Despite the slow growth of the economy and unemployment continue to hover around eight percent, The real estate markets in South Carolina have improved consistently over the last 18 months to 19 months, says Nick Kremydas, CEO of South Carolina Realtors. Sales are up, construction is up, and inventory is down.
“We’re starting to see now some sellers that are jumping into the market place as inventories have shrunk We’re starting to see decrease numbers of foreclosures and short sales and we see buyers that are probably a little bit motivated by the jump in interest rates.”
Mortgage rates fell for the third straight week. According to Freddie Mac, the average interest rate for the most popular type of home loan, the 30 year fixed rate fell to 4.22 percent from last week’s rate of 4.32 percent.
Kremydas notes while job growth remains an important component indicative of a fertile real estate market and a thriving economy, South Carolina’s real estate market has been able to experience an uptick despite the relatively high unemployment rate because the state’s population has been growing at a rapid pace as South Carolina remains one of the top destination states in the country; also consumer confidence is rising as the economy has improved in the last year and half in what Kremydas calls economic “fundamentals.”
“We’re starting to see a small rise in the number of jobs being created. We’re seeing more economic development. We’re seeing interest rates staying at affordable levels and the Federal Reserve not taking any extreme action in that regard.”
Kremydas says new housing permits, which we’re at a 50-year low at the end of last year, are starting to rebound.
Kremydas says that the real estate market in South Carolina is not immune to what goes on in Washington, and the government shut down has caused a delay in mortgages being processed. “If you’re dealing with a lender that needs to verify your Social Security Number or has to verify information from the IRS, there is going to be a significant delay in processing those mortgages.”
Kremydas adds that families going through the FHA’s single family mortgage program are going to experience some slowdowns.
Kremydas says sales have picked up in all forms of housing, not just single family homes.
“I can’t just tell you condos are outperforming single family (homes) or townhouses are doing better than condos. This has been a real turnaround year as we’ve seen these numbers improve.”