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Housing market faces seasonal slowdown, but remains strong

Real Estate - Residential
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The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, in its monthly update of the fifth district, provided an October snapshot of the residential real estate market in South Carolina.

The state issued 3,612 new residential permits in August, up 19.6% from the prior month and up 13.4% from a year earlier. Permitting activity rose in every metropolitan statistical area in August with the Greenville MSA issuing the most permits at 908. Housing starts in the state totaled 40,700 in August, up 23.3% in the month and up 25.3% from last August. Home values in the state appreciated 0.1% in July and 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. House prices increased in every mero area in the month except Florence and rose in every MSA on a year-over-year basis, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s report.

The real estate market in the Upstate is still very strong, according to Danny Joyner, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices C. Dan Joyner Realtors in Greenville.

“The biggest obstacle that we currently face is the extremely low level of inventory.  We are still seeing many deals with multiple offers from consumers who find very little product to choose from,” Joyner said in an email to GSA Business Report.

Joyner said activity “seems to have slowed a tad over the last few weeks as we await the midterm elections and also as we slip closer into the winter and the holidays which is typical for this time of year.  Don’t let that fool you though because it is still an extremely active market.”

Joyner’s comments came prior to the midterm election on Nov. 6.

A lot of apartment projects came online in a short period of time that caused occupancy rates to tick up a bit, “but those seem to have stabilized at this point,” Joyner said. He said there is a continued strong demand for condos.

David Crigler, COO of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices C. Dan Joyner Realtors, and former chairman of the S.C. Real Estate Commission, said the firm is seeing “a little more inventory staying on the market a little longer.” He said some of that is seasonal. He also said he is seeing more price reductions.

“Overall, the market remains strong in the Upstate,” Crigler said. “We’re blessed with lots of jobs and a great quality of life.”

 Crigler said the walk-in customers to the firm’s Main Street office are from all over the country. He attributes the interest to the national attention Greenville and the Upstate gets in national magazines and rankings.

“And, something we hadn’t seen until the last few years, people who could live anywhere are moving here. There’s a quality of life bringing them here,” he said.

Joyner and Crigler both expect a seasonal slowdown in the market, followed by continued strength.

“The real estate market is definitely seasonal with sales and activity typically slowing down somewhat during the winter months,” Joyner said. “However, I expect this winter to remain very active with the low levels of inventory.”

Crigler said that economists are indicating a soft market, “but the Upstate is in a good place. We expect a good real estate market in 2019, barring anything we can’t control.” 

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-720-1223.

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