2016: A look back at the real estate market



By Everett Ballenger

2015 was a landmark good year for Ballenger Realty and I suspect also for many other Beaufort real estate companies. Last year we equaled the volume we did in 2005. So it has taken us 10 years to get back to where we were in 2005 in regard to sales volume.

With 2015 being a strong year for the local real estate market, the question in many Realtors’ mind was, “Would we see the progress continue into 2016?”

Looking at the data above, I think we can say a resounding “yes.”

When we look at the quarterly reports, we quite often see some minuses in either sales volume or in prices. As can be seen in the chart comparing the 2015/2016 sales for all types of property in Northern Beaufort County, the statistics show very healthy positive numbers across the board. 

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Residential sales

Single-family homes saw an 11.8-percent uptick in units sold in 2016 and an excellent surge of 16.8 percent in sales volume. It has been a considerable amount of time since we have seen anything like this strong growth across the board. 

The market gives every appearance of being very steady, evenly spread and sustainable. We are not seeing the “crazy” market of the early 2000s. One only has to look at the “conservative” 5.6 percent rise in both median and average price to allay anyone’s fear that the local market might be overheating.  

The total Northern Beaufort County real estate market was equally as spirited as was the “Residential” section. 

One thing to consider in looking at the “Total” market is that it includes land and commercial sales, both of which have been on the weak side for many years. Considering that, the “Total” market is even more impressive. 

So will we see 2017 evolve into a better year than 2016?  

At the time of writing this article, we are only about a month and a half into 2017, but I will say that the January numbers for this year were again ahead of the year before.

Realtors, by nature, are optimistic and by nature see the glass as being half full. So let’s hope this optimism is well placed and the local market continues its steady recovery.  

Please remember that in times of change, both good and bad, you especially need a professional Realtor to assist in the selling of your home or purchasing a new one to insure you are basing your decisions on the latest information available.  

Everett Ballenger is the owner of Ballenger Realty and is the past president of the Beaufort County Association of Realtors.

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