The Forecast for Real Estate: partly sunny to partly sunny days ahead

Home prices rose during 2018 but low interest rates kept the balance in check. Sellers were happier and so were buyers.

Mortgage rates are predicted to climb, but not so high it’ll deter certain homebuyers. Hovering around a little over 4 percent for a 30-year fixed as of February 5, 2019, Zillow predicts a 30-year fixed mortgage may go up to 5.8 percent in this year.

That could mean potential homeowners may be shy about purchasing, which could spur already expensive Lowcountry rentals to go higher. The higher interest rates won’t bother luxury home buyers, but those purchasing homes below the $500,000 mark may be hesitant about taking the plunge.

Charleston and its bedroom communities

According to a 2018 study by Niche, the best places to buy a house in Charleston and the surrounding areas are ones that have the following criteria:

• Housing Market (values are steady or rising)

• Schools–quality and rated by the number of students served

• Crime rates

Their methodology also included education rates of residents, home buying age, home ownership, taxes, resident age and median home value. Their findings were from U.S. Census data. Here are the findings:

Town or City Overall Grade Population Public Schools Housing

Ravenel B+ 2,620 B B

Mount Pleasant A+ 80,661 A+ B

James Island A- 11,908 A B

Folly Beach A 2,712 A- B-

Lincolnville B 1,271 B- B-

City of Charleston A 131,204 B+ B-

Sullivan’s Island A 2,050 A+ C+

Isle of Palms A 4,333 A+ C+

Hollywood B 5,083 B C+

McClellanville A- 478 B+ B+

Awendaw B 1,298 A- B-

Seabrook Island B+ 1,689 B+ C

Kiawah Island B+ 1,488 B+ C

~Source: Niche.com

Though home prices and interest rates are on the rise, the good news is through new ways of financing, (most recently, the introduction of UltraFico™ in January), first-time home buyers are better able to purchase. Real estate in the Lowcountry continues to be a solid investment. Despite economic uncertainty and as more and more people move to the area, the bottom line is: The "tide" is rising and the best time to buy is now.

Two new agents join Bershire Hathaway

Jason Jordan is a Charleston native and has spent his life exploring the Lowcountry. Jordan has a unique understanding of the real estate market in the Charleston area. Having been in real estate for many years, he has extensive knowledge of and expertise in Charleston and surrounding area real estate. Jordan is one of the Top Charleston Agents with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Carolina Sun. Contact him at 843-822-3480 or email Jason@topcharlestonagens.com.

Donna Marguglio joins the team of Michael Smith’s Top Agents at Bershire Hathaway. Marguglio ensures every one of her clients receive white-glove service. As a licensed Charleston Tour Guide, she has a great understanding of Charleston, the architecture and the beautiful real estate in the Lowcountry. As a top real estate agent, her past and former clients give her rave reviews and her referral rate is a testament to her dedication. Contact her at 843-200-7405.

Freddie Mac says seniors keep homes longer than other generations

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According to a recent report, "Insights," by Freddie Mac released this month, seniors (born after 1931) are "aging in place." The same study found about 1.6 million of this group remain in the same home and as a result, the shortage of available homes is an "important barrier to young adults buying their first home."

Other findings included:

  • 1.1 million existing homes have been held off the market through 2018 by those born between 1931 and 1941. Estimates are another 300,000 are being held off the market by those born between 1942 and 1947, and another 250,000 are being held off the market by “Baby Boomers” born between 1948 and 1958.
  • The Urban Institute recently estimated that 3.4 million millennials are missing out on homeownership because of existing homes being held off the market due to seniors aging in place,
  • The trend of seniors aging in place is likely to grow as both the number of seniors increases and the barriers to aging in place are reduced.
  • More older Americans prefer to age in place because they are satisfied with their communities, their homes, and their quality of life.

Source: Freddie Mac, Insights

Mount Pleasant realtor recognized with award

David Kent, Realtor® and Broker in Charge of The Real Buyer's Agent was awarded the 2018 South Carolina Association of Realtor Advocate Award from the South Carolina Association of Realtors. Kent, a licensed realtor since 1995, has also held local and national leadership roles in real estate including President of the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS®, President of the South Carolina Association of REALTORS® and also served as President of the Charleston Trident Homebuilders.

“I’m honored and humbled to receiving this award, and look forward to continuing working on behalf of the association as well as my fellow Realtors and our community to advocate for private property rights,” Kent said.

Given annually, the award is presented to realtors who demonstrate consistent effort and commitment as an advocate for the real estate industry.

Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS Event

Over 800 realtors and community leaders and partners attended the annual CTAR Residential Market Update on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Dr. Joseph Von Nessen was the keynote speaker and gave attendees information regarding 2018's market activity and progress and shared the forecast for 2019. Local experts Ian Scott, Senior VP of Government Relations, Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Patrick Arnold, CEO of the Charleston Home Builders joined Von Nessen for a panel discussion about affordable housing in the region.

New Agent Joins the boutique real Estate agency of Elaine Brabham & Associates

Bridget Williams Dickey, a former sales executive of nationally-recognized corporations, brings over 25 years of customer service and negotiating and sales expertise to help clients their perfect home. Dickey and her husband, Marvin—a Navy veteran, moved from Columbia to the Charleston area in 2004. They and their two sons love the Lowcountry and Dickey’s clients know her for her honesty, integrity and living by the golden rule. Reach her at 843-860-9177 or email at bridgetdickey01@gmail.com.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Welcomes New Agent

Sibita Proctor joins the Coldwell Banker team as its downtown agent. Proctor earned the Realtor of Distinction award and has been recognized as a Charleston Top Producer for several years. Proctor is a Lowcountry resident who has extensive knowledge of the local industry, finding residents and out-of-town buyers the perfect home or second home. She is a learned professional when it comes to counseling clients on sound investment property and when the best time to buy and why. As a former educator, she has extensive knowledge of the area’s schools and neighborhoods. Active in her community, Procter serves on the Harleston Green Board, the Board the Oceanside Collegiate Academy Booster Club and as OCA Varsity Football Mom. An advocate and supporter of wounded veterans and their families, Procter donates a portion of every real estate transaction to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).