By all indications, 2019 was an excellent year for real estate, and the trend seems to be continuing. The strong employment market combined with record-low mortgage rates is an amazing recipe for buyers looking to move or trade-up this spring. The only thing that might be concerning, according to market statistics, is that there might be a shortage of homes on the market for eager homebuyers.
Unemployment figures are at a fifty-year low, and along with them are low-interest rates. The one thing that is troubling many in the real estate market is the lower than average housing stock. There simply aren’t enough new homes being built to accommodate the buyer’s market, and some homeowners are choosing to stay put, which is only making homes for sale a bit more scarce.
But, the good news is that this year seems to be a much more stable time to be in the market. And forecasts for the 2020 real estate market predicts that the housing market will neither move up or down, but rather sideways as the spring market hits South Carolina.
National Association of Realtors
According to the lead authority in the housing market, the National Association of Realtors, predictions for 2020 are that there will be moderate growth and that low-interest rates will continue to benefit homebuyers and sellers alike.
New home sales are forecasted to rise by as much as 11 percent nationwide, and existing home sales might be held back by a decrease in inventory. Also, the median national sale of existing homes is projected to grow by as much as 4.3 percent up from 2019. The NAR expects that home prices in Charleston, SC will outpace the rest of the nation in the next three to five years.
Freddie Mac and Mortgage Banks Association
According to the biggest names in mortgage banking, 2020 is slated to not only continue with a historically low interest rate, it could be possible that rates will drop even lower. Fannie Mae economists believe that interest rates for the year will hold steady somewhere between 3.5% and 3.6%. What that means for homebuyers is that they will be able to afford more house.
It also means that younger homebuyers, like Millennials, will get into the housing market, further increasing competition for inventory. And with less supply and higher demand, that will drive the prices of housing nationwide. But the same appears not to be true in Charleston, where inventory remains strong and prices are still affordable.
Although Millennials make up as much as 45% of homebuyers in 2019, the same is not true for Charleston, SC. Thanks to low property tax rates and the fact that South Carolina does not tax Social Security, many retirees and mid-lifer’s find moving from other expensive coastal communities to Charleston highly attractive. So Millennials might be dictating the real estate market in other big cities, but older generations appear to be taking the lead in Charleston, SC.
So what does that mean for you?
If you are in the market to buy a new house, this is an excellent time to start looking. The buyer’s market combined with low-interest rates makes it an excellent time to upgrade or to find your first home. But because things are so economically ripe, it is also imperative that you beat the rush and begin your search now before things become too competitive.
Although it might be that Charleston could be spared the same low-inventory issue happening around the United States, forecasts are just that, forecasts. And, as such, there is no real way to know what the future will bring. What is evident is that getting a mortgage at a low rate is going to be easier now than ever, and the spring is already in full-swing…so what are you waiting for?
Contact our office today and get a jump on your home search before you find less and less to choose from.