By Matt Shouse, APB, President, Home Builders Association of Greenville and Partner, LS Homes
The housing market has become very tight nowadays. In most places, prospective buyers are seeing fewer and fewer properties, especially ones that meet their budget. Based on this Housing Trends Report finding by the National Association of Home Builders, those who plan to buy this year should not expect their choices to grow.
This issue is also very common here, around the Upstate. According to the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS®, the current time on the market for residential listings is less than 100 days. Further, based on building permit data collected by the Home Builders Association of Greenville, new home building activity has only returned to pre-recession levels in just one Upstate county: Spartanburg County.
As a result, affordability continues to be a concern for home buyers. Nearly 8 out of 10 prospective buyers in the survey said fewer than half of the houses they saw in their search were priced within reach. The survey shows that the average new home search takes more than three months.
In fact, 49% of those who have been looking for at least three months, had not yet purchased a home because they were unable to find one that fits their budget. The survey also found that 44% of buyers prefer an existing home to a newly built one. But almost as many as 38% have no preference, while 18% prefer new construction. These findings prove that either a newly built or existing home would suit most shoppers. An uptick in the supply of homes, whether new or existing, will improve the picture for most buyers — as long as the new supply comes in at an affordable price.
So what happens if people hoping to buy don’t find what they want in the next few months? 61% of those polled said they will continue looking for the right home in their preferred location. Some said they will expand the area of their search, accept a smaller or older home, or pay more than they originally intended. Just 18% said they will give up and try again in the future.
Want to learn more about the Upstate Housing Market?
The Annual Upstate Housing Market Forecast is set for Tuesday, January 22, 11:30 a.m., at the Greenville Convention Center. The keynote speaker is Dr. Robert Dietz, Chief Economist of the National Association of Home Builders. To register, visit HBAofGreenville.com.