Home buyers held back in October in Columbia and throughout South Carolina despite a slightly brighter overall economic outlook.
Home sales sank 41 percent in the Midlands and 26 percent statewide in the absence of a federal tax credit that was set to expire at this time last year, according to a new report from the S.C. Realtors trade group. Buyers rushed last fall to snap up homes before Congress extended the $8,000 credit for first-time buyers.
The stimulus money just brought in thousands of sales for us in Columbia, longtime Columbia real estate agent Jay Graham said.
Still, compared to two years ago before the tax credit rush sales declined 29 percent in the Columbia area in October even as mortgage rates dipped to historic lows. Rates have been hovering just above 4 percent for months.
Thats not a good sign, Graham said.