With the dismal reports on the national news (and sometimes local), I thought I would shed some light on the state of our local market.
Did you know that the average sale price of an existing home is still rising in the Greater Greenville area? Surprising, I know, since everyone in the media makes it sound like the "real estate crisis" is national. In fact, Greenville had the 9th highest appreciation rate in the most recent price index by the National Association of Realtors. Better yet, The PMI Group Inc. (an organization responsible for identifying risk for lenders) released a report on October 1st, 2008 showing that the Greater Greenville area has "a less than 1% risk of decline in average sale price over the next 2 years."
Something else you might hear about all the time is the foreclosure crisis. Here's another reality that you may not hear on the news too often. According to RealtyTrac (the same organization where the news gets their info), Greenville has a rate of foreclosure 65% below the national average. Actually, in the list of the top 100 markets by population, Greenville ranked 88th for number of households in some stage of foreclosure.
Another term you may hear from time to time is "absorption rate" or "inventory". This has always been a reliable gauge of where a market is leaning (buyers market, sellers market, or neutral). The absorption rate is calculated by counting all of the properties currently on the market, and figuring out how long that inventory would take to sell based on the number of sales in the past. While the national average is approximately 11.5 months (indicating a strong buyer's market), the absorption rate in Greater Greenville is approximately 6.5 months (indicating a neutral market leaning toward the buyer).
One story currently all over the news, is that lenders have limited funds to give potential buyers. It is true that someone with a 570 credit score may have difficulty finding 100% financing nowadays. In markets where prices are on a downward slope, of course lenders have tighter funds, but in lower risk markets such as Greenville, the funds are still readily available.
I sincerely hope that this information helps. If you are looking to buy, interest rates are low, and prices are still rising. I recently realized that if I were to ask my financial advisor to "find me an investment that has averaged a 3.14% yearly gain over the past 5 years, with the ability to write the interest off my taxable income, not pay any taxes on gains up to $250,000 after 2 years, and has a less than 1% risk of decline for the next two years", he would laugh at me.
That's the reality of the Greenville market.
Cameron Keegan is a Greenville SC Realtor with more than 5 years experience in helping buyers and sellers with their Greenville SC Real Estate needs.