You may have already heard the news that Prudential will be changing its name to Carolina One Real Estate. We’re excited about this change and wanted to pass the news along to you, our website users! The company opted to not renew its ten-year franchise agreement with Prudential coming up this year. This change was effective starting May 1. We’re still in the process of changing everything, so please bear with us during this time of transition!
Everything will still be operated the same way (and by the same people) as before. So, we’re still locally owned and operated, but we’ll now be affiliated with a larger, global network of real estate companies. And, now we’ll have more flexibility and will be able to enjoy the freedom of being an…
Prudential is by far the top real estate company in Charleston. A lot of home buyers see our signs and advertising and assume that we’re one of the top companies. But, they don’t have actual information to compare us with the rest. So, we’ve included some statistics below that were taken from the MLS along with other information about our company.
- sold 47% of properties on the MLS in 2007 – that’s almost 4 times what our next biggest competitor sold.
- participates in 1 out of every 3 home sales in the MLS.
- has been the top selling real estate company in Charleston since 1991.
- is the largest real estate company in Charleston, with over 900 agents.
- has 16 offices in James Island, Folly Beach, Mt.
It’s a great time to buy real estate in Charleston right now. Four factors benefit home buyers in Charleston’s real estate market:
1) Low interest rates – We’re seeing interest rates in the 6% range. A lot of home owners are refinancing right now. Most of what you hear about refinancing in the news right now is related to adjustable rate mortgages. But, there are also a lot of people refinancing to take advantage of the good rates. So, the rates are good news not just for home buyers, but also for current home owners.
2) Large selection of homes – Right now there are a little over 10,000 active listings on the Charleston MLS. Believe it or not, this number is actually lower than it was a few months ago, when there were almost 12,000. It’s…
“Indeed, as we go forward, there seems to be a lot of room for consensus and common ground for minimizing the impact of the correction on homeowners, communities, and the economy.
The notion seems pretty fundamental in this country that a prosperous, sustainable society is built on stable communities where the right to own property gives citizens a stake in the place where they live. And so it is in our shared interest to work to stabilize the communities where that stake is in jeopardy. If families have the means to own a home, it should be possible to help them stay there. If not, we should be able to find rental housing. In most cases, we should focus on affording consumers the time and flexibility to work through this crisis.
“So, looking back, we know what led up to the housing correction – risky lending chasing rising home prices fueling more risky lending – until the bubble burst. Looking at the situation now, there are some short-term remedies to minimize the pain as the correction plays out. Looking ahead, there are some longer-term remedies that would help protect borrowers and sustain a healthy demand for homes.
But stepping back from the particular problems and solutions, what are the greater lessons we can learn from this experience, to ensure – as best we can – it never happens again?
Lessons tend to get better and clearer over time, but already, at least four seem clear.
- Lesson one: When they say the old rules don’t apply, apply the old
“Long-term, I believe the focus should be two-fold. First, we need to make balanced reforms to the lending system. Second, we need to restore the fundamental healthy demand for housing, based on people who want and can afford to buy a home…
There are five key areas that are ripe for reform:
- First, mortgage brokers should be licensed. A House-passed bill, supported by the brokers themselves, would create a national registry of loan originators regardless of where they work in the industry. It also establishes strict national standards for loan originators that include criminal background checks, fingerprinting, continuing education and testing.
- Second, predatory lending laws should be strengthened. Clearly we need to tighten
“Let me sketch some immediate actions that I believe would make the slowdown shorter and shallower…
Here are five short-term remedies:
- First, the Treasury Hope Now initiative is an important step. By helping a set of subprime borrowers to freeze their payments at the initial ARM rates, we can avoid creating a whole new class of distressed borrowers.
- Second, lenders and policymakers should pursue the most generous means possible to refinance ARM borrowers facing resets into long term, fixed-rate mortgages. This will require innovative high quality products that replace the sloppy credit that has been – appropriately – withdrawn from the market. There is now, for example, a 40-year mortgage designed to keep payments lower but
“Let me review briefly how we got here.
As the decade started, incomes were rising and interest rates were low and stable. Demand for homes outpaced supply, driving a sustained boom in home prices. Affordability plummeted.
Nevertheless, first-time homebuyers scrambled to get in, spending more and more of their income to purchase homes. The mortgage market, being efficient and responsive, offered new loan products with features that lowered initial monthly payments – teaser-rates, interest-only, negative amortization, and the like.
These products shifted more risk to consumers. But demand continued to spiral prices upward. Credit underwriters kept underwriting, and all bets were covered by the upward march of home values. Homeowners took…
We’re including a speech by Daniel Mudd, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae. He does a good job of explaining everything that’s been going on with the housing market. We’ll include the main areas of his speech in five blogs so that you can read it.
“It is clear that housing is critical to the US economy. The building, selling, buying, lending, fixing, and furnishing of homes generates 9 million jobs, six percent of all employment, and more than 20 percent of our gross domestic product. Typically we spend 20 to 30 percent of our income on housing, and our homes represent 18 percent of our net worth.
It is also clear that the housing correction has been damaging to the economy. It’s taken $166 billion off the GDP,…
We’ve included our first quarterly letter of 2008 from Prudential Carolina Real Estate in Charleston. This letter to the public will be published in this Sunday’s Post and Courier (as it always is), so we’re getting it to our clients before it hits the press!
February 17, 2008
To our friends and neighbors,
Periodically we share our thoughts with you about our local real estate market. 45 days into a new year and looking toward spring, it seems a good time to do that again. The two questions on everyone’s mind are: “Is my financial investment in my home safe?” And, “Is this a good time for me to buy or sell?”
We all know there are some current challenges in the housing market, but there is also much good news that often gets buried…