The stock market is hitting all-time highs while interest rates reach new lows. We’re seeing historically low unemployment rates and wages are on the rise. The booming economy is driving a strong real estate market across the country and here in the lowcountry. The market fundamentals suggest things should continue on this pace, other than the routine seasonal dip that we see this time of year.
In McClellanville and Awendaw, market activity for 2019 has followed much of the same stable conditions that we have experienced in 2017 and 2018. The number of homes sold in McClellanville and Awendaw year-to-date is nearly identical to the past two years. We have not seen huge gains in home values, but we also aren’t seeing any losses. We are in a very balanced market without too much inventory (supply) or too many buyers (demand).
The vacant land side of the market tells a different story however. There has been a 36% decline in the number of lots sold year to date compared to the average of the last two years’ sales. The land market has really been on a rally since 2015. The abundant inventory has kept prices from climbing very quickly, but we’re finally starting to see inventory decline. The difference in the number of sales this year compared to the last few is happening at the bottom end of the market. There may be fewer buyers but it’s mostly a factor of being priced out of the market. There is very little that buyers are interested in for under $50k in McClellanville and less than $100k in Awendaw. On paper, there are still plenty of active land listings, but they have been fairly well picked over in the last years, so in reality, there is a shortage of well-priced listings. That being said, it’s a healthy buyer’s market in which people can still pick up land at affordable prices and motivated sellers can find buyers if they’re priced right.