So many times you hear people say to forget the past and look toward the future, but in the Upstate Real Estate market, as Robert Tew said, “Understanding your past can help you to create a better future.” In business, looking at the past is how we learn about what we can expect from our future and the real estate market is no different. So with that said, let’s take a quick look at how the Upstate Real Estate market performed in 2017 and what we at All-Star Real Estate believe is to come in 2018.
1. Median Sales Price on the Rise
If you bought or sold real estate in the Upstate in 2017, you know that paying or receiving top dollar was the norm. Both the Greater Anderson and Greater Greenville real estate markets saw a three year high in median sales prices. The Greater Anderson area had an increase of 9.3% over 2016 to $165,000 and the Greater Greenville area had an increase of 5% to $189,000. The rise in Upstate real estate prices is a direct result of not enough supply to meet demand and is at the core of the top four stories of 2017.
2. Tight Inventory
I’m not sure if people are afraid to enter the Upstate real estate market or are just happy where they currently live, but tight housing inventory in the Anderson and Greenville areas is great for Sellers, but has been a tough pill to swallow for prospective buyers. The Greater Anderson real estate market has seen a three year decline in the monthly average number of active listings available. In 2017, their average monthly inventory dropped 5.8% from 2016. The Greater Greenville real estate market did see a 2.6% increase, but not enough to bring prices down or even to decrease average time property is spending on the market.
3. Average Days on the Market
Speaking of average time spent on the market, the Upstate Real Estate market is moving fast, with both Greenville and Anderson showing a double digit decrease! In case you’re wondering, the Greater Greenville area’s average time spent on the market is 53 days and the Greater Anderson area’s average time spent on the market is 70 days. Keep in mind, our MLS system tally’s total days and includes the time property is on the market while under contract. A loan can take anywhere from 30-45 to process, depending on the type of loan you get and when you’re getting it. If you subtract 30 days from these averages, it will give you a better picture of how fast things are moving and why sellers are seeing the next big story on our list…Multiple Offers!
4. Multiple Offers
As an agent, I saw all types of cards played for multiple offers. Offers above asking price aren’t too abnormal these days, but buyers were getting creative by working with their banks to come up with ways to offer cash instead of getting a loan. In addition, buyers were waiving contingencies like inspections and closing cost assistance, plus we even had a few letters written to sellers as to why a particular buyer wanted their home.
Maybe you didn’t buy or sell real estate in 2017 and are more concerned about the Upstate Real Estate market in 2018. Well, in short, expect more of the same with hope of a few changes. In order for the Upstate Real Estate market to be a sustaining force for our economy, we’ve got to find some type of balance between buyers and sellers. A sellers market or buyers market are OK for a short period of time, but if we continue on this pace, pricing will start to outpace reality and that could possibly lead to another housing bubble.
Before you get concerned, there is good news. The economists at Market Watch anticipate a gradual increase in interest rates over the next few years and the experts at Trading Economics are also projecting wage growth in the same time frame, which is vital to the Upstate Real Estate market. The combination of the two should help us to see a balance of power, so to speak, and a strong real estate market for years to come.
My Predictions for the Upstate Real Estate Market in 2018:
- I believe the Median Sales Price will continue to slowly rise, at least through the first half of 2018. If the Fed does indeed raise the interest rate, that’s when we’ll likely see that start to level off.
- While we’re not too deep into it, so far, 2018 has proven to continue the trend of Tight Inventory. The last 5 weeks have really proven difficult to find homes for prospective buyers, however, that 5 weeks included Christmas, New Years, super cold weather, and even snow. All of which will affect the timing of someone putting their house on the market for sale. Tight Inventory is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
- Tight inventory means the Upstate Real Estate market is a sellers’ market, which means as soon as the well priced ones hit the market, buyers are going to snatch them up. If you’re thinking about selling, that is great, but don’t get slack on how you present your home. If you do, your days on the market have the potential to step above the average. The average number of Days on the Market will likely hold steady or drop slightly for now. The real drop could come when the inevitable spring inventory hits the market creating more homes with much fewer days they are available.
- Multiple Offers are not a thing of the past and will continue to cause emotional stress to buyers throughout most, if not all of 2018. Buyers, my advice to you is to go ahead and get pre-approved for a loan (almost all sellers are requiring them to accompany offers these days) and SIGN UP for our New Listing Email Alerts! Doing so will give you a jump on the competition so you can see a house first.