Usually this time of year the streets are rolled up and the Lowcountry is full of tourists enjoying all of our amenities and real estate is the last thing on their mind. This year the spring market kept its strength after the Heritage was over and hasn't softened to date. It looks like we will move into the normal fall market with much lower inventory and more than a handful of buyers ready to make a decision.
I think the most significant issues allowing us to maintain a stronger market this time of year are interest rates lowering to 3% for housing mortgage rates and a relatively strong stock market. In order to purchase second homes with discretionary income, buyers have to feel good about themselves and their financial strength. Otherwise they will invest in something other than real estate. I also think the dynamics of the Lowcountry continues to grow in popularity for tourists and people moving to the area for a handful of reasons.
We've seen a move in pricing which is positive for sellers and may bring older inventory to the market and buyers are finding they can't procrastinate on their decision to buy their dream home or they will normally have to settle for second place. Buyers are now looking at the pricing movement and concerned that if they don't buy now their investment in the Lowcountry may become much more costly or out of reach altogether.
The other important factor indicating strength is the report that sellers are now getting a higher percentage of their asking price as supply struggles to meet demand. We don't know the actual numbers but we believe there are approximately 1800 homes in the Lowcountry that have been taken off the market due to low pricing options and they are beginning to find their way back on the market.
Let's look at some statistics: In June listings were up 45% to 277 units and pending sales increased 19% to 240 listings. Inventory shrank 7% to 1116 units. Days on market decreased to 110 days medium sales prices increased 13%. A real important factors is the moth's supply decrease of 12.7% to 6.2 months which means demand is constant with supply. There are now strains in some neighborhoods where there is not a diverse supply of homes on the market.
Concerns of real cool down are out there with a weakening global economy; political upheaval; terror; and higher rates but so far so good for the Lowcountry.