The summer homebuying season in Beaufort, SC has seen significant shifts in the housing market, driven by a combination of factors, including rising mortgage rates, soaring sales prices, and a shortage of available homes. Mortgage rates have been on the rise, with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage staying above 6.5% since May and reaching a two-decade high in August, as reported by Freddie Mac. These higher rates are impacting affordability and influencing buyer behavior. The impact of higher mortgage rates is evident in existing-home sales, which have decreased by 2.2% month-over-month and are down 16.6% compared to the same period last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
Despite the slowdown in sales, some market indicators have shown resilience. New listings increased by 8.0%, and pending sales rose by 2.3%. However, the growth in inventory by 15.3% suggests a changing balance between supply and demand. Real estate prices in the Lowcountry have continued to surge. The median sales price increased by 8.1% to reach $400,000, driven by competition and limited housing supply. NAR reported a shortage of available homes, with 14.6% fewer homes for sale compared to the previous year. This shortage has intensified competition among buyers, driving prices higher.
In summary, the summer housing market experienced the effects of higher mortgage rates, which are contributing to a slowdown in home sales. However, prices remain elevated due to limited housing inventory, making it a competitive market for buyers. As we move forward, the agents at Ballenger Realty know that monitoring these trends will be crucial for both homebuyers and sellers.