High demand, high prices for homes. Here are the key Greenville real estate trends

If you’re waiting to buy a house when prices dip, you might be waiting a long time, according to Greenville-area realtors.   

The average sale price in June was $384,436, which was an increase of 3.5% in Greenville County, year-over-year. The median sales price for houses in Greenville was $320,000 for June.

In June, the national average sales price in the U.S. was $410,000, meaning Greenville County is still slightly below the national average.

But, affordability in Greenville has still declined. In 2023, the housing affordability index was 88, which decreased 16.2% from 2022, when it was 105, according to Greater Greenville Association of Realtors (GGAR). For the affordability index, a higher number equates to more affordability.

Here are five things to know about the real estate market in Greenville:

Greenville population growth partially responsible for price increases  

Data from S&P shows regional differences when it comes to the housing market. The Southeast, overall, continues to show a strong housing market with high demand.

“Supply and demand are the most important factors in any real estate market and there is no denying that Greenville is currently in demand and working hard to keep the supply (inventory of listings) available to meet those demands,” said Michelle Gray, a Greenville-based real estate agent.

In January, the National Association of Realtors named Greenville and the surrounding area as a real estate market expected to outperform other metro areas.  

Realtors are finding this to ring true. 

“We’ve had some strong growth. And through that process the home market has remained relatively strong,” said J. Michael Manley, CEO of J. Michael Manley Team of Keller Williams Realty.  

Right now, hot areas in terms of construction and new development are trending toward the southwest portion of Greenville County.

Rising prices not expected to drop anytime soon  

Another factor impacting buyers is the rising interest rates. On the last week of July, the Federal Reserve approved another interest hike by a quarter, making interest rates sit at 5.5% nationally. The rise in interest rates comes as an effort to reduce inflation but increase borrowing costs. 

“It has definitely affected buyers and their affordability,” says Manley. “You take a home that last year they could have bought for $2,400 a month is now selling for $3,200 a month.” 

In Greenville, mortgage rates are currently hovering around 7%.  

Competition for first-time home buyers 

For Chris Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of GGAR, one thing concerning him is the impact competitiveness has on first-time buyers. 

In June, first-time buyers represented only 27% of all sales, a low number, he said. According to Bailey, this is the lowest percentage since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) began tracking that number in 1983.

“We have a lot of cash buyers moving in and it’s hard to compete with that especially in the last couple of years when we had such low inventory,” Bailey said.

Sales slowdown and looking ahead at 2024 Greenville real estate market

In June, there were 1,915 new listings in Greenville County, down 17.8% from last June, where there were 2,331 listings, according to GGAR numbers.

Houses are also spending more time on the market after being listed. In June 2022, houses spent 18 days on the market. In June 2023, houses spent 39 days on the market, representing a 116.7% increase. 

Inventory, however, is beginning to increase, indicating a slight slowdown for the market. For example, in June 2023, there were 3,774 available homes for sale, which was a 45.3% increase from 2022. 

“Right now, the market is showing the sales are down,” said Bailey. 

Despite this, the market is still trending as a seller’s market.  

For the last few years, the market has favored sellers. This trend is continuing, despite the slowdown in sales, though experts believe the market is beginning to be a more balanced market, not favoring either one. 

“It has been wildly strong seller’s market and it is normalizing and moving to the middle a little bit, but it’s still a good time to be a home seller,” Bailey said.  

With experts predicting the stabilization of interest rates in 2024, more people will be able to afford to purchase a home, meaning demand within Greenville County could increase. Realtors are not expecting the demand in Greenville to decrease.

“I think we’re going to remain relatively strong,” said Manley. 

Savannah Moss covers Greenville County politics and growth & development. Reach her via email at [email protected].

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