Home prices are anticipated to increase 3.9 percent and existing home sales are forecast to increase 1.9 percent. File photo
Housing sales in the Low Country are expected to be brisk in 2017, but prices will rise at a slower pace, according to a new forecast.
Prices will be higher in the Greenville-Spartanburg metro area, but sales lower, realtor.com predicts.
Of the top 100 metro areas in the country, the Charleston-North Charleston sits at 46, with prices predicted to increase 3.2 percent, and sales by 6.09 percent, while Greenville-Spartanburg is at 58, with a forecast of just over 5 percent price increases and 3.61 percent in sales.
The Charleston metro area is among the top for sales, while Greenville is in the same position for prices.
It is not surprising to see the Charelston area in the low country and the Greenville Spartanburg area in the upstate on the list measuring the fastest growing areas in the nation when it comes to home sales activity and price appreciation,” Ted Pitts, president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, said.
“Both areas have had strong job growth and have economies that are doing well. Private sector investment and job growth are driving activity in those two regions as well as the Charlotte, York and Lancaster county region," Pitts said, “This report is another indicator that good things are happening in the Palmetto state.”
At the top of the list in the nation is Phoenix, where prices are forecast to grow by 5.94 percent and sales by 7.24 percent. This is followed by Los Angeles, with prices and sales expected to grow by over 6 percent.
The 2017 realtor.com forecast of house prices and sales predicts a slowing in both compared to the last two years. Overall, home prices are anticipated to increase 3.9 percent and existing home sales are forecast to increase 1.9 percent to 5.46 million homes, according to the survey.
Interest rates are expected to reach 4.5 percent. The forecast is based on GDP growth of 2.1 percent, a 2.5 percent increase in the consumer price index and unemployment declining to 4.7 percent by the end of the year.
“We don’t expect the outcome of the election to have a direct impact on the health of the housing market or economy as we close out 2016. However, the 40 basis points increase in rates in the days following the election has caused us to increase our interest rate prediction for next year,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, said.
Realtor.com said the housing market will be in the middle of two massive demographic waves, millennials and baby boomers, That will power demand for at least the next 10 years. Although the rising interest rates prompted the site to lower its prediction of millennial market share to 33 percent of the buyer pool, they and baby boomers will still comprise the majority of the market. Baby boomers are expected to make up 30 percent of buyers in 2017 and given they’re less dependent on financing, they are predicted to be more successful when it comes to closing.