We all yearn for good news and the real estate market is no different. After a 5 years slide to the bottom of pricing we all started getting really excited in 2012 when the reports stated that prices had "bottomed out". As we look back a couple years now to 2012 we see that those reports were true; prices did bottom in 2012, then they got stuck there! Sure, there has been a few bright sub-markets that have seen anywhere from 2% - 4% appreciation over the last couple years, but most areas along the Grand Strand are the same prices as the spring of 2012. Another absolute bright spot for the single family market here has been demand. Demand jumped up last year from a pretty slow 2011 & 2012, Then 2014 came in like a lion! Looking at the comparison of number quarter to quarter the selling pace has increased a whopping 30% this year in single family homes. That alone is great news, whether you are a Buyer or Seller, and usually enough information for us to start posting the news on every social site available...but let's dig a little deeper. You see, with the increase in demand last year and the slight increase in prices it was enough to send the builders in our market into a frenzy. You can see the trusses flying in a lot of neighborhoods around the beach. This observation was enough to cause a more in depth look at the demand side of our market. What I found, after eliminating the sold homes that are new, or never lived in, is that for existing homes along the Grand Strand the market has improved exactly 3%. Not 30%. There has been a 27% increase in New Home Sales in 2014 over 2013. What does this mean to you if you are a Buyer or Seller of real estate right now? As a Buyer it means you better get your act in gear and find your motivation to buy the house you want. The New Home market is just now heating up and the builders are willing to do things to get you to buy that they won't do next year. It also means that when you look at the market median pricing that we should see small increases as the next 12 months goes on. While this can be an unimportant number, the Builders will use it to justify their pricing and reduced incentives. These figures will also drive the existing home market causing many sellers to ask too much for their homes and remain fixed on that price, thereby reducing the selection of correctly priced homes available.
If you are a home seller right now - beware. There is a new competitor in town. The last 5 years your competition has been distressed homes for sale. Today, as I write this there are 3203 homes on the market and 216 of them are distressed. They don't effect your pricing anymore. In the past a Buyer may be willing to pay more for your home because of condition over a foreclosure. Today, your competition is NEW. Shiny, bright, pick-what-I-want, NEW. Your competition is more fierce now. As an existing home seller you need to know the truth about the market and understand what you are competing against. Sure, not all Buyers want New and not all New Homes are in desirable areas. Many builders are having to build under "value engineering" strategy in order to make a profit, so you lose some of the bells and whistles. I encourage you to dig deeper than the surface of information you typically receive about the market to be fully informed on how to price your home. Don;t be misled to believe the housing market is up 30%, because it is not. The market for your type of house is up 3%. Three percent higher demand against an 8.5 month supply of homes doesn't typically make headlines.
Let's be clear. Factoring in all areas and all categories of the market along the Grand Strand we have seen improved demand and that is great news. Single family homes sales are outpacing condo sales by a wide margin and mainly due to the New stuff. There is less than 3% New Condo sales volume here right now, so condo owners aren't competing with New...yet.
I hope you've found this information helpful and if it raised a few questions let me hear about it. If I'm not meeting with you about your property, or showing your property to a Buyer my head is usually buried in the figures.