The good and not-so-good news about the housing market

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of homes is at an all-time high because of a number of factors.

The group’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that can be viewed as both good and not-so-good news. On one hand, current homeowners looking to sell their homes can get more for their property, gaining equity for the down payment on their next homes. On the other hand, rising home prices make it more difficult for first-time, younger buyers to enter the market, as they don’t have equity from a previous home — and often are struggling to save as it is.

Yun said the declining homeownership rate — currently at a 25-year low — could contribute to a more unequal wealth distribution.

Locally, the midyear market reports indicate the Lowcountry has seen a 12.9 percent increase in closed transactions compared to last year at this time. Prices also moved higher, as median sales price was up 2.4 percent to $289,950. Month’s supply of inventory was down 17.4 percent to 7.1 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

For our area, rising national prices will allow baby boomers to consider relocation. As we wind down from the summer season, our local real estate market typically picks back up. The thought of another cold long winter up north brings fall buyers looking to make the Lowcountry home. 

If you are looking to buy or sell a home, be sure to ask if your agent is a Realtor and a member of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors.

Jean Beck is the executive vice president of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors.