Looking back at local real estate data for 2019, it’s clear that the housing marketing in Chatham County was fueled by the overall strength of the regional and national economy.
Low unemployment rates, higher wages, relatively low mortgage rates and a robust stock market attracted new home buyers to enter the market. At the same time, active buyers and sellers contributed to strong sales volume and reduced inventory, as homes in Chatham County generally sold at higher prices and in less time in 2019 compared to 2018 and 2017.
Chatham County Data
According to Savannah Multi-List Service (MLS) data, the median sale price for a home in Chatham County in 2019 was $222,900, marking a 3.6 percent increase over the median sale price of $215,000 in 2018 and a 9.8 percent increase over the median sale price of $203,000 in 2017.
In 2019, the overall number of residential sales in Chatham County was 5,260, posting a 3.4 percent increase over 2018 (5,086 sales) and a 6.2 percent increase over 2017 (4,951 sales). During the same period, residential home inventory decreased, with the local real estate market ending the year with 4.33 months of inventory in 2019, compared to 5.68 in 2018 and 4.76 in 2017.
Many areas in Chatham County saw increases in sales price for homes in 2019 and in overall sales volume. In the 31401 zip code, the median residential sale price was $325,000 last year, up 2.5 percent from $317,000 the previous year. Overall sales volume in downtown Savannah was active, with 400 sales in the 31401 zip code in 2019, marking a slight increase from 382 sales in 2018.
The median sale price of a home in midtown Savannah — including Ardsley Park, Parkside, Kensington Park and surrounding neighborhoods – was $277,500 in 2019, up from $270,500 in 2018. On Tybee Island, the median residential sale price hit $415,000 for 2019, posting a dramatic increase over the median sale price of $380,000 in 2018. Likewise, the median sale price for a home sold on Wilmington Island, Talahi Island and surrounding areas was $251,900 last year, up from $244,950 the previous year.
The median sale price on Skidaway Island was slightly down in 2019 compared to 2018. Last year, the median sale price for a home in Skidaway Island’s 31411 zip code was $452,500, marking a decrease from $460,000 the previous year. However, overall sales volume on Skidaway Island was strong, with 330 sales in 2019 compared to 306 sales in 2018.
Statewide, the housing market in Georgia performed well last year. According to the 2019 Georgia Realtors Annual Report on the Georgia Housing Market, the median sale price for a home increased by 6 percent to $228,000, the number of closed sales increased by 4.9 percent to 142,915 and the average sale price increased by 4 percent to $272,207. Single family home sale prices were up 5 percent year-over-year, as were sale prices for townhomes and condominiums across the state.
During the same time period, the number of days on the market decreased by 5 percent and the months of inventory supply decreased by 10.8 percent, which means homes across Georgia sold faster in 2019 compared to 2018, generally speaking. Atlanta continues to serve as a major driver for Peach State real estate data, but Savannah’s 2019 residential sales data reflected larger state and national trends.
It’s impossible to predict whether this momentum will continue. However, a healthy economy combined with low mortgage rates could inspire even more home sales in 2020. Every day, Savannah is being discovered by buyers from across the country and around the world, who fall in love with the allure of coastal Georgia.
Now is a great time to sell a home in Chatham County because inventory is down and sale prices are on the rise. The market is strong, but not so hot or so tight that buyers feel squeezed out of the market.
It’s also an excellent time to buy, since interest rates remain relatively low and Chatham County offers an incredible range of housing options to suit every lifestyle, from waterfront estates to charming condos. Take the time to explore the local housing market to find the option that’s perfect for you.
Staci Donegan is an associate broker at Seabolt Real Estate who provides highly professional, strategic solutions for buyers and sellers throughout the Savannah area. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-247-2052.