What’s Happening in the Hilton Head Real Estate Market Today

Residential markets on the Island increased 46% in sales in comparison to last November as boomers rush in to grab the lower rates and avoid the cold.  With over 2.5 million visitors, many returning over the past 30 years, this aging visitor is impacting the residential real estate markets on and off Hilton Head Island.   While demand and confidence has increased through the years, supply has declined with the Island now 97% developed.  It is safe to say the supply side of the economic equation is dropping every day and this will have effect on values.   Baby boomers may have hit a speed bump with the recession, but it certainly did not stop them.

Top 5 items on the Shopping List for Vacation home and Investment Buyers in 2014 according to NAR:

  1. 64% are looking for the Quality of the Neighborhood and Hilton Head has this hands down!  A relatively young town Hilton Head Island incorporated in 1983 and development was impacted by how it fits in with the trees.  Pretty cool!
  2. 46% are looking for Convenience to beach/leisure activities – Hilton Head Island is an 8 x 12 mile Island that is 97% developed.  Everything is close by!
  3. 41% are looking for Overall Affordability – Post recession pricing has carried over into 2014 and this will disappear once inventories tighten.  Some areas are already experiencing this on Hilton Head Island.
  4. 38% are looking for convenience to Shopping and Dining – With over 300 restaurants and shopping from South Beach to Old Town, Hilton Head again has it hands down.
  5. 45% are looking for A Planned Community – The majority of communities on Hilton Head Island are planned communities with covenants and amenities within the gates.

Market Trends for 2015 according to Robbie Bunting

  1. Tighter Inventory for Residential Properties and higher pricing – Due to the lower inventory levels, buyers may not like it, but will spend more in areas that have lower inventories.
  2. Premium Prices Paid For Turnkey – Many of the Island buyers are looking for turn key….and will pay a premium.  The opposite applies to properties that need work.
  3. Lock and Leave Lifestyles – Older buyers want to be able to travel and visit the kids. Security and being able to lock and leave is important.  B
  4. Longer Ownership – Buyers and boomers will hold their properties longer according to NAR research for up to 12 years.

Are you a seller that has been sitting on the fence?

Over 28% of sellers that purchased in the last 10 years stalled or delayed their property sale because their property would sell for less than what they wanted to sell it for or less than what they owed on it.  Now that buyers are once again in the market, sellers should not take these buyers for granted! There is still danger in the market.  While there are some confidences that may have put some sellers into the ether, buyers will lose 10% of their buying power for every ½ point change in mortgage rates as we go forward.   We have all seen what happens when buyers lose confidence!

If you are selling, here are some strategies for Selling A Hilton Head Property

  • Price it correctly. Price it within 3% of the selling price. Buyers are shopping and comparing on the internet. Just because it is the only one, does not mean it will sell for more.  Price it to sell
  • Condition is paramount. Buyers have choices and it is a real beauty contest:
    • Stage it to sell – The way in which you live in a home is very different than the way you sell a home. Invite a friend to come over…and help set the stage. Start packing up boxes and put them in storage. Clean off your front patio, door, hardware and back. Pressure wash. You only have one chance at a good first impression.
    • Fix it, don’t say it. No amount of seller concessions will ever sell a property that needs repair. Offering paint, carpet or any concession sellers  can expect a $2 discount for every dollar they should have spent. Buyers are demanding great listings and are making the decision on what they want to see based on what they see on the internet.
  • Pitch Location –Nothing you can do to change it, but be sure to embellish it! It is what separates a property from everything else. #1 Rule in real estate is BUY LOCATION. It builds value and separates on Island properties from off Island properties.
  • Access-Cannot sell a property if you cannot see it. Buyers are driving up and down 278 and the easier properties to access will be shown more and sell faster.

Final Word…The Internet is changing the way you do real estate…

Over 94% of buyers use the internet to find a property.  That is especially true for areas like Hilton Head where the majority of our buyers live somewhere else.  We have 39000 living here and over 2.5 million wanting to live here.  Almost 50% of buyers actually locate the property they ultimately buy on the internet.  Therefore, photos, virtual tours, helpful information including costs and local amenities will help a property sell faster.  Buyers are now searching the internet and comparing properties both on and off the Island.  What sets your property apart from the others?

This presentation made by Robbie Bunting with Hilton Head Properties offers forward thinking information based on real estate trends in the Hilton Head Market Place.  This information is not guaranteed for future gain.