While I am out and about in the world, I get this question often…so each week, I will be showcasing the market activity in multiple areas to keep you guys all up to date. This week, it’s Rock Hill, SC.
What I Love About Rock Hill
This “suburb” of Charlotte is really making a name for itself. The Old Town AKA Main Street features small businesses, summer concerts, food truck Fridays, Come See Me, and Christmasville, so there is always something to do here. With the popularity of South Carolina, due to lower property taxes and gas prices, increasing, Rock Hill is growing. So what does that mean for the market? I know that’s why you’re here, so let’s get to it.
Average sales price for Rock Hill (indicated by the gray line) has risen 7.8% over the past three years. Not too shabby, at all. It’s keeping pace with the rest of the market indicated by the red line, and, as far as I can tell, we should not expect too much of a drastic drop or increase over the next year. In fact, there will more than likely be a very gradual, slow increase over the next year, but I will be keeping an eye on it just to see what happens with the prices since the listing volume is still decreasing. Bottom Line: Home prices will continue to rise.
This is where it gets good, because there are so many sellers, I would say about 9 out of 10 sellers actually, that want to build in that “wiggle room” into the listing price. In Rock Hill, the current average percentage of listing price versus sales price is a healthy 96.5%, up 1.4% over the past three years. Last Summer, for those of you that weren’t out in the trenches, was a mad dash for a lot of buyers for houses under the $200,000 price range, ultimately resulting in multiple offers and sight unseen offers. The trend has not changed too much, and sellers are simply getting more for what they’re asking. A word of warning, though. You don’t want to price yourself too over the market or it will result in a stale listing AKA the listing that sits. Bottom Line: Sellers are getting more from their asking price.
Over the past three years, inventory of homes on the market has dropped 11.2%. This is snap shot of the current Active inventory that is still available to buyers hitting the market as of December 2016. What does this mean for sellers? If you have a house that is in good condition, positioned well location wise, and is priced right, you should expect a good bit of buyer traffic coming your way, even in the winter months. It will be interesting to see if this year is the year where inventory will finally see an increase instead of a decrease, but that is completely up to the market AKA the potential sellers. Bottom Line: The market is being driven by the sellers.
Realtors back in the recession were used to three months on the market minimum, but these days, it’s been a struggle for us to truly convey how fast you are going to have to be ready to move. The average days on market in Rock Hill is now a low 51 days, just under two months. That is a 30.1% decrease in average days on market over 3 years. That’s a stupidly massive drop, but hey, I’m sure you guys aren’t complaining. What does that mean for sellers? If you are looking to sell your house and buy another, you need to be keyed in to what the market is doing for where you are going. And you need to have your “extras”, the things you don’t use on a regular basis, already packed up and ready to go. Yes, it’s going to be a weird couple of months, but you will wind up thanking yourself in the long run. Bottom Line: Start packing and hook up with a strong buyer’s agent to begin giving you information on your next home.
Number of months inventory has dropped from 10 months back in January of 2013 to 3.6 as of December 2016. That is another huge drop. For context, according to experts, a buyer’s market is more than 7.6 months inventory, a balanced market is between 6.5 and 7.5 months of inventory, and a seller’s market is inventory of less than 6.5 months. So the final verdict? Rock Hill is deep in a seller’s market right now and unless there is a radical change, it doesn’t appear to be lightening up anytime soon.
So, really quick what does that mean for buyers now that the sellers have been tended to…it means you are going to have to work smarter and harder to get your dream home. A few tips:
- Get prequalified NOW. Even better, get preapproved! I can not stress this enough. If you are serious about buying a home in a seller’s market, and you haven’t even gotten on the phone with a lender to get prequalified, you are going to lose when that adorable cottage that you simply have to have comes up. There are buyers out there that have their letters in hand and the market doesn’t care that you love it, it doesn’t care that this is your dream. If you aren’t prepared, you’re going to miss out.
- Get aggressive. And get an agent that is as much of a go-getter as you are. If not, more. Get an agent who is going to not just wait for the homes to hit the market…get one who is going to write letters to each and every one of the homeowners in the neigborhood you want to move, go as far as door knocking for you, just not be passive and shrug when you ask “where are the houses?”
- Have your financial house in order. Begin saving up for that down payment, the inspections, the appraisal fee (which has gone up by the way…ugh!). And that car you’ve been eyeing or that furniture that is going to fit oh-so-well in your new house? No! Not until after the closing. Your job is to be the most scrimping and saving person you’ve ever been in your life. Even if that means eating ramen every night for a month or two, it will pay off in the long run, I promise.
- Make a smart offer. The days of searching at the very top of your comfort zone and hoping the seller will take tens of thousands off to fit your needs is for the most part over. While there are still exceptions to every rule, don’t bank on it. That’s dangerous thinking. Instead, hook up with your lender early on in the game to come up with a price point that is 100% in your sweet spot where you know that, even in times of emergency (job loss, medical expenses, or a costly home repair), you’re not going to have to skip a house payment. Search in that zone, stay in that lane. This will give you so much more leverage when it comes to making your offer because you won’t be fretting over the numbers. You’ll be able to make an offer that compels the seller to work with you.
Well, that’s it for this month. A little long winded, but I am hoping that this information will benefit you. Please share this post with your friends and subscribe to this blog for more wonderful, free tips.
Disclaimer: These statements are in a “blanket” format for the city of Rock Hill as a whole and should not be used to determine the current value of your home. For a more accurate “snapshot” of what your neighborhood is doing, sign up for your free Market Report which will be sent to your email monthly. Want to go even deeper? Reach out to me and I will come by and give you a free market analysis for your home.