Local Realtors release July market report

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Housing price-bubble chatter has increased this summer, as market observers attempt to predict the next residential real estate shift, according to the Beaufort County Association of Realtors’ July market report. 

It is too early to predict a change from higher prices and lower inventory, but the common markers that caused the last housing cool-down are present. Wages are up but not at the same pace as home prices, leading to the kind of affordability concerns that can cause fewer sales at lower prices. At the same time, demand is still outpacing what is available for sale in many markets.

New Listings were up 11.8 percent to 284. Pending Sales increased 15.8 percent to 234. Inventory grew 21.5 percent to 1,123 units.

Prices were still soft as Median Sales Price was down 6.7 percent to $210,000. Days on Market increased 2.4 percent to 85 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up 17.3 percent to 6.1 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

Consumer spending on home goods and renovations are up, and more people are entering the workforce.

Employed people spending money is good for the housing market. Meanwhile, GDP growth was 4.1% in the second quarter, the strongest showing since 2014. Housing starts are down, but that is more reflective of low supply than anything else. With a growing economy, solid lending practices and the potential for improved inventory from new listing and building activity, market balance is more likely than a bubble.

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