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You missed the bottom of the market. But which market?

Just as there’s no “national weather forecast” there is no “national real estate market”. While there are certainly macroeconomic forces at play, it’s is undeniable that all real estate is local. Over the last 30 years in the Lowcountry, we’ve found that our real estate is hyper-local. In other words, within a given market there are sub-markets with unique sets of dynamics and variables that influence values.

While I’m not bold enough to pronounce the “bottom” market wide, in certain segments of our home market we can clearly identify the bottom in our rear view mirror. For example…

  • In Colleton River there were 54 homes sold between 2008 and 2010. Of those, 17 sold for less than $599K. Today, there are only 2 available in that price range.
  • Berkeley Hall is beginning to see a similar recovery as there have been 10 closed home sales already in 2011. The median sale price was $380K but the current median list price is $699K. The home inventory is being absorbed and the floor is coming up.

There are still some amazing homes and homesites available today. Homesites in particular are incredibly attractive as they’ve been largely ignored by buyers for the last few years during the cherry picking of (below reproduction cost) homes.

An additional bellwether of our market locally is the million dollar buyer on the Island. Historically, when that buyer returns we typically see the balance of the market follow. In 2009 there were 90 homes purchased for more than $1M. In 2010 that number held steady at 94. Today, there have already been 32 closings, with another 28 under contract. With 60 sales already in the $1M plus range, we’re on pace to see well over a 30% uptick in ($1M plus) unit sales on HHI.

In short, there are three reasons to buy today: price, selection, and rates. It is a perfect confluence of all three, coupled with tangible evidence that the market is improving. Selection will be the first to go (as inventory narrows with each sale) and an uptick in interest rates appears to be on the not too distant horizon. Your timing is perfect.