Home sales across Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties got off to a strong start in 2017, according to data recently released by Savannah Multi-List Corp.
During January, 401 homes sold across the three-county area, nearly surpassing the unofficial monthly goal of 500 units. While the first few months of the year are often quiet for home sales, according to Linda King, president of the Savannah Area Realtors, an early year lift in sales can mean buyers took advantage of holiday time off.
“January has been interesting,” King said. “January sales are usually up because relocating buyers try to move during school and the extended holidays allow for buying trips.”
It was the most successful January for sales since before 2012 and a 12.6 percent increase from January 2016 when 356 homes were sold.
The most units were sold on in Savannah’s 31419 zip code, which is the southside/Georgetown area with 58 sales, followed by 55 sales in Richmond Hill (31324) and 47 sales in the midtown area (31405).
The most cash flowed in Pooler with just over $13.5 million, followed by midtown with $10.6 million and Wilmington Island, which rounded out the top three with $10.3 million in sales.
In total, January produced $91,591,561 in sales volume, which was the highest amount for January since before 2012.
The inventory of houses for sale was around 7.5 months last month, a balanced market usually hovers around 6 months of inventory, but a higher number early in the year isn’t uncommon. Inventory for last month is down from 2016 by 17.7 percent as it was almost at the 9-month mark during the same period last year.
While a new presidential administration generally creates a sense of uncertainty, King remains optimistic about the year moving forward.
“Economic indicators are up after the election has settled down. Interest rates seem to be stabilized and we are being told they should remain steady,” she said.
“All this bodes well for a good year to buy and sell real estate.”
The fourth quarter of 2016 recorded the best quarterly sales pace of the year, which pushed available housing supply to record lows, according to the Q4 report published last month by the National Association of Realtors.
At the end of the fourth quarter, there were 1.65 million existing homes available for sale, which was a year-over-year decrease of 6.3 percent. According to NAR it was the lowest level since the association began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999.
The NAR January sales market report is set to be released later this week.
BY THE NUMBERS
January unit sales by the year
Top selling zip codes
31419 (Southside/Georgetown) 58
31324 (Richmond Hill) 55
31405 (Midtown) 47
31312 (Guyton) 39
31407 (Port Wentworth) 36