assist an investor with regards to opportunities available to purchase, incentives, income streams, and ROI.

3. Historically Low Interest Rates

Interest rates have hit record lows, and investors are making some smart borrowing decisions with the low rates. While the current economic conditions with regards to the “fiscal cliff” are unpredictable it is safe to say that now is the time to take advantage of the record low interest rates.

4. A Growing Economy

Amid economic downturns and recent tough economic times statewide and across the country, rental incomes in Myrtle Beach have shown resiliency. The key is a successfully managed property which enhances. This strategy provides an investor with a better probability for positive cash flow.
If you are in the market to purchase a new home or condo, investment or otherwise, today’s market environment in Myrtle Beach is very promising.
The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, investment and/or real estate advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Improving Market? You bet, but....

The Myrtle Beach area has experienced a welcomed month-to-month increase in residential sales activity from January through August. It is anticipated this trend will continue throughout the year due to excellent interest rates and some great bargains. It is also encouraging to see the number of sales over the 2011 figures each and every month with better than average improvements in May, June, and July of this year over the preceding months in 2011.
While inventory of residential properties has declined slightly each month over the last several months, there are 4,417 residential properties currently on the market. The largest percentage of homes on the market are between $100,000 to $200,000 with 1,739 listings. The second largest group is $200,00 to $400,000 which reflect 1,576 active listings. This price range also has had the most sales year-to-date at 804 and is a healthy 7.7% increase compared to 2011 which had 746 sales.
The market still clearly favors buyers due to ample distressed properties, bargain prices, and at or near record low interest rates. This does not mean if you are a seller that you cannot sell. It means you if you are selling your must be priced in the market and you must be have a good marketing strategy

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Short Sale Delima!


What are they and how do they impact me?

A lot of people I work with misunderstand what it means to short-sale a property.  Many think it means that you can buy a property in a short amount of time.  Truly nothing about a short sale takes a short amount of time. 

A short sale is when the owner of a property is attempting to sell the property for less than the amount(s) owed on the property.  That is the simplest definition of the process.

Short sales have become much more “popular” over the last 3 – 4 years as the economy has changed and real estate prices declined.  This option, initiated by the property owner, is a much better solution to a bad situation for both the property owner and the lien holder (bank), but it is not easy.

First, the property being sold must receive an offer from a buyer.  Basically nothing really starts on obtaining approval from the lien holder until an offer is submitted.  This is why an asking price on a short sale property is not an assurance that the property can be purchased at that price.  Trained Realtors know how to arrive at a price that can generate offers and have a good chance of bank acceptance.

Second, the seller must qualify for the short sale.  That’s right, the Seller must qualify.  A property owner must have a qualifying hardship for the bank to approve the property to be sold short of the mortgage amount.  Loss of job, reduced income, divorce and job transfer is the more prevalent hardships, but there are a few others.  A property losing value is NOT a hardship that qualifies for a short sale.

Third, All financial information is reviewed by the lien holder and must be submitted by the seller.  It is a requirement that you enlist the services of a Realtor (hopefully a certified one) to handle negotiations on your behalf.  As a property seller you will have to submit bank statements, tax returns, income statements, etc. to your real estate agent.  It is the responsibility of the agent to compile and present the information to the lender, not judge it.

Forth, Approval by the lender will be based on many things, but will always include the following three things; Seller’s financials, current market where the property is located and strength of the buyer.  The second item noted there, current market, is often overlooked with inexperienced real estate agents when working with sellers.  It is important to submit offers to the lien holder that closely represent what similar properties have SOLD for in the sub-market where the property is located.  Submitting an offer substantially below the current market will only frustrate both the Buyer and seller and potentially throw the seller into foreclosure once the offer is declined 2 – 4 months after it is made.

Last, Patience is mandatory when pursuing a short sale.  As I said in the beginning, nothing happens fast with a short sale.  If you have the patience to wait, then it is a viable option for purchasing or selling a property and is a much better option, for the seller, than foreclosure.  It is also far better for the community than foreclosure as pricing for a short sale generally falls between a non-distressed sale and a foreclosure, so it keeps values up for the neighborhood.

Compared to other areas of the country and even to other sub-markets in the area, Barefoot has fared well with the volume of distress properties.  So far this year we are tracking for a higher count of distressed sales in the resort than last year.  In 2011 there were 69 properties that closed as either a short sale or foreclosure.  Year to date for 2012 we have 47 properties either closed or pending in distress.  There are still concerns that we will see an even higher rate of distressed properties come to market this fall in this area.  Looking ahead there is growing confidence in the market stabilizing and fewer (non-distressed) properties coming on the market.  If the supply stays low and demand consistent then even with a higher than normal distressed inventory the prices will not be hurt too badly.  If you are not buying or selling real estate right now it is still important to stay informed about the market and know your properties value.  

Please accept this article as a brief summation of a very complicated and arduous process.  If you would benefit from more information or need professional assistance please reach out to a qualified Realtor certified in helping homeowners in hardship.  You can reach me anytime at ben@benguyton.com or direct at (843) 241-1929.

August quick update

Myrtle Beach Real Estate Inventory Trends – August 16, 2012

For those who are considering buying some of the prime residential or condo real estate in Myrtle Beach, or maybe selling, what are the trends now that we are late into the summer months?
According to the Coastal Carolina’s Association of REALTORS Service (MLS) the inventory dropped about 8 percent, to 4,417 listings, for single-family homes, and a 12 percent drop to 4,392 listings, for condos and townhomes as of August 14, 2012 from the same time last year.
The decline in inventory listings is most widely considered due to many sellers in the Myrtle Beach area who are not very motivated to sell their properties based on today’s property prices. There is a wait and see approach until the market improves, according to Ben Guyton of The Hoffman Group.
The figures shown below continue to show support that the Myrtle Beach area in general still remains a buyer’s market. We believe this is primarily driven by price due to some distressed properties. This has also been the cause for a lower inventory of new properties coming on the market.
The Hoffman Group - Myrtle Beach Real Estate Activity as of August 14, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

May was a Merry Month!

May saw a surge of new properties come onto the market on the Grand Strand with close to 15% more listings in May 2012 than May 2011.  Along with this increase came a 42% increase in pending sales activity!  This is the largest volume of selling in over 5 years in the area!

Currently the supply of homes coming on the market is meeting the demand and we are NOT seeing any increase in average or specific pricing.  The average did increase $1,000 in May, but that is insignificant. 

The main thing to look at in the numbers is a healthy real estate market that is improving and stabilizing.  If we continue to see this trend for the next year or two we may even be having a discussion about price appreciation by the end of 2013 or 2014!!

For complete data on the market or for any additional real estate help please contact me anytime at (843) 241-1929 or ben@benguyton.com

See ya!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Recent article I wrote for the Barefoot Resort newsletter -
Ever Worry About Your Shadow?

Shadow Inventory.  It’s the new “catch phrase” in the real estate and lending industries, and it is something to be concerned about as a homeowner.   Recently, there was a settlement between several of the largest banks and the government on what had been a process called Robo-signing.  This pending settlement has caused a tremendous delay in lenders foreclosing on properties in default.  With the 25 billion dollar settlement comes a very clear roadmap for lenders to use in processing foreclosures nationally.  The pent-up properties that could have been foreclosed on months and months ago will now come to market freely.  This supply of real estate inventory is called “Shadow Inventory”.  Most of what you have been reading lately related to real estate is that the market is improving, which it is.  January 2012 was the best January in 4 years.  Last month will prove to be even better than January.  The demand for properties in our area has jumped considerably since leaving 2011 behind.  In a normal market this increase in demand, along with fewer properties on the market would positively affect pricing.  That will not be the case this year.  The demand will be offset by the normal properties coming to market, plus the build-up of the shadow inventory, which will be priced as distressed.

Most experts are calling for our state to see stable pricing this year with a few areas decreasing another 3 – 5% by year end, so it could be worse.  We could be living in Nevada or Florida.  The point is in two parts; first, if you are happy here and not thinking of selling then who cares what prices will do, right.  Second, if you are in the “I am going to wait until prices increase” group, your wait was just extended a few years.  The flow of inventory has already started, but it will increase as we get into June and July, so if selling is being considered anytime over the next 18 months now is the time to call your Realtor.

As I mentioned before, and this is the positive news, the demand for properties in Barefoot and beyond has taken a huge jump and properties are selling faster.  Lending is expected to become a little easier this year for buyers, which will bring even more demand into the market.  If everyone is walking around whistling in January and February, just wait for the excitement everyone feels as we move into spring.

The Barefoot Numbers –

There are currently 236 properties on the market in the resort, which is an increase of 2 from last month.

Single Family – 27 total including 4 pending and 5 distressed

Condo/Townhome – 184 total including 31 pending and 35 distressed

Land – 21 total including 2 pending and 6 distressed.

In conclusion, you should be very excited about the months ahead.  Even with the threat of increased distressed properties coming on the market and that impacting the value of your property, we are still seeing a very robust market.  It would be far worse to have the “Shadow” after us and the demand to purchase real estate as it was in 2010.  We will have a better year in 2012 in the resort than any over the last 3 – 4 years and I think as pricing comes back that we will lead the way.  If you would like more information about the robo-signing and shadow inventory just shoot me an email and I will reply with a comprehensive report for you.  You can reach me anytime at info@benguyton.com or (843) 241-1929.  Keep looking for ways to positively impact your community and I will see you around the neighborhood!

Timing is Right!

Let's assume for a second that you are interested in buying real estate and that you have the means to make a purchase.  Let's also assume that you will need to finance your new property.  You may want to consider getting a move on!

While pricing in our overall market has begun to stabilize, interest rates no longer are.  Just over the past week, rates have jumped about 1/2 point.  Interest rates do have a tendency to move up and down, but considering that the rates have been very stable over the last 6 months, then jump .5% in a week should be concerning for you.  If the new norm for rates is going to be 4.25%, then you have missed that much sought after, mystical "bottom" that so many home buyers have been waiting on.

Since January 1, 2012 we have seen far less inventory on the market, less distressed properties available and the ones that are available bringing higher prices, and now, interest rates increasing.

These are all good signs....if you're a home seller.  As a home buyer, it really points to your wake up call.  If you have been waiting for that best deal and know that home ownership is for you, then it is truly time to take action.  It is not wishful thinking by another Realtor, it is proven in the statistics that all experts examine when determining a market.

If you are in the group that still expects pricing to go down some more, then you should get really familiar with the graph that shows how much buying power is lost per upward tick of the interest rate.  I can send you copy if you need it.  The same $200,000 home became more expensive over the last week by about $1,200 - $1,500 per year due to the rate increase.  How long are you willing to gamble that prices will go down another 3% and not have the interest rate offset that decrease??

We are excited to see the increased demand and the market moving toward stabilization.  Down the road in a year or so you may even start to see the word "Appreciation" being used again to describe more than how I feel about you for reading my blog!

Have the best day today!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We continue to see stabilization in Single Family Residential (SFR). December marked the seventh straight month of inventory reduction. Condo inventory is also declining, down 7.8% from December, 2010 levels.The sale of Single Family Residences (SFR) is up 13.6% from January, 2011. This is the best January sales performance since 2007. The median sales price has increased in both Horry and Georgetown Counties with the exception of homes over one million dollars in Georgetown County and five hundred thousand dollar homes in Horry County. Inventory levels rose seasonally 3.9% but remain 5.7% lower than January, 2011.

Similarly, the condominium inventory rose seasonally by 5% but remain down 4.2% as compared to January, 2011. The median sales price for a condo is $94,900, a decline from January 2011. This decline is fueled by distressed sales and cash transactions. 

Overall, the housing market continues to improve, albeit slowly, across Horry and Georgetown Counties. As consumer confidence rises and the employment rate improves we expect to see a better market as the year progresses.

Look for pricing to stabilize as we approach mid-year if sales volume maintains, inventory levels continue to go down and the distressed properties level stays about where it is now.  There is reason to be optimistic, but cautiously so.  We see no reason to discontinue agressively pricing properties to sell within a 90 - 120 day window.

Check back often for more updates as the month goes on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Once again the numbers point to a real estate market slowly climbing back to normalcy. (For the record, normalcy was pre-2004)  For December the overall number of Foreclosed properties sold was down 6.62%, the number of Foreclosed properties available was down 8.63% and the average price of Foreclosure properties sold was UP 9.24%.  This is a trend that has been reported throughout most of last year.  Could the "bottom" of the real estate market be a period in time rather than a point in time??  Are we in it now?  You can take a small risk either way; buy now and know what you are getting, or wait for prices to continue to fall and see if it happens.  Based on our first 17 days of 2012 we see Buyers moving FORWARD!

If you are considering purchasing real estate start your search now and be selective on the properties that interest you.  There are great deals available now and with interest rates at their lowest point I just don't see the value in waiting another 6 months.

Have a great day and check back with us often!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Great Forecast for Real Estate?

Welcome 2012!  Good Bye 2011!!  As we enter a new year it is the best time of the year to wash our hands of the bad things that occured during the last year and muster up all of our optimism for what lies ahead!  Given the national and local results of real estate transactions in 2011...good riddance!  Depending on the source of the publication, we have been able to read positive comments regarding the real estate market for months, even over a year, however those have pretty much been from real estate related mags.  Now, the news of an improved market is coming from the naysayers of the recent past.  There truely is growing optimism that 2012 will mark the year of the recovery, albiet a gradual one.  Understanding that real estate is localized, there won't be a national surge of improvement and some markets won't see improvement at all.  I am only focused on our market and what we will see in 2012 and by all indications it will improve.  In fact most areas of evaluation have already seen improvement during 2011 with one big exception; Average Price.  I believe that the average price of properties selling in this area will stabilize and not continue to see small decreases.  This will be driven by more higher priced properties selling and fewer distressed properties coming on the market than last year.  The Myrtle Beach mtro market remains one of the most desired locations in the mid-atlantic region due to affordability, climate and, of course, the ocean.  The Northeaster markets that supply the relocation families to the Grand Strand are improving and real estate is starting to pick up steam.  Both exisiting and new home sales have seen higher sale number recently in most feeder markets and are expected to continue into the warmer weather months.  Stand by for a really active spring season and an even better summer and beyond.  I believe it and am on the bandwagon!  Are you?