With the start of a new school year, September ends the summer holiday and signals everyone to fall back into a routine. What does this mean for our area’s real estate market? Traditionally, most people think that summer is the busy selling season. While that may be true in many parts of the country, the fall brings many potential buyers to our area.
During the summer months, many properties on the market have limited showing time due to vacationers renting week to week. In some cases, vacation rentals will limit the viewing time to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on “turn day,” usually Saturday. In fall, with fewer tourists and more available showing times, sellers will increase the chance of selling. Fall is also when vacationers return after enjoying a superb holiday and begin to consider investing in a vacation home or rental property. People up north will start to feel the chill in the air before you know it and realize winter is right around the corner. Thinking about another season of slush, shoveling and snow will send potential buyers into the area. And with virtual offices, you can live where there is the highest quality of life and no snow. As children study their reading, writing and arithmetic, grandparents may be studying their financial portfolio and heading to the Lowcountry to purchase their retirement homes.
As we move into fall, residential real estate is performing as predicted at the beginning of the year. Sales and prices have been going up. As of the end of July, closed transactions for the region were up 6.6 percent over the past 12 months, and the median price was up 6.6 percent year-to-date. The mainland shows the strongest area of closed transactions, up 14.1 percent year-to-date. The region gained a small increase in inventory as of the end of July, with 6.9 months of supply. As always, each neighborhood is different, so work with a Realtor to know and understand the value of your property.
“Realtor” is a federally registered collective membership trademark that identifies a real estate licensee who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its strict written code of ethics.
Jean Beck is the executive vice president of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors.