By Janet Gresham
As anticipated at the outset of the year, demand has remained high through the first three quarters of 2016 in Beaufort County, propping up sales and prices despite heavy reductions in inventory and months of supply across the country.
With rental prices and employment opportunities in a consistent climb, year-over-year increases in home buying are probable for the rest of the year but not guaranteed.
New Listings were down 8.8 percent to 207. Pending Sales decreased 0.6 percent to 155. Inventory shrank 4.3 percent to 1,057 units.
Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 18.8 percent to $200,127. Days on Market decreased 10.9 percent to 82 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down 12.3 percent to 5.7 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.
In general, today’s demand is driven by three factors: Millennials are reaching prime home-buying age, growing families are looking for larger homes and empty nesters are downsizing. However, intriguingly low interest rates often prompt refinancing instead of listing, contributing to lower inventory. Recent studies have also shown that short-term rentals are keeping a collection of homes off the market.
Janet Gresham is the CEO of the Beaufort County Association of REALTORS and the Beaufort Multiple Listing Service, Inc.