Sales Units for October were at their lowest level since January 2004, but inventory levels are double at about 12 months, versus 6 months in January 2004. I’m not going to go back and do the research to find the answer…it’s bad. Less than 850 agents had a sale in October, (out of about 4500), and 300 of those more than one. (its takes at least 2/mo to have a viable business) My business is way down in spite of our web presence. Many of you with whom I am in contact are having difficult selling your homes. Therefore, you can’t come here and work with me to find your home here in Charleston.
The saddest news is for homeowners that bought at the peak, which was June 2005. Prices are finally dropping a bit, and sellers that need to sell becuase of a job change, divorce, etc. are feeling the pinch. Real Estate companies are advertising that this is a great time to buy. I guess if you represent a lot of sellers, you owe it to them to present things in the best light. I happen to think the public is smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors. While I’m not happy about what it’s doing to my income, I’d rather deal with that, than have my buyer clients come up short. Consequently, I’ve taken on some management consulting work for some small businesses and am very pleased to have it.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I simply refuse to spin it. It’s going to get better; and I’m not one to speculate when. Others are saying spring of 2009. So, if you want to get in now knowing that it might get a little worse before it gets better, you’ll be taking a risk. Wise investment has a lot to do with managing risk. If my son was taking a job in Charleston right now, and he was going to be here for awhile, I’d say rent for six months and see if inventories are continuing to rise. If you’d like to know precisely when the inventory and sales trend changes, stay tuned to www.allthingscharleston.com.