MARKET UPDATE - August 2023

Higher mortgage rates, along with elevated sales prices and a lack of housing inventory, have continued to impact market activity during the summer homebuying season. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained above 6.5% since May, recently hitting a two-decade high in August, according to Freddie Mac. As a result, existing-home sales have continued to slow nationwide, dropping 2.2% month-over-month as of last measure, with sales down 16.6% compared to the same time last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

New Listings were up 17.1 percent to 616. Pending Sales decreased 8.6 percent to 478. Inventory grew 14.3 percent to 1,125 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up…

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Discover the Southern Charm: Beaufort, SC

In recent years, Beaufort, South Carolina, has been capturing the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life. This charming coastal town, nestled between Charleston and Savannah, is experiencing a surge in popularity, attracting both residents and visitors alike. From its rich history and stunning natural beauty to its vibrant community and thriving economy, Beaufort offers an irresistible combination that makes it a prime destination for those seeking a change of pace. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons why people are choosing Beaufort as their new home and why you might want to consider it too.

  1. Southern Hospitality and Charming Lifestyle

One of the most compelling reasons…

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Affordability constraints have continued to limit homebuying activity this summer, with existing-home sales falling 3.3% month-over-month nationwide as of last measure, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Mortgage rates have approached 7% in recent months, leading many prospective buyers to put their home purchase plans temporarily on hold. But higher rates have also kept many existing homeowners from listing their homes for fear of giving up the low-rate mortgages they locked in a few years ago, when rates were significantly lower.

New Listings were down 8.7 percent to 543. Pending Sales increased 20.4 percent to 496. Inventory grew 0.7 percent to 1,045 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales…

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RBC Heritage Named a Premier Signature Event for 2024 FedExCup Season

In an announcement on August 7th, 2023, the PGA Tour set the stage for an exciting 2024 FedExCup Season, unveiling a lineup of eight highly anticipated Signature Events. In the announcement, the RBC Heritage secured a spot as one of only eight signature events on the esteemed PGA Tour.

The 2024 FedExCup Regular Season, encompassing a total of 36 events, will kick off in January with the "Opening Drive" at The Sentry and the Sony Open in Hawaii. All players will commence with a clean slate of zero FedExCup points, vying to establish a formidable position in the race for the FedExCup. As the Regular Season unfolds, the grand finale will be the Wyndham Championship, marking the point…

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There's Only Half the Inventory of a Normal Housing Market Today

Wondering if it still makes sense to sell your house right now? The short answer is, yes. Especially if you consider how few homes there are for sale today.

You may have heard inventory is low right now, but you may not fully realize just how low or why that’s a perk when you go to sell your house. This graph from Calculated Risk can help put that into perspective: 

As the graph shows, while housing inventory did grow slightly week-over-week (shown in the blue bar), overall supply is still low (shown in the red bars). Compared to the same week last year, supply is down roughly 10% – and it was already considered low at that time. But, if you look further back, you’ll see…

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Four Ways You Can Use Your Home Equity

If you’re a homeowner, odds are your equity has grown significantly over the last few years. Equity builds over time as home values grow and as you pay down your home loan. And, since home prices skyrocketed during the ‘unicorn’ years, you’ve likely gained more than you think.

According to the latest Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic, the average homeowner has more than $274,000 in equity right now. That much equity can help you achieve certain goals. In a recent article, Bankrate elaborates: 

“While the pandemic created serious challenges, the silver lining for anyone who owned a home was the sizable equity gain. Understanding how home equity works, and how to leverage it, is important for any…

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How Inflation Affects Mortgage Rates

When you read about the housing market in the news, you might see something about a recent decision made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But how does this decision affect you and your plans to buy a home? Here's what you need to know.

The Fed is trying hard to reduce inflation. And even though there’s been 12 straight months where inflation has cooled (see graph below), the most recent data shows it’s still higher than the Fed’s target of 2%: 

While you may have been hoping the Fed would stop their hikes since they’re making progress on their goal of bringing down inflation, they don’t want to stop too soon, and risk inflation climbing back up as a result. Because of this, the Fed decided to increase…

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How To Know If You’re Ready to Buy a Home

If you’re trying to decide if you’re ready to buy a home, there’s probably a lot on your mind. You’re thinking about your finances, today’s mortgage rates and home prices, the limited supply of homes for sale, and more. And, you’re juggling how all of those things will impact the choice you’ll make.

While housing market conditions are definitely a factor in your decision, your own life and your finances may be even more important. As an article from NerdWallet says:

“Housing market trends give important context. But whether this is a good time to buy a house also depends on your financial situation, life goals and readiness to become a homeowner.”

Instead of trying to time the market, it may help…

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Sellers: Don’t Let These Two Things Hold You Back

Many homeowners thinking about selling have two key things holding them back. That’s feeling locked in by today’s higher mortgage rates and worrying they won’t be able to find something to buy while supply is so low. Let’s dive into each challenge and give you some helpful advice on how to overcome these obstacles.

Challenge #1: The Reluctance to Take on a Higher Mortgage Rate

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the average interest rate for current homeowners with mortgages is less than 4% (see graph below):

But today, the typical 30-year fixed mortgage rate offered to buyers is closer to 7%. As a result, many homeowners are opting to stay put instead of moving to…

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Pricing Your House Right Still Matters Today

While this isn’t the frenzied market we saw during the ‘unicorn’ years, homes that are priced right are still selling quickly and seeing multiple offers right now. That’s because the number of homes for sale is still so low. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows 76% of homes sold within a month and the average saw 3.5 offers in June.

To set yourself up to see advantages like these, you need to rely on an agent. Only an agent has the expertise needed to find the right asking price for your house. Here’s what’s at stake if that price isn’t accurate for today’s market value.

The price you set for your house sends a message to potential buyers.

Price it too low and you might…

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