When you think of today’s housing market, are your insights positive? According to the numbers, most Americans are confident in the market! According to Fannie Mae, consumer confidence in housing rose to its highest level in April. 45% of non-homeowners say they plan to purchase a home in the next 5 years, while just 22% of homeowners say they plan on selling (CNBC). New listings inventory is up 10% from this time last year, but overall home inventory is down from a year ago.
Inventory can’t keep up with demand, and new homes construction is down, but is expected to rise steadily over the next several months. There are more buyers than sellers, making the market competitive and keeping prices high. Transactions are speeding up and approximate time from listing to contract for a home is just 30 days. It may be a Seller’s Market, but buyer’s are not dissuaded by price increases and decreasing inventory. The homes market in the South is leading the nation in percentage of sales, making up 42.9% of total inventory – up 0.4% from last year. “Millennials” comprise the largest sector of those in the market to purchase, and most are looking for mid-level homes instead of starter homes.
Overall the market is looking good. According to a recent survey by RentCafe, Charleston’s population has grown by 35%, income is up 16% and home values have risen 39%. Moreover, poverty has dropped 15% and unemployment has receded by 10%. Home buyers are staying in their homes longer than in previous years, first time home buyers are waiting until they are more financially stable to purchase and interest rates are still considered low. Enthusiasm for buying remains high, and though inventory is rushing to keep up, new construction is forecast to rise. Sellers continue to win in this market, as homes are selling at or above asking price more than this time last year, and house prices are forecast to rise by 4% over the next year.