South Carolina Economic Forecast 2015
The North Carolina and South Carolina Associations of Realtors had their annual meetings on Hilton Head Island this year so I took some time out from selling houses and attended the meetings to see what I could learn. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD, the Chief Economist and Sr. VP of Research at the National Association of Realtors. Dr. Yun reported that the cause of the slow recovery of the housing market (annual home sales remain below normal levels) is due to a number of factors. Slow housing formation, many millennials have moved back in with their parents rather than forming their own households, there are 2.5 million fewer households than before the recession and the rate of homeownership is at a 50 year low. Annual GDP has remained below the historic level of 3% for 10 years which has created a ‘growth gap’ of $5,000 per person in the United States. The ability to get credit, ie mortgages has remained tight which means that fewer potential home buyers could qualify for credit. The good news is that Dr. Yun believes that we are in a transition phase and that the forecast for the real estate market is positive.
The better news is that Dr. Yun believes that South Carolina is in better shape than many other states. South Carolina is in the top 10 states for job growth and with Volvo building a plant in Berkley County, west of Charleston, and the applications being filed with the Corps of Engineers for the construction of the Jasper Port in southern Jasper County, South Carolina should continue to gain jobs.
In addition, as the housing market continues to moderate in other parts of the country retirees should be able to sell their homes and make their move to South Carolina.
All signs indicate that Hilton Head Island and Bluffton are great places to buy a home!