Realtor: 2013 was better, for sure, but not quite full turnaround

sjones@thesunnews.comNovember 29, 2013 

Myrtle Beach Realtor Trish Taylor thought in February that 2013 might be the year that the area’s real estate fought its way out of the abyss and returned to normal.

Now, she says, 2013 indeed saw significant gains, but she won’t think the market is back to normal until home price appreciation stands at 4 percent to 5 percent a year.

The signs are good, she said.

“We’re getting through the distressed properties,” said Taylor, a Realtor at Century 21 Boling. “The distressed inventory is not being replaced like it was.”

That alone is an incubator for higher prices.

Sales across the Grand Strand are up 21 percent this year over the first three quarters of last year.

“I think it’s been a great year for all of us,” she said, but added, “It’s all relative.”

That means that 2013 has been significantly better than 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009, but not as good as 2005 and 2006.

When the great recession exploded from the canyons of Wall Street, Taylor said, “It was like we were frozen in time.”

Her own business immediately dropped by 60 percent to 70 percent. The intervening years have been kind of like that dark, ugly little place between a rock and a hard space.

A steady improvement in the market finally began about this time last year.

So does Taylor then think that 2014 will be the year?

“I don’t know,” she said.

There seems to be a new normal to things and nobody is quite sure what that is.

“There are just so many factors that can upset a market,” she said.

But barring another nationwide financial debacle, she’s optimistic that growth will continue.

And wherever it is that defines a normal market now, a least there’s light there.

“Compared to what we’ve been through,” Taylor said, “whew.”

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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