Listening to the National Media drone on about how dismal things are in residential housing is enough to make you cry, get a little sick, then cry again. And, after seeing the California Market first hand last month, it's not pretty. But, you have to remember that the National numbers are not necessarily an accurate reflection of what's going on right here in Fort Mill, Tega Cay, and Lake Wylie.
Here's the facts: The Charlotte Metropolitan Area was one of 3 major cities that actually experienced increased appreciation in 2007 by a little over 4.5%. The average price for a single family home for January, 2008 was only very slightly down from the same period in Jan 2007 ($218,610 down from $219,270) which represents less than 1 percent. The number of sales transactions is down and houses are sitting on the market a little longer, but it's no reason to pack your bags and flee for Mexico. A "slow" market is a relative term. Yes, we are slower than we were when the whole real estate market was on fire. What you have to remember is that there is also opportunity out there.
Remember, the media makes advertising dollars by keeping you glued to the TV set. Shocking headlines of gloom and doom keep you watching. Telling you everything is ok does not. We are definitely feeling the slowdown of tighter lending practices and cooler markets elsewhere. The thing to keep in mind is that our area did not experience the years of double digit appreciation that they did elsewhere. In short, we are still very affordable. Combine that with our reputation for excellent schools, lower taxes, and being a great place to live puts us on the "short list" on many people's list for re-locating.
Steve Schwartz is a licensed REALTOR in NC and SC specializing in Fort Mill, Tega Cay, Lake Wylie, and Charlotte and the host of over 7 Real Estate websites including his REALTOR websites, http://www.thepurpledog.com/ and http://www.last10sold.com/, and http://www.charlotteareahomefinder.com/, (for home buyers) and http://www.charlotteareahomevalue.com/, (for home sellers).