Current reports from the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) and other real estate reporting services summarize the story of the housing boom, bust, and recovery:

  • House prices experienced spectacular rises from 1996-2006 (Los Angeles the highest at 265 percent, Hilton Head area 127 percent)
  • House prices started to fall in the middle of 2006 and kept falling through the beginning of 2012
  • House prices started rising in the middle of 2012 and continued to rise every year thereafter
  • Current year demand for real estate is strengthening, and residential construction is rising

Standard & Poor’s notes that in 2016, all 20 major U.S. cities experienced increases in house prices, with Portland posting the highest increase of 12.32 percent. FHFA statistics state that the Pacific region had the highest price increases (8.6 percent) for the first half of 2016, followed by the Mountain region (7.7 percent) and the South Atlantic region (7.2 percent).

New home sales rose by 14.6 percent in 2015 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau), and in the first quarter of 2016, there were 132,000 new homes sold, up by 17.9 percent year over year. The South accounted for 61 percent of these new home sales.

In the Hilton Head area, halfway through 2016, sales and prices have gone up, and many sellers are getting a higher percentage of their asking price. The median sales price was up 4.3 percent to $302,336 (Source: Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors).

Additionally, from year-to-date (YTD) 2015 to 2016, new listings are up 10.5 percent, pending sales are up 8.2 percent, closed sales are up 6.7 percent, and the median sales price is up 8.8 percent.

For the past 12 months, the price range with the strongest sales was $225,000-$375,000 (up 27.2 percent), and the property type with the strongest sales was single family (up 15.1 percent).

In Bluffton, YTD (2015 to 2016), new listings were up 22 percent, closed sales were up 17.8 percent, and the median sales price was $268,250, up 7.7 percent.

Would you like to know: 1. How much home prices have gone up in your neighborhood; 2. The asking price of homes currently for sale; 3. The sold price of homes similar to yours; and 4. The current market value of your home?

If you would like answers to the above questions, or want additional real estate information, contact your local market expert and your favorite Realtor.

Larry Stoller is a real estate consultant and advertising executive who loves living in Bluffton and helping real estate agents and sellers get homes sold.