Have you ever stopped to consider the irony of it all? When the housing market was hot with escalading hosing prices, buyers couldn't wait to jump on board. With multiple offers coming in, buyers were willing to pay above asking price to get the home of their choice. When it's a buyer's market with deals galore out there, buyers go into hibernation. Go figure! In a seller's market, buyers fall all over themselves to make a deal. In a buyer's market, sellers just don't seem to be able to give their homes away.
Buyers, take a good look at what the market has done and is doing over the past five years in the Greater Florence Region of South Carolina. True, this year's housing market is the worst of the five but it isn't that far off from 2004 sales. What makes it look so much worse is the number of homes on the market. They have been going up steadily over the past five years and until 2007, sales were keeping up pretty well with the listings. In 2008, however, listings spiked by nearly 20% while sales decreased by 23% year over year. That has created a 9.8 month inventory in the local housing market, which should be a buyer's delight. So, where are the buyers?
To really understand what's happening in the Florence housing market, take a look at my last blog titled Lets Make Some Money! I have a chart there that illustrates the monthly ratio between listings and sales for 2008. Those figures point toward a possible bottoming out of the slumping housing market. Spring will let us know for sure. But here's the problem. The best deals for buyers are before the market turns, not after. If you're a serious home buyer but taking a "wait and see" attitude, you're going to be looking back at the bottom instead of buying into it. That'll cost you a lot of money!