May
07

Myrtle Beach Condo Sales on the Rise

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Condo sales creep higher
Prices leveling out, analysts say

May 07, 2008

By Jessica Foster – The Sun News

Home sales and prices on the Grand Strand continued falling from last year’s levels in April, though condo sales have crept up since January.

There were 520 single-family house and condo sales last month compared with 865 in April 2007, a 40 percent decline, according to a report released Tuesday by the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors.

Still, there were 268 condo sales in April, reflecting steady increases every month since January.

“I think the condo pricing is starting to get in line with buyers … and we’re seeing more sales as a result of that,” said Tom Maeser, market analyst for the Realtors’ association. “The sellers held out for a long time at high prices, and I think they realized if they’re going to sell, they need to adjust to where the market is.”

The median price of condos fell 25 percent since April 2007, and house prices fell 8 percent. The median price is where half sell for more and half sell for less.

The properties selling slowest are the high-end, million-dollar properties, Maeser said. There is a 92 month supply of million-dollar houses on the market, Maeser said. That means that if those houses continue selling at the current rate, it would take 92 months to eat up the inventory.

“High-end product hurts probably the most because your investor and your second home buyer that are looking at making those purchases, as they see prices coming down, they hold out longer,” Maeser said.

On the other end of the pricing spectrum, there’s an 11-month supply of homes less than $150,000, he said.

The ideal market for sellers is one in which there’s less than a six-month supply.

Houses sold in April spent an average of 163 days on the market – about the same as April 2007 – and condos spent 254 days – down 72 days from April 2007.

Kay Van Hoesen, owner of Certifax Appraisals in Myrtle Beach, said her company is seeing homes sell quickly, some after only 30 to 60 days on the market, if they’re priced close to the appraisal value.

She said that certain segments of the market, especially investor-driven segments such as oceanfront condos, are bringing the market down now that investors are more or less on the sidelines.

“The properties that are reasonably priced are selling quickly,” Van Hoesen said. “The markets that were investor driven are the ones that are the weakest and they’re going to be the slowest to come back.”

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/business/story/441554.html

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