My Recent Neighborhood Sales!

So happy to have helped the buyers and sellers of these fabulous homes!!

Obviously 2020 was a crazy year and my business was on fire. I was able to finish the year in the top 5% of all agents in the Lowcountry! 

The 2021 market is moving at warp speed and although it’s super competitive, I have been fortunate enough to help some really great people move into and around the neighborhood!  One thing is for certain, we are very lucky to live in such a special place! 

I wanted to say thanks to my clients and friends who have supported me over these many years.  Your kindness, referrals, and pep talks are super appreciated!  Sending positive vibes to you all for a great 2021! 

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WSJ Report: 2005 Housing Boom vs Today’s Market

Interesting article from The WSJ…

WSJ Report Contrasts 2 Housing Booms, Industry Broker Looks Back Then and Now

Article Examines the 2005 Housing Boom Versus Market Dynamics That Have Emerged From the 2020 Pandemic

Wall Street Journal report contrasting the 2005 housing boom with the record-breaking market that has emerged out of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, made front-page news of its print publication this week, quoting industry broker Anthony Lamacchia, who talked about the vast differences between the market dynamics 15 years ago that led to the housing crisis and those of today, where buyers are in a much healthier place, financially.

In the WSJ article, Lamacchia, broker/owner of Boston-area-based Lamacchia Realty, recalls that not long after he entered the industry in 2004, homebuyers began trading up to bigger and more expensive homes, often with a low or no down payment. After the market collapsed, Lamacchia was helping those same buyers to dump their homes in 2009, according to the article.

Now, he says, the market is dynamically different. Housing demand in the Boston suburbs is stronger than he has ever seen, buyers have better credit scores and more money to put down on a home than in years past, he explained to the WSJ.

“On $1 million purchases, people are putting down $500,000,” he told the Journal. “You didn’t see that before.”

He expanded on that in a follow-up interview with RISMedia.

“We are seeing rapid price gains, particularly in single-family homes, and I expect to see them being even more substantial this year,” he says, adding, “[Buyers’] debt-to-income ratios are much lower and buyer demand is significant.”

The challenge of course is inventory. Lamacchia’s company, which reached $1 billion in sales last year for the first time, covers markets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and in Southern Florida, and, he says, he’s seeing these same trends in all these locations, especially with demand for single-family homes.

“We are seeing the lowest inventory that we have ever seen before,” he says. “Inventory of single-family homes is down 60% from where it was last winter prior to the pandemic, and it was low then.”

Condo sales across markets are starting to recover as well, he says. “Whereas last year, when the pandemic first started, in the first six months people were somewhat avoiding condos and running to single families. We do think this will help even out the market.”

As a result of the change for many to working from home because of the virus, he sees that trend of buyers wanting homes in suburban locations with access to more recreational activities continuing, at least for the next two years.

“I’m seeing a similarity with New Hampshire up in ski country in the Lakes Region and South Florida,” he says. “People either want the slopes or they want the shores, and we saw a race to those areas last year after the pandemic started.  We saw it let up a bit after the holidays when COVID-19 had a second wave, and we are seeing that happen all over again right now, particularly in Florida.”

As for the long-term outlook, he added, “There is no way that buyer demand could go down enough, and supply go up enough to tip the market into any sort of housing slump, at least in the next 24 months,” he says. “It’s hard to see beyond that.”

To read the Wall Street Journal’s piece interviewing Lamacchia and other industry perspectives from Zillow, Redfin, NAR, The Urban Institute and more, click here. The article also examines the upswing in the lending and new home construction sectors as well. Note: To read the full article requires a subscription.

Beth McGuire is RISMedia’s online managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at beth@rismedia.com.

Market Trends for 2021

MARKET TRENDS FROM 2020 THAT WILL BE THE NORM IN 2021!

I am basing these predictions on what I see every day in this business.  As most of these new trends locked into place towards the middle of 2020, it is probable they will remain in 2021.   

LOW INVENTORY:  Inventory data shows 71% fewer homes for sale over the last 12-month period.  This is a new record low!  This means buyers need to put their best foot forward, as it is common to compete with multiple offers.  Successful buyers are pre-qualified and educated on market value.  They are teamed up with a licensed REALTOR® and ready to pounce!

PRICES ARE STILL ON THE RISE:  With low inventory and high buyer demand, prices are still on the rise making this a strong market for sellers.

INTEREST RATES ARE SUPER LOW:  With low rates, buyers are able to afford more house, a true advantage to buying in this market.

VIRTUAL SHOWINGS ARE A REAL THING:  Many homes are being purchased by buyers off of virtual videos and FaceTime calls.  For sellers, proper marketing is key in this market and although it is a good time to sell, it is not a good time to skimp on marketing.  This can make all of the difference for a quick turn-around from listing to going under contract.

IN SUMMARY:  The market is tough, and now more than ever, you will want your transaction managed by an experienced REALTOR®, who is trained to maneuver through multiple offers and works full-time.  Most importantly, you want someone who will abide by the  REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which requires protecting our client’s best interest at all times.  If I can assist, please contact                             Jackie@TheCassinaGroup.com.    

Market Activity Report- Charleston Trident Area

July 2020:

Strong buyer demand and low inventory equate to solid growth when compared to 2018.  And with such low inventory, buyer’s are experiencing a competitive market.

According to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors: New Listings were up 17.6 percent to 2,562. Pending Sales increased 49.4 percent to 2,596. Inventory shrank 38.4 percent to 3,890 units.Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 9.5 percent to $305,000. Days on Market decreased 1.9 percent to 51 days. Months Supply of Inventory was down 45.2 percent to 2.3 months, indicating that demand increased relative to supply.

Closed Sales were up (year to date) as of June 2020 close to 5% since 2018.

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The average Days On Market is up in July of 2020 vs 2018, but not by much.  The average increased from 48 to 56, which is still relatively low.

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The key to selling at the highest price in the quickest time frame comes down to knowledge and experience.  If you are considering selling and would like a review of the market specific to your home, please let me know how I can help!

Please note:  Current as of August 7, 2020. All data from the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service. Report © 2020 ShowingTime. Data deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Consult your agent for market specifics.

Furnished Rental Available in The Gadsden!

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AVAILABLE FOR $4500/ MONTH.  $1,000 OFF 1ST MONTH’S RENT! The 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo is located on the 5th floor of The Gadsden Building, with fantastic views and awesome amenities such as a roof top pool and grilling area!

Condo includes high-end interior finishes such as hardwood floors, quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Utilities: Included; except for electric service, Security Deposit: 1 Month’s Rent, 12+ Month Lease Term, Professionally Managed- Handsome Homes, Pets Negotiable- $500 Pet Fee (Non-Refundable), Furnished, Parking: One (1) Off Street Parking Spot and Prime Location. SHOWINGS: Serious Inquiries Only. Showings are available Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm with 24-hour notice. Price and Terms are firm.  Email me for more information, Jackie@TheCassinaGroup.com.

Mt. Pleasant Real Estate Market Review

The stats for the month of March look pretty impressive when comparing 2020 to 2019.

According to the Charleston Trident Association Of REALTORS, home sales in Lower Mt. Pleasant (South of the IOP Connector) held steady in March of 2020 with 70 single family homes sold vs 73 homes sold in March of 2019.  The median sales price was $592,000, up about 10% from 2019.  Home sales took slightly longer, with the days on the market averaging 75 days in 2020, vs. 59 days in 2019.

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And home sales in Upper Mt. Pleasant looked even stronger!  In March of 2020, there were 100 single family homes sold vs 79 homes sold in March of 2019.  The median sales price was $545,000, up about 7% from 2019.  Days on the market averaged 69 days in 2020, vs. 75 days in 2019.

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People are still buying and inventory is still low.  If you would like to explore the real estate market, please let me know.  I am happy to help!

Low Mortgage Rates!

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Mortgage rates are LOW, LOW, LOW!  But how low will they go?  That’s the questions.  The benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.81 percent, down 16 basis points from a week ago, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders.

“Mortgage rates plunged, along with bond yields, as the U.S.-China trade war escalated and fears of a global recession have increased,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

So what does it mean?  By looking at the US 30 YR data provided by Feddie Mac, it’s easy to see that buyers can afford “more home” in 2019 vs the tail end of 2018.  If you are interested in learning more, let me know and I will connect you with one of my preferred lenders who will be happy to help.

The Blue Porch Ceiling Mystery Solved!

When touring homes, one can’t help but notice this “uniquely Charleston” trend- the light blue porch ceiling!  Many assume it is meant to represent the color of the sky, but there is more to the tradition than meets the eye.

It’s no coincidence. You can find “haint blue” all over Charleston, whether on some of the most historic houses on the Battery, or new construction communities in Mt. Pleasant…  So, what’s it all about?

According to Charleston FYI:

Now mimicked by paint companies, the first-ever “haint blue” is said to have originated in Gullah Culture in the Carolinas hundreds of years ago. The Gullah Geechee people painted their doors, window frames, shutters, and their porch ceilings as a means of protection. The light blue is believed to have the power to protect homeowners by chasing away evil spirits or ghosts. While many hear this and are quick to judge, no one should be so certain in a city known for its historic, haunted streets.

Even for those that don’t believe in the spirits, the light blue also brings a charming touch to any porch. It is also said that blue paint is believed to keep bugs and birds from nesting. The blue resembles the color of the sky, a place bugs and birds wouldn’t naturally settle or nest.

Whether or not you believe in the evil spirits that may be roaming around the cobble-stone streets of Charleston, the shade known as “haint blue” can add a charming and peaceful accent to any porch, even outside of the Lowcountry. The next time you’re wandering around Downtown Charleston, remember to look up at the porch ceilings to witness true Lowcountry culture.

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Our Favorite Downtown Hotels

Located across from Marion Square and steps from King Street, this renovated former federal building exudes old world Charleston charm.
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Warm, upscale suites with full kitchens and complimentary room-in breakfast. Need I say more?!
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Perfectly located, this hotel is elegant and sophisticated with modern southern decor.
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This posh hotel is in a 1920s art deco building. A drink at their cocktail bar is a must!
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This art-filled boutique hotel in the French Quarter is conveniently located to many attractions. The best part of this hotel is the rooftop bar – stunning views of the city!
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2300 Beckenham Drive- Park West- Deep Water Dock

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DEEP WATER DOCK WITH 9 FEET AT LOW TIDE! Need I say more?!

Located in lovely Park West, you will love this custom Lowcountry home with dock on the Wando River, located on a private cul-de-sac in Masonborough. The panoramic water views along with Charleston charm make this home a one of a kind find! The home has a great layout for everyday living and entertaining with a formal dining room, living room, great room and an eat-in chef’s kitchen on the main floor. The master bedroom suite is also located on the main floor, with four large bedrooms and a flex space on the next level. High-quality craftsmanship abounds with luxurious features including Travertine and hardwood floors, multiple fireplaces, coffered ceilings, wainscoting, built-in cabinets, granite counters and so much more. The home also boasts many outdoorliving spaces including a covered front porch, deck, private backyard and a rooftop sundeck with panoramic views of the water.

Additional features of this stunning home include:

*Dual staircase leading to a grand front porch with columns, Travertine stone flooring, stunning mahogany French doors flanked with floor-to-ceiling shutters, tongue and groove ceiling and gas lanterns.

*2-story foyer with Travertine flooring, direct view of the water and sweeping staircase to 2nd floor *Travertine stone and Caribbean Walnut Hardwood flooring throughout main and upper level. Hand scraped hardwood and Travertine in lower level.

*Formal dining room with gas fireplace, wainscoting, coffered ceiling and French doors leading to front porch

*Formal living room/ library, currently being used as a billiards room, with wood-lined walls, built in cabinetry, coffered ceiling and 2nd gas fireplace

*Fully equipped Chef’s kitchen with commercial grade appliances – AGA stove and oven with pot filler, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and Dacor oven, warming drawer, microwave and wine cooler

*Amazing, over-sized back porch overlooking a very private back yard with water views, featuring Travertine floor, tongue and groove ceiling, with fans and gas lanterns

*First floor master bedroom with double doors leading to back porch *Spacious master bathroom with double sinks, walk-in, rain head shower, jacuzzi tub, double walk-in closets and stacked washer/ dryer

*Second floor with open loft/ flex space and four large bedrooms (two are en-suite and two share a Jack-n-Jill bath)

*Second floor laundry room with granite counter, wash sink and built in cabinetry

*Spiral stair case from second level porch to top sundeck with panoramic water views *Basement/ Garage level with 3 bay, 4 car garage and tons of storage.

*Lower level features a large family room with French doors that access the ground d level patio, built in cabinetry with sink and built in beverage cooler

*Outdoor kitchen includes crab pot filler and high output gas burner, cut out for a Big Green Egg, 5 burner gas grill and pot burner

*Pergola overlooking a fantastic oversized paver patio with in-ground fire feature! Perfect for year-round entertaining

*Adorable brick-walled home office which could be turned into a wine cellar *10 foot ceilings throughout, extensive trim and moldings, window box seats, wired for sound, Nest thermostat, central vacuum, wood shelves in closets, elevator shaft for all 3 levels

*The dock is accessible through an easement on the neighbor’s property with a shared walkway. The property has its own pier head and floater. Pilings can accommodate a boat lift. True deep water even at low tide, a rare find!

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MLS #18005225

Offered at $1,499,999

For more information, contact Jackie Kelly at 843.991.9111 or jackie@thecassinagroup.com