4th Quarter Data Shines Positive Light on South Carolina Housing Market

NEWS RELEASE
RESH Marketing Consultants, Inc.
22 Surrey Court, Columbia, SC 29212
(803) 798-0009 fax: (803) 798-3413 e-mail: info@resh.com


         (Columbia, SC) – Fourth-quarter numbers released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency paint a brighter picture of the local housing market than recent reports have indicated. While the overall housing news remains disquieting, the State of South Carolina continues to fare better than expected.
         The areas hurt most by the housing downturn are almost exclusively in California and Florida. However, anticipated declines in the US market have not been as severe as predicted. According to the report released by the FHFA, home prices actually increased nationally by 0.1 percent in December 2008.
         South Carolina and other neighboring states have managed to avoid the brunt of the down market. The Greenville-Mouldin-Easley area was ranked 13th out of 292 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the US for its high rate of home appreciation.
        In another analysis, South Carolina ranked 22nd in the country for positive changes in home prices. That same study indicates that almost 60% of the country is experiencing less than 4% depreciation, with some states still seeing appreciation of home values.
         With the stock market in a constant state of upheaval, homes remain a viable long-term investment opportunity. The current home values in the Myrtle Beach area, which has been hard hit by the downturn, are almost double what they were just five years ago. In Columbia, homes are valued at almost 25% more than five years ago, and in Greenville home values have increased by 23% over the last five years.
         Despite the grim reports there is some light on the horizon for the local housing markets. These latest statistics lend much-needed optimism for those interested in buying a home and those who depend on the industry for their livelihood.
         Data from this report is based on the House Price Index, which serves as a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. The HPI is published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency using data provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Location                 National Rank        1-Year     %∆ Q4 to Q3       5-Year

South Carolina*         22                          -3.42              -3.49                19.82
Greenville                    13                             3.23                1.05               22.85
Florence                       14                             3.14                0.55               22.04
Columbia                     45                              1.46                0.41               24.86
Augusta                        97                            -0.14              -2.20              32.86
Charleston                 149                            -1.94              -1.67              45.31
Myrtle Beach            196                           -4.74                0.98              48.41

* Purchase only, all others purchase and refinance.

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