Published Aug. 16, 2012
The real estate market is making a comeback from the depths of the Great Recession, with many indicators moving in a positive direction, but don’t expect housing to resume its role as the engine pulling the train in the short term, South Carolina Realtors said in its monthly home sales report.
The data also suggests a growing optimism among potential sellers who have waited to place their homes on the market. Compared with July 2011, new listings in South Carolina increased 2%, while pending sales were up 11%. And the inventory of unsold homes shrank 15.1%.
“Sustained recovery will not occur without real employment and wage growth,” S.C. Realtors said in its report. “Consumers must be confident in both the economy and their family finances before signing on the dotted line.”
The association said low interest rates have helped maintain sales in a still-soft marketplace. The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage recently dipped below the 3.49% mark.
For the first time since 2005, housing is on track to contribute positively to national economic growth in 2012, S.C. Realtors said, through a combination of direct residential investment, remodeling and other services.
Some positive trends noted by the association are:
- The price range with the strongest sales was $200,001-$300,000, with a 15.4% increase in sales during July, compared with the year-earlier month.
- The bedroom count with the strongest sales in July was four bedrooms or more, with sales up 15.1%.
- Condominiums were the property type with the strongest sales, up 11.4%.
Regionally, the strongest increases in the number of homes sold were in the Spartanburg and Hilton Head markets, where gains topped 25% in both areas.
July housing trends (year-over-year)
% change of homes sold
Days on the market
Source: South Carolina Realtors