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Savannah-area home sales continue to thrive

Savannah area home sales continue their climb, setting another record for sales in June, which saw 778 homes sold across Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties, according to data recently released by Savannah Multi-List Corp.

“We expected to be up in June, but we’re very pleased with the results,” said Linda King, president of the Savannah Area Realtors.

Inventory started the year at 7.33 months, but has dropped nearly each month since then. During May and June inventory stayed at 3.99 months — a healthy market usually hovers around five to six months of inventory.

“We would definitely like to have a little more inventory. A lot of people are purchasing before school starts back, so that’s dropped us down,” King said.

Although inventory is low, King said the homes on the market now are fresher and not lingering as long. In June, it took about 111 days to sell a home, which is just under the yearly average of 112 days.

Total sales volume for June also hit another record high with sales bringing in more than $194.8 million. Richmond Hill accounted for the most sales volume and unit sales for the month. The 115 homes sold in the city brought in more than $31.7 million.

King said there are a variety of factors that make Richmond Hill so popular among buyers, including schools and the proximity to Ft. Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield.

“By living in Richmond Hill, it’s easier to travel and the crime rate is also a little lower,” she said.

“The homes there are also newer and many new homes are still being built, which does draw people there.”

Decreasing road construction in the Georgetown area is also helping to boost sales in the southside neighborhood, she said. Georgetown was second in unit sales with 82 homes sold, which amounted to more than $15.2 million in sales volume.

“We’re happy to see Georgetown kicking back up. The road construction had dented sales out there, but they seem to be picking back up,” she said.

No matter the neighborhood you’re looking to buy in, King said it’s important to be patient and specific about your needs.

“Buying now is a good investment. You might not get the bargain you would have a year ago, but investment rates are still low and property values are going to increase,” she said.

“If you find that perfect house, buy it. Don’t expect another one to be around the bend because (with low inventory) it might be gone.”

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Nationwide trends

Home sales across the country dipped in June, according to the monthly report released by the National Association of Realtors.

Sales decreased 1.8 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million down from 5.62 million in May.

The Midwest was the only region that saw an increase in June sales.

“Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in the report, which was released Monday.

“The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

In the South, sales decreased 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.23 millionwhich is unchanged from a year ago.

More Info

Breakout Box: 

By the numbers

Unit sales by the month

January 405

February 472

March 629

April 618

May 784

June 778

June unit sales by ZIP code

31324 (Richmond Hill) 115

31419 (Georgetown) 82

31312 (Guyton) 65

31405 (Savannah) 61

31410 (Wilmington Island) 59

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