Are home prices still rising? Are unit sales decreasing? Is housing inventory increasing? Is it getting harder for the average purchaser to get a mortgage?
Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.
That's the Greater Greenville housing market in microcosm, based on the GGAR (Greater Greenville Association of Realtors®) newly-released figures for the month of September. Two more big influencers deserve mention. First, interest rates have stayed above 7% since mid-August; that has scared away a number of would-be buyers. Second, inventory levels--although increasing--are still low, and are a catalyst pushing home prices higher.
A silver lining for buyers in "yeah, that greenville"
In September, the average home sat on the market for 40 days. A year ago the average home was listed for only 27 days. We are still seeing some multiple offers and a significant number of bidding wars, but they aren't nearly as common as they were a year ago. That's good news for purchasers who now have more than a 10-second count to decide whether to make an offer on a home they like.
But, homes are less affordable
The Housing Affordability Index for "yeah, that greenville" has been dropping significantly since the pandemic--and slowly for a few years before that. In the last year, the local Housing Affordability Index has nosedived from 92 to 84. This means that last September the average wage earner earned 92% of the amount needed to obtain an average mortgage. As of last month, only 84% earned enough to qualify. If inflation, home prices and interest rates continue to increase, we can expect housing affordability to continue its decline. This means that qualifying for a mortgage would get even harder.
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