Although low supply and tight credit standards are still hurdles to recovery, prices
continue to rise in most local areas. Job growth has strengthened lately, but wage
growth has not kept pace with the price gains we have seen. Buoyed by stable and
continuously lower interest rates, affordability is still historically high yet below its alltime
peak. Rising inventory levels will lead to more choices for qualified buyers, but
as the summer reaches toward fall, the prospect of more homes coming on the market begins to wane.
New Listings in the Charleston area increased 4.5 percent to 1,831. Pending Sales
were up 22.2 percent to 1,449. Inventory levels fell 5.2 percent to 6,152 units.
Prices forged onward. The Median Sales Price increased 3.3 percent to $216,852.
Days on Market was down 6.7 percent to 72 days. Absorption rates improved as
Months Supply of Inventory was down 14.5 percent to 5.4 months.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that GDP grew at a 4.0 percent annual
rate in the second quarter and that the first quarter was less bad than previously
thought. Consumer spending in the first quarter rose 2.5 percent, which is
encouragingly in tandem with savings rates. Increased consumer spending means
more demand for goods and labor; increased savings rates means more resources
for downpayments. With rates still low, rents still rising and private job growth
accelerating, it’s becoming more and more difficult to side with the housing permabears.
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