Kathy's Korner - April 16, 2008

Our current real estate market's back to Earth

Kathryn MillerApril 15, 2008 

Kathryn Miller is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker United Realty. She can be reached at kathy@homesinyork-county.com.

What is going on with real estate in Fort Mill?

This is not your mother's market, nor the market from two years ago. But it is still a good, moving market - just down to Earth. In 2006 we saw real estate prices soar here in Fort Mill. The market was red hot, houses jumped off the market, and builders went crazy buying expensive lots and building fancy big houses.

Prior to 2006, the market increased, slowly and steadily. After 2006, the market ratcheted back to the gentle increases from 2005. The influx of buyers slowed to a trickle due to the housing crunch in other parts of the country. One immediately notes a spike that hurts if one purchased at 2006 prices. Appreciation will continue, albeit at a reasonable rate.

If you are considering selling your home, price it fairly and expect a lower offer. Once you receive an offer, you may be able to negotiate a price. Or you may actually see the buyer simply move on to the next opportunity. Buyers are concerned for the future value of houses and look for an opportunity below market value now in order to hedge their bets.

There continues to be a glut in some elements of our market. Some builders with inventory are wheeling and dealing. Until inventory is reduced to normal limits (about a six-month supply), we will continue to see a lot of price negotiations. But houses are selling, and some, in certain niches, quickly.

If you are considering buying a home, now is the time. Interest rates are good; they fluctuate between very reasonable and stupendous, depending on the day. There is more room for price reductions now than in the past. But do consider the big picture: you need a home in which to raise your family. Though appreciation is slow now, there is still appreciation. And buyers from all over the country are in a holding pattern, just waiting to move here once their homes are sold.

Or, they are already here, renting and waiting!

Our market is good. It is simply more reasonable and carefully considered than in some years past. Quite frankly, isn't this a good thing? Who seriously thought the market in Florida or California or Las Vegas would continue to rise in double digits forever?

My dad turns 80 next month. He always said, "If it's too good to be true, it is. Slow and steady wins the race."

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