December proved again to be a slower month in the Sumter, SC real estate market. This has been true of our market for the last three out of five Decembers. The beginning of December was slow with not many buyers out searching for a home, but the end of the year went out on a positive note with more and more showings of homes that were listed.
The number of units sold in December decreased slightly from November with 57 units closing in December vs. the 59 in November. With the holidays, I was not expecting a large change in numbers, so this did not surprise me.
The number of listings in December was up from Novembers' 104 to 107. November and December both had fewer listings than any of the remaining months in 2008. The number of new listings followed the same trend as the number of sales with only 2004 and 2007 showing increases in December over November. I would hope to see the numbers of listings to stay lower, but January has proven to show an increase in listings consistently year after year.
The number of units sold during 2008 has proven to remain consistently below prior years. Even though the overall trend for the year is consistent with prior years, the total numbers of units closed is lower.
Sumter remains in a buyers' market. Interest rates are at lows we haven't seen in years and money is still available for qualified buyers. Given the market we are in, many buyers are able to purchase a home with no money down and having the seller cover the buyers' closing costs. With $500 earnest money, a buyer can secure a contract on a home and then possibly close with the earnest money returned to the buyer. The $7500 tax credit is still available through the beginning of 2009, adding even more incentive to locate your dream home and become a home owner. Many options are still available for home buyers, it is a matter of working with a qualified mortgage lender and a Realtor to put you on the track to your dream of owning a home.
Copyright®, January 2009, Kim Peasley-Parker.