By Brodie Putz
South Carolina saw 4,660 homes sold in January, the highest numbers since 2006, according to a monthly report from the S.C. Association of Realtors.
Following a year comprised of rising sales, prices, and mortgage rates, 2017 opened with a statewide real estate surge that Andy Burns, a realtor at Capitol City Realty, called, “promisingly healthy.”
“About six years ago was probably the best time to buy,” Burns said. “But as for now, things seem to be very fair for buyers and sellers. Homes priced right will sell quickly, and those that aren't won’t. It looks healthy from my point of view.”
According to the S.C. Association of Realtor’s report, between January 2016 and January 2017, the number of new listings in S.C. rose 7.8% to 9,477, and the median price of homes sold increased 5.3% to $179,000. The increase in listings and price corresponded with more than 1,000 homes sold in the Charleston Trident area alone, with another 738 sold in Greater Columbia.
Homes also sold faster than last year, with each unit staying on the market for an average of 104 days across the state, down from 111 in 2016. They sold fastest in the Greater Greenville area, averaging 57 days on the market, and the slowest in Southern Midlands, which saw an average of 231 days.
“It may be business friendly Trump in office,” Burns said. “If Trump and congress are able to get rid of the regulations that were put in place after the recession, we may see a surge and bubble burst again.”
It is unclear if the housing market will follow Burn’s prediction, but a similar trend did occur in 2006 when sales peaked before starting a decline into 2007, and reaching historic lows in 2012.
Early Trump administration priorities are not expected to deal directly with housing. However, the President and his team have made it clear that they hope to roll back much of the post-crisis financial regulation laid out in the Dodd-Frank Act. Theoretically this could open up banks to lend more freely to wide-range of potential buyers. Though not everyone is convinced this type of lending is the direction banks would go with any new-found freedom.
Burns noted that South Carolina was largely spared during the last housing crash, and that it most likely would be spared again were another crash to hit.
“Prices just sort of stick around here,” he said.