August 2016 Newsletter

August 2016 Newsletter


The first half of 2016 seemed busier than the numbers below would indicate. It certainly was a mixed bag. Somewhat down on the face of it, but there were some bright spots. I know the numbers do not show it yet, but the latter part of the first half of 2016 we did see some encouraging traffic, and June’s closings were outstanding.

There were some bright spots though, and we will look at each area individually…but Ladys Island had an excellent first half. I suspect the availability of “affordable” housing offered by the national builders is enticing first time buyers to take the plunge, and purchase their first home. Especially as rental housing is getting harder to find, and rents are rising faster than mortgages.

Beaufort; the importance of the overall effect of first time buyers cannot be over stated. One reason we had the start of the real estate collapse back around 2006, was that property got too expensive, and first

time buyers stopped buying. Thus the knock on effect throughout the industry.

I wonder what effect the lack of “new” affordable housing in the City of Beaufort has or will have on any potential population growth. I could get into the demographics of Boomers and Millennials, but space would not allow it. As we can see from the numbers, the City of Beaufort was pretty flat with the exception of the Median price drop.

Mossy Oaks; was down across the board, with a significant drop in actual sales. Inventory was up 18.5%.

Port Royal; is a surprise. The area is usually up among the better preforming districts. Unit sales down -26%, but nice price increases for the “Average” and “Median”. Inventory was down a high 63%.

Burton; again was a little surprising, as there are some national builders active in that area. Sales down some 14% were noteworthy. Prices up strongly at +23% Average and + 15.6% Median.

Ladys Island; had an excellent first half of 2016. Sales volume up +30% and unit sales up +43%. Only negative was the Average sales price – 8.5%. For years Ladys Island was the real estate hotspot of Northern Beaufort Count. But like everywhere else it was hit hard by the real estate downturn. Over the last year or two, the island has reasserted it’s self as the leader in single family home sales. With national builders moving ahead at a pace, with new reasonably affordable new construction, I see no reason the Island’s strong showing should not continue into the foreseeable future.

By Everett Ballenger, Owner/B.I.C. Ballenger Realty. Former President Beaufort County Association of Realtors.