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South Carolina Market Outlook

By Tabitha Jean Naylor

The market outlook for 2013 in South Carolina is promising for sellers. The past few years have seen declines in housing prices and large inventories of unsold housing. With new construction halted for a period of a few years now housing inventories are finally reaching lows not seen in many. Many years. Continuing limits on new construction means demand is beginning to outstrip the supply and that bodes well for those looking to sell in 2013.

According to local real estate figures 2013 is indeed looking brighter for those selling homes in South Carolina. Almost across the board there is currently greater demand than supply for housing and sales prices are stable or escalating.

Other factors that support a recovery in the housing market is the greater availability of mortgage funds that started to flow in towards the end of 2012 and an easing up of underwriting requirements for qualified buyers in 2013, as well as low interest rates, and a continuing confidence that real estate represents a solid long term investment.

The real estate markets in Lake Wylie and Fort Mill are expected to see home prices increasing as well as the number of sales in 2013. But realtors continue to remind sellers that homes in Lake Wylie and Fort Mill tend to stay on the market longer in large part due to the fact many homes are selling for over a million dollars. Nonetheless, it remains a very popular area and the market is stabilizing and on the upswing once again.

Beaufort, SC is typical of many South Carolina communities. Home prices are starting to come back up to reasonable levels but they are still affordable. This means both buyers and sellers are entering the housing market. The housing inventory is also bottoming out and interest rates are beginning to increase so the combination is right for higher numbers of sales in 2013. New housing starts are also likely to increase because the inventory is at a long term low. This means more homes will be coming into the market again to meet the new levels of demand. With lower numbers of short sale and foreclosure properties available neighborhood prices will continue to increase helping sellers recoup some of what they may have lost in home value over the past several years.

Even in counties like Anderson, Pickens and Oconee where there are housing inventories to cover the next several years, sales are finally beginning to pick up and the expectation is that these areas too will see improvements in 2013 with increasing numbers of sales and drops in housing inventory. Prices may not escalate a lot but at least properties will begin to move.

Overall, though some areas will be slower to join in the recovery, 2013 appears to hold promise for a decent year of sales, upward trending prices and drops in the number of pre-foreclosure and foreclosure properties. With an improving lending environment and motivation for buyers to close sales before interest rates climb higher, South Carolina can stop singing the real estate blues.

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