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Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before.

Like most industries, Charleston residential real estate has a seasonality to it. For example, toy stores sell more toys in October, November, and December than they do in any other three-month span throughout the year. More cars are sold in the U.S. during the second quarter (April, May, and June) than in any other quarter of the year.

Real estate is very similar. The number of homes sold in the Spring/Summer in Charleston is almost always much greater than at any other time of the year. Historically, the number of buyers and listings for sale significantly increase in the spring and remains strong throughout the summer. Once fall sets in, the number of buyers and sellers typically drops off.

Last year, however, that seasonality didn’t happen. The outbreak of the virus and subsequent slowing of the economy limited sales during the spring market. These sales were pushed back later in the year, and last fall and winter saw a dramatic increase in home sales over previous years in Charleston. The only thing that held the market back was the extremely limited supply of homes for sale.

What About This Winter?
Some experts thought we’d return to the industry’s normal seasonality this winter with both the number of purchasers and houses available for sale falling off. However, data now shows that neither of those situations will likely occur. Buyer demand is still extremely strong, and it appears we may soon see a somewhat uncharacteristic increase in the number of homes coming to the market.

Buyer Demand Remains Strong
The latest Showing Index from ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of monthly showings on available homes, indicates buyer activity was slightly lower than at the same time last year but much higher than any of the three previous years (see chart below):

Showing index for the month

A report from realtor.com confirms buying activity remains strong in the existing home sales market.

Here are some highlights in the report:

Of homeowners planning to enter the market in the next year:

65% – Have just listed (19%) or plan to list this winter
93% – Have already taken steps toward listing their home, including working with an agent (28%)
36% – Have researched the value of their home and others in their neighborhood
36% – Have started making repairs or decluttering
The report also discusses the reasons sellers want to move:

33% – Have realized they want different home features
37% – Say their home no longer meets their family’s needs
32% – Want to move closer to friends and family
23% – Are looking for a home office
Data shows buyer demand remains unusually strong going into this winter. Research indicates the supply of inventory is about to increase. This could be a winter real estate market like never before.

Bottom Line
If you’re thinking of buying or selling in the Charleston area, now is the time to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a real estate professional in your market, as things are about to change in an unexpected way. Call Us Today!