Savannah, Ga., area homes sales continue to heat up moving into the summer month’s breaking records in both April and May.
According to data recently released by Savannah Multi-List Corp., 691 homes sold across Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties in April and 790 homes sold across that same area in May; both months were the highest on record since at least 2013.
Inventory for April hit 4.57 months and then dipped to 4 months in May. Local inventory has fallen each month this year and a healthy and balanced market typically hovers around five to six months.
“This year has been incredible for a lot of people,” said Janet Howard, president of the Savannah Area Realtors, a local industry group.
“Even though we sold 790 homes during the month of May, I would really like to see our inventory increase. That’s where I see the biggest concern because the lack of inventory is where we get into elevated prices and supply and demand comes into play.”
Howard advises buyers that being indecisive or unwilling to compromise on certain features can prevent them from snagging the house in the current market.
“If you’re looking at making a decision faster some compromises may have to be made,” she said.
Both April and May total sales volume also hit six year highs with total sales for April bringing in $172,491,662, an increase of $25,496,049 compared to April 2016. The bulk of April sales were made in the Richmond Hill area, which brought in just under $25 million in sales. Skidaway Island and downtown Savannah rounded out the top three with $19.6 million and $17.3 million in sales, respectively.
The most homes were also sold in Richmond Hill during April with 88; followed by Georgetown with 74; and Pooler, 61.
Sales volume in May brought in $192,637,363 in total sales. Richmond Hill again had the most sales volume bringing in $30,429,145. Guyton with $19.5 million and Georgetown with $17.6 million rounded out the top three spots.
During May the most homes sold in Richmond Hill with 113 followed by Georgetown with 94 and Guyton with 87 homes sold.
After speaking with fellow Realtor, Kelly Johnson of Remax Accent in Richmond Hill, Howard said the quality of education, more affordable homes near waterways and lots of new construction are big draws for the area.
“They have a really good community feel and that’s is what’s really attractive to people,” she said.
“The waterfront is more affordable than in Chatham County and they still have that coastal feel and you can afford more.”
Looking at the market overall, the limited inventory can mean it’s a sellers market, but no matter which side of the market you’re on or where you live, Howard recommends moving fast and reaching out to a Realtor. Realtors have an advantage to be able to reach out to sellers even if their listing was removed, which sometimes can lead to a new and unexpected sale, she said.
“Clearly working with a Realtor gives you that advantage. They can look at what was on the market and find out why it was pulled off, whether it didn’t sell the way (the seller) wanted it to or they changed their mind. A Realtor can reach out to the homeowner on the (buyer’s) behalf and negotiate something like that,” she said.
“We are approachable, we do have access and we are able to negotiate on their behalf and be able to help them with their largest financial transaction. I hope that as people are making the decision to relocate or upgrade that they call a Realtor and allow us to help them.”
Home sales across the country fell in April after increasing for two months in a row. According to the National Association of Realtors, growth was flat in all four major regions of the U.S. in April.
“The root cause of the under performing sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in the group’s monthly report.
“Realtors say the healthy economy and job market are keeping buyers in the market for now even as they face rising mortgage rates. However, inventory shortages are even worse than in recent years, and home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford.”
According to the report, existing-home sales in the South decreased 2.9% to an annual rate of 2.33 million in April, but are still 2.2% above a year ago.
Sales fell across the country again in May, NAR reported on Wednesday. Only the northeast region saw an uptick in activity.
“Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each major region,” Yun said.
“Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there’s no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market.”
Existing-home sales in the South fell 0.4% to an annual rate of 2.32 million in May, and are unchanged from a year ago.
Tribune Content Agency