According to our experts, here is what to expect in 2010!

Experts in the Hilton Head real estate market include the builders, the realtors, the attorneys, the lenders and the rental agents.  We asked our trusted advisors to tell us what they see in the year ahead in real estate on the Island.  Feel free to contact these professionals directly as they are the best of the best! 

Inventory levels are now dropping on Hilton Head Island!

According to our recent market research, we have now turned a corner in the real estate market on Hilton Head Island!  We have seen a significant drop in supply in just the last month(over 10%!).

Inventories are dropping!  (Hilton Head Multiple Listing Service)

Type                  Nov 2009           Dec 2009          Jan 2010

Homes              2,422                    2,366                  2,174

Villas                1,156                     1,123                   1,014

Lots                  1,680                     1,646                   1,492

As inventory levels drop, by mid summer we should see less days on the market and less negotiability.  If you want a great property at a great price the sooner you make your move the better your chances to find!  One final thought…if you are a buyer, be sure to wire escrow deposits, as they now take up to 10 days to clear many of the banks today.  (If you have questions about real estate or the information above you can contact us directly at (843)842-0805 or by e-mail at

Interest Rates have bottomed out according to our lender!

We are expecting rates to remain near the all time lows for the next few months, and then rising gently through the year.   The Federal Government has been financially supporting the low rates, and will continue to do so until the housing market is clearly in recovery. Our prediction by year end: Fixed rates will still be in the high 5’s/ low 6’s , adjustable  rates  in the 5’s, and jumbo mortgages will be in the high 5’s… other words, an overall increase of ¾%.   Buyers beware: 2010 is the low, and you really need to pull the trigger for the best rates this year. 

(If you have questions about loans or the information above you can contact David Crowell directly at (843)842-4004 or by email at

Demand continues according to our long term rental agent!

Long term rental demand starts traditionally in March and lasts through September as a general rule.  The length of time it takes to rent a property is approximately 2 months, but it can vary, as a rental home that is rental ready, light, bright and updated will rent quicker. Furnished homes usually appeal to snow birds or people with a temporary need and usually take longer to rent. Unfurnished homes are the bulk of the long term rental market, as most people have their own furnishings.

We feel the long term rental market will be good for 2010, as there is shortage of available homes under 2,400 sq. ft. We think it is a good time for people to buy, as prices and interest rates are low and the supply for available long term rentals is low. 

(If you have questions about long term rentals or the information above you can contact Keith Miller at (843)682-4310 or via e-mail at )

Give yourself time in the closing process per our attorney!

Patience is the key for those involved in seeking either to sell or those who may be purchasing at somewhat of a bargain-basement price.  Cary Griffin indicated that 2010 will likely be full of attempted sales by sellers under duress, or “short sales”, as well as sales by lenders who have already foreclosed or taken back the property in one fashion or another.  These types of transactions tend to be bureaucratic and slow moving, but there are benefits if they are successfully completed.   Hence, both parties should expect a longer time period between contract and closing. 

From the buyer’s perspective, obviously interest rates are a key focal point.  Also, consider the fact that as of now, in 2010, there is no federal estate tax.  Therefore, buyers should consult with their estate planning advisors as to how to take title to a new primary residence or a second home as the federal estate tax documents come back to life in 2011 with higher rates and lower exception amounts than existed in 2009.  “Stay tuned” is the best advice here.

(If you have questions about contracts/closings or the information above please contact Cary Griffin at (843)785-2171 or )

Get in front of the line and build/remodel before everyone else!

2010 is starting off with great promise. There are several factors driving a stronger building market in 2010. Homeowners are seeing that the economy is on a rebound and see prices only going up from here. The timing today offers the advantage of lower costs for both construction and prime locations(tear downs are once again in favor!) 

Construction costs will start to climb in the latter part of the year as demand increases. As always, make sure that your builder/contractor uses the right quality materials for the desired end product. As consumers are looking for the very lowest price, hungry contractors might sacrifice the quality of the material to get the price that the homeowner wants. In some instances, this may not be bad – in others, it could be a problem. Communicate with your contractor to insure that you get what you want.

Overall, construction costs are currently lower than the past few years, however, as the building market continues its long and steady re-growth, costs to build will increase accordingly. Don’t wait, start building now! 

(If you have questions about building/remodeling or the information above, please contact Scott Bunting at (843)384-7468 or e-mail

Buy now and get ready for busy summer rental season!

This past year was very promising as we exceeded our goals in the rental market for 2009. This is the time of year where property owners are doing all the upgrades and renovations getting ready for the busy rental season ahead.  This is also the time of year where any owners wishing to change rental companies or join a rental company usually make those choices so that there is minimal loss of potential revenue. We have been booking rentals thru the winter and already have a high demand for properties during the march thru September months as our bookings are up 75% over last year. We are booking for the summer now and things are filling in very nicely. We are currently still taking Ocean View/Front properties, Near Ocean and some golf locations. We are also, in need of 4 bedroom or larger homes on the ocean or Near Ocean. We are running special packages for Palmetto Dunes for 2010 that are sure to keep everyone back for more. 

(If you have questions about short term rentals or the information above, please contact Mark Shackelford at (843)686-9638 or e-mail at )

Can you see the bottom from where you are standing?

We would love to hear from you what you are seeing from where you are standing in the current market.  Please e-mail us  Thank you!