Monday, February 25, 2008

South Carolina Rides the Wave

Not every market is doom and gloom, not every market is facing a credit crunch, and not every market has mortgages being foreclosed on in the thousands daily. South Carolina has seen it's bruises from the national market trends, but we also have our "Hot Spots". Real Estate along the coast is still a good investment (see the MLS Stats chart below) If you had boght property in 2001 and wanted to sell it today, you would still have made a good investment. The median price in South Carolina rose 30% over that time period or a 5% annual increase per year.

What does this tells us about the SC market:

1. Real Estate is a long term investment five (5) years or more.
2. Location is the key to real estate investing.
3. Some markets are better than others.
a] Coastal and Lake properties over urban properties.

The market has been active in the last month with interest rates going down. We have seen more activity on Hilton Head in recent weeks that we had during the fall. Buyer's are begining to release we are getting close to the bottom of the market, and with inventory high it is a good time to buy, and South Carolina is a good place to buy.

Article from South Carolina Realtor's Association
Statewide growth will boost home sales in 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. (January 2007) — According to the South Carolina REALTORS® (SCR) real estate market data, 2007 was one of the best years on record for South Carolina home sales. With over 61,000 total sales last year, the year-end totals represent a 55% increase in sales and a 32% increase in median price since 2000.
While the total number of homes on the market is consistently higher than recent years, average prices are holding steady and even growing in some areas of the state. A total of 61,678 homes were sold in South Carolina last year, while the median price remained at $159,000. According to Nick Kremydas, SCR's CEO, “Although sales are off from the record peak in 2005, there was a historically high level of home sales taking place this year – one of the best ever. We are looking forward to a great 2008.“
“Look at the population growth, historically low interest rates, and our state’s healthy job market—you can see why we’re optimistic about the housing market in South Carolina,” said Kremydas. South Carolina is the tenth-fastest growing state in the country. The state has grown by 10% (400,000 new residents) over the last seven years for a total estimated population of 4.4 million, according to latest census estimates.

MLS Stats 2007 vs 2006

MLS Stats 1998-2007 Chart

Compared to sales in 2006, total sales in 2007 declined 10.6 percent to 61,585. The Rock Hill area (+8%) continues to lead the state in growth, while the Myrtle Beach area (-29.2%) and Beaufort (-22.7%) reported the largest sales declines. Despite the overall decline, only one of the 15 reporting regions (Southern Midlands) showed significant price declines this quarter, according to “We are already seeing increased activity on the coast, that’s a good sign for the next quarter,“ said Kremydas. Pending sales activity shows that home sales will to hold fairly steady over the next few months. Total sales are expected to rise later in the year and continue to improve in 2009, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors®.
“The market’s biggest challenge? - A lack of consumer confidence. Too many consumers are focused on the national numbers,” Kremydas said. “The challenge is that national numbers are pretty much irrelevant. Talking about national averages is about as effective as having a national weather forecast. Like the weather, all real estate markets are local. You can count on your REALTOR® to give you the facts regarding your local market.”

Charlie B. Fraser is President and Broker in Charge of Charles Fraser Realty Group specializing in the Hilton Head market. If you are interested in the "Island Lifestyle" contact his team at: or

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