Real Estate

Beaufort County Association of Realtors: Higher prices could affect available inventory

The Beaufort County Association of Realtors reports that, as prices rise in many communities, homes are selling faster now than they have in the past several years.

According to a news release, that creates a situation where buyers need to move fast to secure homes, and they may have to pay more for them. While increasing prices generally coax more selling activity, there has been some hesitancy among potential sellers who worry that they will not be able to buy a desirable and reasonably priced home once they sell.

The association found that, in July, new listings were up 11.6 percent to 240 listings. Pending sales increased 17.8 percent to 205 listings. Inventory shrank 1.7 percent to 1,120 units.

Prices moved higher in July as the median sales price was up 25 percent to $210,000. Days on market decreased 37.8 percent to 79 days. Months’ supply of inventory was down 9 percent to 6.1 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

The association reported that low housing supply already has prevented an outright national boon in sales activity, despite a continuation of near record-low mortgage rates and an unemployment rate under 5 percent halfway into 2016.

The association believes the issue is not purchasing power. Many areas are falling behind last year's closed sales totals simply because of lack of available inventory. As this continues, higher prices may put a deeper squeeze on the current buyer pool.