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Down 27%; Our CEO explains

Real Estate Agent with Carolina One Real Estate; Realtor, SFR,ABR,CIAS

Patty Saarafile, Carolina One's CEO wrote this letter this week to all of our Clients, friends and neighbors. She does a tremendous job of helping us all explain why July's numbers had dropped so dramatically!

Please remember, Real Estate is local. Whats happening now nationally is certainly not what we are experiencing in the Charleston area. If you have questions about your neighborhood, please call me for a complete market analysis!


August 27, 2010

To our clients, friends, and neighbors,

After a strong spring real estate market, this week there have been national headlines in the news about the 27% drop in July home sales compared to July 2009.  While Charleston's numbers for July are similar (21% down in the number of sales and 27% in the sales volume), it's important to understand the reasons and to look at the bigger picture.    

The spring market was stimulated by the April 30 deadline for the tax credits.  Rather than the "normal" cycle of home sales, many sales were pushed forward by buyers wanting to take advantage of the tax credits.  As a predictable result, we have seen a drop in the number of buyers in the market, because they bought before April 30.  The good news is that there are new buyers in the market every day, and within another month or two, we should see the market level out to more normal seasonality.       

All real estate is local.  Looking specifically at Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties, year to date sales are up 21% in sales volume over January - July 2009 and the number of homes sold is up 19%.  The statistics are very encouraging and Charleston is blessed by many advantages, but again understanding that the spring tax credits played a large role in these increases, unemployment remains high, and our economy is still troubled by multiple and complex issues, these percentages will likely soften by year end.  What we are experiencing are the ups and downs of a housing market trying to recover.  We believe we have seen the bottom of the market and, regardless of the percentages, 2010 year end home sales will be stronger than 2009.  Nonetheless, any sustainable recovery will be gradual, bumpy, and it will take time.  Cautious optimism might be an appropriate outlook.        

What does all this mean for those in the market at this confusing time?  If you're a home seller, yes, you can sell your home now.  The key is compelling pricing that makes it stand out above its competition.  If you're a home buyer, there has never been a better time to buy than today.  Interest rates remain at historical lows (4% range) and selection and value are exceptional.   Like the economy, the real estate market is cyclical.  The market will improve and when it does, these favorable conditions for buyers will not be there. 

Statistics are different for every geographical area and every neighborhood.  Your Carolina One sales associate is here to help with any questions about your individual situation.  As always, thank you for your continued trust and confidence in Caroline One.


Patty Scarafile, CEO