Strong sales in August have helped push the York County housing market to near pre-recession levels, according to local real estate agents and data from the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association.
In most of the Fort Mill area, homes have recovered the value they lost during the recession, and some sellers are receiving offers above the list prices, said agent Stephen Cooley with Keller Williams Realty.
Overall, York County is “a great market as long as you are not greedy,” said Jay Rinehart, broker and owner of Rinehart Realty.
Data from the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association shows a steady rise in listings, prices and sales for York County.
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For August, the county’s average sales price was $246,096, up 14.4 percent from the same month in 2013. The number of new listings increased 2.5 percent, and the number of closed sales was up 11.6 percent from a year ago. Sellers are getting about 95 percent of their asking prices, according to association data.
The five-month trend shows improvements throughout York County overall, but especially in Fort Mill and Rock Hill.
In several areas, the average price paid in August was higher than the average for the previous five months. Overall, the five-month average (April through August) in York County was $222,163 compared to $246,096 in August. In Fort Mill, the five-month average was $274,609 compared to $287,238 in August; and in Rock Hill, the trend was $165,242 compared to the August figure of $187,504.
“Interest rates are great, people are feeling good about themselves and there’s lots of activity,” said real estate agent Pam Morrell of Rock Hill.
Several York County agents said homes valued at $250,000 and more are selling well.
The key to selling a house, said Rinehart and others, is having it priced correctly. A house that’s overpriced by $50,000 can sit on the market longer, limiting its sales potential. Conversely, purchase offers that are $50,000 lower than the asking price won’t be accepted, agents said.
In some areas of the county, sellers are getting multiple offers and selling within 30 days, while in other areas houses are still for sale after being listed for 200 days, Rinehart said.
The average number of days from listing to sale is also falling. The five-month average for York County was 91 days, but in August it was 61 days. In Fort Mill, the five-month average was 64 days but fell to 46 in August. In Rock Hill the five-month average was 90 days and dropped to 81 days in August.
While Fort Mill is a preferred location for many buyers because of its proximity to Charlotte and the popularity of the Fort Mill school district, some buyers are realizing they can cross the Catawba River and get good values in Rock Hill, agents said.
“It’s no longer Rocky Hill. It’s Rock Hill,” Morrell said. Recreational amenities such as the velodrome and BMX track at the Riverwalk development near Celanese Road are attracting buyers, she said. “There’s no downside to Riverwalk. It’s front-porch living with a village effect,” she said.
Other neighborhoods where buyer interest is high, agents said, include Harlensdale and Meadow Lake II in Rock Hill and Springfield, Trinity Ridge and Baxter Village in Fort Mill.
The rise in buyer interest means those looking for a homes should be ready to move quickly if they find the property they want, agents said. Prospective buyers should be pre-approved by a lender, agents said.
Agents also said they expect prices to rise as the numbers of houses for sale continues to fall.