Many very well respected economists have given their opinions as to what direction the economy is heading and how it will impact the real estate market. Of course, no one knows for certain. As I see it locally, there are a number of different factors that continue to influence us here in Columbia county. Some are positive, while others certainly don’t help. First and foremost is that in any economy, higher interest rates will always be responsible for keeping a large pool of potential buyers on the sidelines, simply because of affordability. The percentage of first time home buyers across the nation continues to fall, especially here in Columbia county, where currently the median selling price for residential property has hit an all time high of $495,000. A figure far out of reach for the bulk of our local buyers. The major reason we are still seeing sales activity in our local market is primarily due to the influx of out of town buyers, many of whom are leaving major metropolitan areas due to the many social problems plaguing big cities. Until the threat of continuing inflation in reduced, the Federal Government has not taken off the table the possibility of increasing interest rates. Until the rates come down, many current home owners do not want to move and lose their lower interest rates on their mortgages. This remains another reason why our current inventory is so low. Also, as we approach a Presidential race in 2024, historically potential second home buyers tend to want to wait to see if there is going to be a change in administrations before electing to buy a second home. In the end uncertainty is never a good thing for any market.
Wishing you all well in the coming months!