January 25, 2024 at 4:44pm | Jonathan Crompton
New Year, New Me!  Maybe.....

I am always thrilled to see the holiday season come....and thrilled to see it go!

I have had my share of cookies, sweets, treats, food, wine, beer, etc... you name it! I am glad to be back to the normal "routine" of life. There is simplicity in that, for me at least.

Are you having any New Years Resolutions? If so what are you going to do to ensure you remain on track for them? Most people after the 3rd week fall out of their new rhythm. Sorta like the 83% of Realtors who drop out their first year in Real Estate...

This should be a very interesting year. Lot of factors to play into it. One, its an election year. The market always gets wonky around election time. Two, the FEDS are talking of dropping their rates at a minimum of 4 times, that should lower interest rates and will usher in a load of buyers who were sidelined last year. The unknown at the moment is how will the Listing Inventory be this year. We were climbing at the tail end of 2023 upward, though right now we are not seeing a huge push of listings... I know I know, we are 17 days into the new year!

I will share my thoughts below the though for now....

To the Update!

Average Sales Price:

Back to the year over year monthly comparison. For December, we saw another increase in the average sales price of Charleston as a whole. The average was $565(rounded up) and is up 4.5% from the same time last year. That is a positive sign of the pricing to continue to go upwards. With rates coming down and if we do not see enough new listings hit the market, could make it contentious again for buyers. If you are smart, you will or would have jumped ahead of the Spring market as a buyer!(several of my clients go great deals and negotiated big time over the last 2 months).
Average Days on Market: 

This trend has been upward since July and we expect it to go up as school starts back up. That being said, the average home selling in 38 days is still far greater then what it was pre 2020. It was up 2.7% since last December as well. I think this is just a decent thing to see, if you have a day or 2 to decide as a buyer it gives you some peace of mind. That being said, there are still multiple offers happening.Average Months of Inventory:

Here we sit with 2 months of inventory, up 5.3% from last year. That sharp drop for December is typical of people removing their homes for the holidays and gearing for a Spring push. Watching this will dictate if pricing will get out of hand as it did in the past. Less inventory, lower interest rates, raised demand mean for a bid war scenario for the Spring.
New Listings on the Market:

Listings were lite in December, we had 1,207 go live on market which is 8.8% more then we had last year. Nothing really to see here other then our seasonality coming back into play a bit with holidays etc.. We had a pretty low year of new listings last year, experts feel that it will be similar to last year with a little push. It is possible to see homeowners with a ton of equity start to get comfortable with the lower rates ad decide to make a move this Spring, though that throws one more buyer into the mix on another home.
Homes Under Contract:

This is a positive. 1,125 contracts written which is up 3.5% from last year. We almost wrote as many contracts as listings. So there is still demand, rates came down pretty significantly in December. I had a client get quoted 8% over Thanksgiving and closed in Mid December at 6.1%. Thats huge to a buyer, plust we got 7% in concessions with lower price and all closing cost covered. I think we are on the rebound to some degree that we bottomed out on the lower contract writing season.   Closed Homes:

Now this is also good news. The 1,177 closed homes is down only 8.1% from last year, which again from the beginning of last year the month over month was off at times 30%. So again, the last lag indicator is closed homes after pending homes, so a good trend to see. So, what does this all mean?!

Well its going to be an interesting year. If rates come down, inventory remains low or goes lower, multiple offers will be the norm(again...). That makes it great for sellers and harsh for buyers.

If rates come down, inventory goes up a bit due to off fence sellers, the market could "normalize" for what its worth. Still big probability of multiple offers depending on area(s) because we are still seeing that.

One thing I do not see is pricing coming down and in fact expect to see a normal 4-5% increase as a whole over the year.



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