Brace Your Buyers for Higher Home Prices

Home prices throughout the Charleston, SC metro area are on the rise, some at the fastest pace ever. Home buyers need to move in quickly while there is still a decent supply of affordable homes and interest rates are still historically low.
West Ashley Avondale Point sign Jim Bobo www.SCLandandHomes.com
If buyers haven’t already purchased in the iconic Avondale District, they will definitely be paying more – a lot more. Prices in some of the District’s neighborhoods are above their 2007 peak average selling price. Yes, above the peak. And this is trending just about everywhere close-in to Downtown Charleston.  The closer to Downtown Charleston, the faster prices are trending upwards.

June 2013 median home sale prices on James Island are up only 6.4% year over year.  And there is still a supply of affordable homes.

June 2013 median home sale prices on James Island are up only 6.4% year over year. And there is still a supply of affordable homes.

James Island is beginning to see some solid recovery of prices, too, but not nearly as wild as in Avondale.  One home in Stiles Point is set to close and set a new record sales price for any home on the street since the neighborhood was originally built in the 60′s.  Looks like Stiles Point has been rediscovered. Road improvements following the new Stiles Point Elementary School building, plus the additional traffic while Harbor View Elementary occupies the old Stiles Point building, have certainly drawn more attention to this neighborhood where you can walk your children to one of the best elementary schools in the State and still get a good deal on a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch home on a 1/2 acre lot – if you’re willing to deal with the updating that many older homes need but that most buyers today simply don’t want to tackle themselves.

You can read the Charleston Trident Association of Realtor’s update by clicking here.

Below is a National report about home prices and affordability from DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Home prices are rising across the country and the prices for new homes in particular may increase significantly in the near future. Economist Bradley Hunter with Metrostudy told The Chicago Tribune that he predicts newly-built homes could see a 9 percent increase in price by the end of the year.

“Here’s what’s happening: Land values are going up very fast right now in prime locations, what we call the ‘A’ locations,” Hunter explains. “In the best A (and B) markets, we expect prices to rise by 11 percent to 15 percent. Builders are desperate to buy lots, which in some cases are 30 percent to 50 percent higher than last year.” The “A” and “B” locations, as Hunter refers to them, tend to be closer to the center city—near jobs, retail, and services.

Hunter does see some relief for those looking to buy in the coming year, however.
“I think the builders are going to have to come to grips with a new affordability mentality,” Hunter says. “They’re going to have to reckon with these forces — rising mortgage interest rates, mainly — that are going to limit how much they can raise prices. That’s why 10 percent to 15 percent price increases will become 3 to 6 percent pretty soon — in six to 12 months. It depends on when mortgage rates move higher. If they go up, say, by 2 percent or 3 percent, it will have a noticeable impact on what people can afford and therefore on what builders are offering.”

Source: “Builders navigating complex housing market,” The Chicago Tribune (July 26, 2013)

Jim Bobo Real Estate can help you find that great deal – give us a call!

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
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5 Reasons the Housing Recovery Remains Wobbly

Some information from an article by Rick Newman published by US News
How will the current trends in the Charleston market affect real estate prices? In short, buyers that have been on the fence should consider stepping up to the plate and buy now – at least for your primary residence.  “Flippers” should remain cautious. Sellers who have been on the fence, too, might consider diving into this market head first and selling while demand is up and supply is low. In many ways Charleston’s real estate market is very healthy, almost a “perfect market storm” that benefits everyone.

If you’re a buyer or seller who’s been on the fence, your time to act may be at hand.

First, an interesting factoid: RealtyTrac just published a list of the “top 25 markets for flipping homes”.  No city in South Carolina made the list.    Still, this may be one offbeat indicator of a housing revival.  Why?

Because a few years ago, anybody buying a home to resell for a quick profit probably lost money instead, since home prices declined for six years straight, beginning in 2006-2007.  So if flippers are back, that’s at least one sign that buyers think prices will keep going up.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

But some trends in the housing market justify such optimism: sales, like prices, are up after bottoming out in 2010. Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies are dropping sharply. And housing affordability remains terrific, thanks largely to near-record-low interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve.

But it’s still a troubled housing market in many ways, as several panelists explained during a discussion Mr. Newman moderated for the recent Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. Here are 5 signs the housing market is still far from healthy:

The scarcity of good land for developers is crimping the new home construction market.

The scarcity of good land for developers is crimping the new home construction market.

1. Good land is scarce: This might seem hard to believe in a huge country, in the aftermath of a housing glut, but real-estate developers say it is hard to find desirable land for new projects, at fair prices. Part of the problem is that banks took control of a lot of land when they foreclosed on development projects, and the land is now worth less than its original price – which means banks would have to write off additional losses if they sold it.

And lenders remain leery about making loans for land purchases. “Land is a defining element right now,” said Emile Haddad, CEO of the real-estate management firm FivePoint Communities. “A lot of land is hidden in drawers right now.” That limits the supply of new homes for purchase and also restrains job growth in the construction industry.

2. Flippers are at risk: Mortgage rates as low as 3.5 percent make houses a good bargain right now, but the equation could shift abruptly if rates rise, as some business leaders think is inevitable. “Buyers should be very cautious,” said Jeff Greene, president of Florida Sunshine Investments.

“No doubt you can buy a house today and get a really good price and a low-interest loan. But if you want to sell that house to somebody two or three years later and rates go up to 5 or 6 percent, how much is he going to pay for that house?”

Low interest rates are making it possible for buyers to get a whole lot more house than they could during the peak.  But rates are predicted to rise, sometime.

Low interest rates are making it possible for buyers to get a whole lot more house than they could during the peak. But rates are predicted to rise, sometime.

If you end up living in the house for several years, however, rising rates could actually work in your favor, since they’re likely to be accompanied by higher inflation, which would boost nominal home values.

3. The recovery depends deeply on government aid: Virtually all mortgages written these days are backed by a government housing agency such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Beyond that, interest rates would probably be at least 2 or 3 points higher if the Fed weren’t pushing them down. “We’re in a financial repression,” says Jim Litinsky, founder of the hedge fund JHL Capital.

“Every asset is mispriced. But,” he adds, “of all assets out there, if you can lock in 30 year, 3.5 percent mortgage, that’s an incredible asset to own to ride the repression.”

4. Foreign buyers are helping boost prices: In top markets such as Miami, Los Angeles and New York, strong demand by foreign buyers has been one reason real estate prices have recovered. On one hand, that indicates faith in the U.S. market by buyers who could put their money anywhere. But it makes homes more expensive for Americans and could lead to another bubble, which could pop if interest rates rise rapidly.

Foreign buyers are pushing up prices in some markets.

Foreign buyers are pushing up prices in some markets.

5. It’s a very patchy recovery: Greene points out that while the Miami market is “on fire,” Palm Beach County, about 80 miles to the north, is still struggling with a “huge glut of housing.” And while home prices on average may be rising sharply, there are some regions – such as San Bernardino, west of Los Angeles – where the housing bust still hasn’t ended. Nobody will be flipping there.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
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Charleston, SC January Residential Real Estate Sales Approach 2008 Levels

Charleston, SC January Residential Real Estate Sales Approach 2008 Levels
Charleston Trident Association of Realtors reports that increased market interest and consumer confidence help to fuel strong sales increases and sustainable price growth.

Charleston-area January sales see 5 year high

Charleston-area January sales see 5 year high

634 homes sold at a median price of $181,750 in the Charleston region in January, according to data released by the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (CTAR). These figures represent the highest rate of January sales activity in the region since January 2008, when 648 homes sold. Activity and buyer interest were notably higher during the typically slow first month of the year as many REALTORS® reported a significant increase in calls from prospective buyers.

As sales volume continues to make consistent, sustainable progress, prices remain stable, approaching the $200,000 range, where local REALTORS® and expert economists looking at our region expect them to stay for the short-term future. “As was the case in 2012, we expect to see nominal, but sustainable, growth in prices this year”. “2012 closed out with a 4.4% increase in median price, which is an excellent rate of growth in a recovering market. It’s all about sustainability” said 2013 CTAR President Owen Tyler.
Comparing the beginning of 2012 to 2013, sales volume is up 16% and median price reflects 3% growth thus far in 2013. As the uptick of buyer interest in our market seems to be an enduring trend, inventory may become an issue in some areas. The number of available properties has consistently remained at a lower level than we’ve seen in the past five years, but will likely increase as the spring buying season draws closer. There were 5,520 homes actively for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS) as of January 31, 2013.
During the 2012 Year-In-Review residential market update hosted by CTAR in late January, expert economists Steve Slifer and Joey Von Nessen praised the real estate market activity in our region in 2012, but warned that uncertainty based on what’s going on in the government and Washington DC may have an effect on consumer confidence in 2013.
More detailed information about housing trends in Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley and Colleton Counties are available from SC Land and Homes.
Please call, text or use the form below to let us know how we can assist you. We never share your personal information with anyone. Our Privacy Policy can be read here.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA


SC Land and Homes LLC
PO Box 1182
Johns Island, SC 29457-1182
Call or text (843) 442-7275
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Builders Tweak Floor Plans for Growing Segment of Buyers

Builders Tweak Floor Plans for Growing Segment of Buyers

Reprinted from NAR’s Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, January 10, 2013

Will your next custom home be built for “bounce-backs”? Click on the photo to search Charleston, SC communities real estate for sale

Home builders are changing their floor plans to accommodate more people living under one roof. As adult children and aging parents move in, home owners are finding the need for more defined, separate housing corridors within their homes.  For example, home builder Lennar is expanding the offerings of what it calls the “Next Gen” house. Introduced in western states like California, Arizona, and Texas, Lennar is now taking its “Next Gen” floor plan to North Carolina. The single-family home features a second door, separate from the main entrance, that leads to a 500-square-foot suite for a private residence. There’s also a door inside the main house to access the suite.  “We market it as two homes, one payment,” says Trish Hanchette, Lennar’s Raleigh division president.

Home builders also are finding flexible first-floor space is in high demand. The spaces can be used as a mother-in-law suite or changed into a nursery, extra bedroom, or home office.  Some in the housing industry are also calling some flex rooms “bounce back” rooms — so named for adult children who have moved back in with their parents because they’re struggling to make it on their own.

“The number of 22- to 30-year-olds that are still living at home is at a record high right now,” says Hampton Pitts, an executive vice president with Ashton Woods Homes. “So you have that college graduate that’s back at home looking for a job and maybe got their first job but not ready to be in an ownership or rent situation.”

Source: “Builders Target Families with Multiple Generations Under One Roof,” RISMedia (Jan. 8, 2013)

Make sure to search for vacant lots and real estate throughout the Charleston area at Your MLS Account.  Here’s a local architect’s website you may want to visit, Carolina House Plans Inc.  We’re not affiliated – we just think they’ve got some great house plans suitable for Charleston’s lifestyles and charm.

Please call, text or use the form below to let us know  how we can assist you. We never share your personal information with anyone. Our Privacy Policy can be read here.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA


SC Land and Homes LLC
PO Box 1182
Johns Island, SC 29457-1182
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Fax (888) 456-6618

Nexton – a new town for South Carolina

Nexton, a new town for South Carolina, is planned for the Summerville-Goose Creek-Moncks Corner area of the Greater Charleston Region.  MeadWestvaco will build out Nexton over a period of 20 years in multiple phases on about 5,000 acres.  The anticipated finished product will yield millions of commercial, office, entertainment & retail square feet, and have upwards of 30,000 residents occupying thousands of new homes.  In essence, it will become a city within a city.  Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley Counties will all benefit economically from this immense development.

Click here for the Nexton brochure.

Please let us know if you would like more information about Nexton.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
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Congress passes measure to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff” while keeping the real estate recovery on track

Congress passes measure to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff” while keeping the real estate recovery on track – good news for the real estate market!

Mortgage interest deduction, mortgage cancellation relief, deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, leasehold improvements, energy efficiency tax credits, “Pease Limitations” relief, capital gains and the estate tax were in most ways all protected in the measure, with some changes that the NAR expects will affect only 1% of the population in the higher income brackets.  This is good news for residential, land and commercial real estate in the Charleston, SC region.

Click here to read the National Association of Realtor’s brief on how the measure will impact the housing market in 2013.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
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South Carolina Revises its Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement

South Carolina Revises its Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement

January 31, 2013 update from the original post:  The SC Real Estate Commission sent an email out to all licensees stating the following (we received ours 1/30/13):

Important Change to the State of South Carolina Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement Effective January 23, 2013:

The South Carolina Real Estate Commission has determined that the prior South Carolina Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement effective until December 31, 2012 can be used by sellers retroactive to January 1, 2013. Until further notice by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission, the sellers have the option of using either version of the South Carolina Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statements that have been approved by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.

Go to the below hyperlinks to view and retrieve the disclosure statements:

S.C. Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement (1/1/2013)

S.C. Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement (1/2003) The State has removed this form from their archives

Following is our original post on this subject based on the original instructions from the Real Estate Commission:

Effective January 1, 2013, sellers in South Carolina will have to complete a new, broadly expanded Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement.  Whether you are selling your home in Charleston County or any other county in the State, it’s going to take you longer to complete this form.

Sellers: don’t take completing this form lightly. The new form is broadly expanded, and requires the seller to provide quite a bit more information than the previous version. It will go into effect January 1, 2013. Posted by Jim Bobo Real Estate

It’s important that sellers complete this form as accurately as possible and completely. If you do not know, don’t guess – it could land you in Court.  And don’t be upset with any agent or buyer involved in the transaction if they demand you provide a completed Statement – it’s the responsibility of any agent involved in a transaction where a Statement is provided to obtain a completed form, or at the least notify the seller in writing of an incomplete form and request a completed one.  Under the language of the South Carolina Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act Section 27-50-70(B), if a real estate licensee knows the information is incomplete or misleading, the licensee may still be liable to the purchaser (McLaughlin vs Coldwell Banker et al).

It’s no big deal, right?

Click here to see the new version of the SC Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement (effective January 1, 2013).  Sellers should also be aware that the State of SC does allow exemptions from completing this form under certain circumstances. Click here to read the exemptions.

Please call, text or use the form below to let us know how we can assist you. We never share your personal information with anyone. Our Privacy Policy can be read here.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
PO Box 1182
Johns Island, SC 29457-1182
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Fax (888) 456-6618

South Carolina home sales rise 24% in October

South Carolina home sales rise 24% in October

Jim Bobo Real Estate

Sales of residential homes and condominiums rose 24% in October, South Carolina Realtor’s reported, describing 2012 as a “comeback year.” Prices were fairly stable, the association said, as the median sales price increased 0.1%. The price range for homes with the strongest sales statewide was $200,001 to $300,000, with a 19.5% sales gain in that category. The property type with the strongest sales gains was condos, up 18%.

Charleston-area sales rose 30.7%, to 894 from 684 a year earlier. Greenville had the strongest percentage gain, up 35% to 660 homes sold in October, compared with 489 a year earlier. Columbia posted 663 homes sold, up 29.7% from 511 in October 2011.

The association said 4,608 homes sold last month compared with 3,717 in October 2011. “Most markets have shed listings, resulting from strong sales and sluggish seller activity. There has been a general easing of foreclosures and short sales, meaning distressed listings are dragging prices down less than in recent years. So it’s both about market fundamentals and market composition,” the Realtors association said in releasing the data.

Compared with October 2011, State-wide new listings in South Carolina increased 10.1% to 7,888, while pending sales were up 26.7% to 4,676. Inventory levels shrank 13.4% to 46,776 units. Days on market was down 10.8% to 131 days. Absorption rates improved as months’ supply of inventory was down 24.7% to 10.2 months. These variables have continued to improve for over a year now, and they all contribute to a more stable housing market. This along with continued job growth is pushing prices up.

According to the association, the economy is growing with 2013 expected to outpace 2012′s growth, mortgage rates are expected to remain near historic lows through 2015, and rents are expected to rise due to low vacancy rates.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
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S.C. Department of Transportation I-526 Public Opinion Survey Results

On September 13, 2012, the S.C. Department of Transportation released to the City Paper the public opinion survey results that measured the public’s opinion regarding the completion of I-526.

The proposed construction of I-526 from West Ashley to Johns and James Islands has created more than just controversy. Posted by Jim Bobo Real Estate

72% of the survey respondents are in favor of completing the I-526 loop from West Ashley across the Stono to Johns Island, and then on to James Island and Downtown Charleston.  The State Infrastructure Bank has pledged the more than $100MN additional funding necessary to complete the project.  Opponents of the I-526  have used multiple methods – legal and political - to thwart the loop extension from being completed, while proponents have persistently stated that the opponents represent a minority opinion and that the loop should be completed to improve regional traffic flow.  This battle is probably not over.

Read the entire survey here:I526 Opinion Poll Results

The State DOT has also confirmed it still prefers the Alternative G road plan, although if the I-526 extension is finally approved, you can bet there will be another battle over its design.  You can see the basic plan here: Alternative_G.

Make sure to read about the Maybank Highway improvement project debate.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
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Jim Bobo Real Estate launches new website www.SCLandandHomes.com

Jim Bobo Real Estate launches new website www.SCLandandHomes.com

We are pleased to announce that www.SCLandandHomes.com is now live.  Although still under construction, we have designed this website for buyers searching for all types of real estate: homes, land, investment, second homes, and commercial properties for sale or lease throughout the Charleston area.  By creating predefined MLS searches of all properties in the MLS based on community and price ranges, we’re making home buying simple.  If you’re looking to rent, use our free MLS search at Your MLS Account by selecting the “Rentals” category.  Let us know if you have any questions or if we can be of service.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
Contact us