After eight often challenging years, Hilton Head Island real estate appears to be making a comeback.
Despite the headwinds caused by property taxes on second homes and investment real estate, as well as the growing cost of flood insurance, the prices and volume of real estate sales are increasing.
One remaining challenge to a "normal" real estate market is access to mortgage credit. Access to credit, or market liquidity, is the key ingredient for orderly markets. After the 2008 financial crisis, many private sources of mortgage capital dried up. The market for private residential mortgage-backed securities, the source of most "non-conforming" mortgage loans, evaporated. Investors fled to "conforming" real estate-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, government-sponsored enterprises that were viewed as being guaranteed by the U.S. government.