As housing prices continue to climb, Shawna Woodward says the real estate market has slowed down, but she doesn’t expect it to stay that way for long.
Woodward – agent for RE/MAX Reinvented in Columbia County – explains the market generally slows down when school starts. “Historically, we have lower inventory coming into October and November,” she states. An article from Southeastern Residential explains the nationwide housing inventory is almost 19% lower than it was last year at this time. The median price of homes in Georgia has increased significantly from $258,900 in July 2020 to $305,000 in July 2021. In Columbia County, the inventory of single-family homes for sale decreased from 478 in July 2020 to 377 in July 2021 – about a 21% decrease. In that same time period, the article states the median sales price of those homes rose from $250,500 to $282,000.
According to Woodward, the number of offers has decreased because many sellers are asking for more than their homes are worth. “If you push your price too high, it won’t sell,” she says. “The slowdown is manmade.” Woodward advises her clients to ask a little less than the home’s value because if the price is too high, that will scare away potential buyers. For that reason, many have lowered their prices. Due to the shortage of homes for sale and intense competition, many buyers have increased the amounts of their offers, which typically include closing costs. “We’ve been programmed to pay over list price,” Woodward states.
She believes this trend will change as asking prices continue to decline, but it will still be a seller’s market as long as interest rates remain low. “The seller is still netting way more than they were before,” Woodward adds.