A few years ago, we were definitely in what is known as a “Buyer’s Market.” Inventory was up. Sales volume was down. Financing was scarce. Prices had crashed and were trying to find a footing. So if you wanted to sell something, you were one of many sellers chasing one buyer, and a lot of properties sold for whatever someone would offer for them.
In 2015, we still have a few distressed properties, but they are well under 10% of the market instead of upwards of 40% a few years ago. Sales volume (the number of sales in a year) is up, prices have recovered to some degree, being anywhere from 10% to 30% higher than just a few years ago, and we would like to say we are in what is known as a “Balanced Market,” where there are not too many buyers, not too many sellers, but just enough product for what the market is demanding. A balanced market is good for both buyers and sellers, in that prices are not being pushed too high for the buyers, while there is enough sales volume to sell a reasonably-priced property within 3 to 6 months or so.
Yet we must keep in mind that all real estate markets are local, and even in our local greater Myrtle Beach-Conway area there are many sub-markets that have more or less volume and availability than others. In a few select beach-area markets, we may be tipping over into a seller’s market pretty quickly.
For example, in the Little River area, there are 134 active listings in the $100,000 to $200,0000 price range—which is a medium-sized sub-market in our area. But 57 of those 134, almost 43%, are already pending, leaving only 77 actually available. In that same area, there are 107 active listings in the $200,000 to $300,000 range, but 47 (44%) are already under contract. So there is not enough product on the market to meet the demand over the next 6 months.
Look at a few other areas. In Carolina Forest, 43 out of 96 listed homes in the $100k-$200k market are pending, and 87 out of 200 homes in the $200k-$300k range are pending. In Socastee, 104 out of 227 are pending in the $100k-$200k range, while 63 out of 166 are pending in the $200-$300 range.
Wherever you are looking to buy a home, be sure that you know the local market, so you do not get frustrated making low offers and always missing out because it MAY be more of a seller’s market in THAT PARTICULAR AREA than you see or hear about somewhere else. And if you are a seller, do not sell price your home UNDER the market thinking that is what is needed to sell your home fast, when there may be a gap in the market in your home’s price range that allows you to get another $5000 or $15,000 or more and still sell in a relatively short time frame.
Always work with a professional REALTOR who has the knowledge and is willing to do the research that will help you buy or sell at the right price and with the least amount of frustrations. If you do not have that person already working with you, remember that our team at the Cana Group is “Your Best Friend in Real Estate,” and is ready to help you make your buying or selling experience a pleasurable one.
Randy Wallace, REALTOR since 1977 and “Your Best Friend in Real Estate”