–Drew Grossklaus, Sales Director/BIC East Cooper
The third quarter of 2023 saw the real estate trends of the year continue. The big factors remained high interest and low inventory. It was believed in the second quarter that interest rates would begin to recede with inflation. Unfortunately, interest rates have risen and on average the 30-year fixed rate is reaching close to 8%. The interest rate has now hit a 23-year high. Inventory level is down more than 20% versus last year for homes listed at $500,000 and over. These factors have continued to slow real estate sales in the third quarter. The one thing that has risen this year and continues the trend is price growth, which is up slightly. It would seem all these trends will continue for the rest of the year.
The trends nationally show some similar signs in the South while the rest of the country feels a broader slowdown in real estate sales. The statistics NAR just released through September report that existing homes sales have fallen to their lowest levels since October 2010. The number of sales nationally was down 15% in September of this year versus September of last year. The NAR breaks up statistics of national home sales into four regions: Northeast, West, Midwest and South. All four regions experienced double digit declines for September, but an interesting statistic was that the South accounted for 46% of the national sales in September.
William Means agents continue to monitor the market so that our clients can make guided decisions in their real estate transactions. We hope that the economic indicators showing a slowing economy will have the Fed stop the increase in interest rates, thus lowering mortgage rates. This in turn will give sellers motivation to put homes on the market and increase inventory for buyers.