Welcome to the January Folly Beach Living Newsletter!
Included this month is the end of the year statistics, the Calendar of Events, my Featured Listing, and more.
Real Estate Market Tid Bits
According to the "2016 Annual Report on the Charleston Area Housing Market" by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, the total number of showings in the market was up 3.1 percent over last year. April had the most growth in the number of showings, signaling an early demand for homes in the season. Demand remained high throughout the year, as proven by the higher number of showings in the face of low supply.
On a different note, The Annual Report noted that mortgage rates are not expected to grow by more than .75 percent throughout 2017 which should keep rates below 5.0 percent. If they rise above that mark, we could see rate lock, and that could cause homeowners to stay put at a locked-in rate instead of trading up for higher- rate properties. Such a situation would put a damper on an already strained inventory environment.
Folly Plans to Update Groins
City Council has approved the repair of 9 groins on the east end of the island because of it's erosion problem. The project is to cost $132,950. The groins are between 8th and 14th streets east. However, the project will need OCRM approval and funds need to be found. The project to repair the groins is planned during the next major beach reourishment- possibly as early as 2018. "In their current dilapidated state, these structures have become relatively ineffective at their original intent, which was to trap sand and stabilize the beach." (Beach management plan of the City of Folly Beach). Until the 2018 budget comes out, funding cannot be determined. This article also goes into Folly Beach's erosion history, why Folly receives little sand via natural drift, and the 1992 agreement with the federal government in which it agrees to pay 85% of the cost of periodic renourishments. Read more about the plan to repair the groins HERE
What's Next for The Beach--- The Effects of Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew
While Folly was spared a direct hit at high tide, Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew caused serious damage to our dune structure which protects the island, removed an tremendous amount of sand, and a 100 ft. wide hole was made in the washout. Overall 250,000 cubic yards of sand were washed away from he beach- 33% of the total. Dr. Nicole Elko, Folly's resident coastal engineering consultant, has determined that the damage required to trigger a new ronourishment has been met. Additionally, a major study funded by the City of Folly Beach has found that there are 2 million cubic yards of good sand in the Folly River and Stono Inlets. However, this sand must be approved based on it's impact of the protected and uninhabited Bird Key and Skimmer Flats. They are protected as bird sanctuaries. Use of this sand would drastically reduce the renourishment bill because of it's quality and proximity to the beach. A formal assessment will be done in June by the Federal Government to determine if Folly qualifies. A revetment of the hole in the washout is being worked on the the Dept. of Transportation and FEMA. You may find more information in the Sandspur article "What's Next for the Beach?" HERE
Lights on the Folly River
The 7 lights on either side of the bridge leading onto Folly Island have been installed! They were installed thanks to the franchise tax. The lights are the same as those installed on the island. They enhance the Center Street Beautification Project. The facelift of Center Street is underway with planters and plantings going in soon.
Folly Beach- New Restaurants & Developments
- Pier 101 is to take over the space at the Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier. This plan hopes to pay homage to the original 1931 pier destroyed by fire in 1977. Indoor/ outdoor architecture, live music and re- creations of the original signage and lettering taken from old photographs are highlights.
- A new project located at 106 E. Ashley has preliminary approval from the Design Review Board. The design is modern with several glass walls. Although this restaurant doesn't have a name, it is being developed by Kara Lee who was involved in developing Taco Boy.
- Harris Teeter is planning a strip of 4 retail spaces near the gas station & parallel to Sol Legare.
- A six room inn is planned for the vacant lot on Center Street next to the boat landing.
- A restaurant is planned for 106 E. Hudson.
Folly Considers limits on Center Street Parking
The City is considering limiting Center Street Parking to 2 hours. This idea was proposed by the local business community who feels that beach goers use the parking often for 8 hrs at a time which hurts their business. This idea has not been approved by the City. Last summer, Isle of Palms limited beach visitor parking to designated areas in response to neighborhood complaints. Sullivans Island is rolling out a plan fro next summer limiting visitor parking. Here
is the Post and Courier article about Folly's Parking.
Is This the Year to Move Up to Your Dream Home? If So, Do it Early
It appears that Americans are regaining faith in the U.S. economy. The following indexes have each shown a dramatic jump in consumer confidence in their latest surveys:
It usually means good news for the housing market when the country sees an optimistic future. People begin to dream again about the home their family has always wanted, and some make plans to finally make that dream come true.
If you are considering moving up to your dream home, it may be better to do it earlier in the year than later. The two components of your monthly mortgage payment (home prices and interest rates) are both projected to increase as the year moves forward, and interest rates may increase rather dramatically. Here are some predictions on where rates will be by the end of the year:
“We think that conforming 30-year fixed rates probably make it into the 4.625 percent to 4.75 percent range at some point during 2017 as a peak.”
Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s Chief Economist:
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the 30-year fixed mortgage rate hits 4.75 percent.”
Mark Fleming, the Chief Economist at First American:
“[I see] mortgage rates getting much closer to 5 percent at the end of next year.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist:
“By this time next year, expect the 30-year fixed rate to likely be in the 4.5 percent to 5 percent range.”
If you are feeling good about your family’s economic future and are considering making a move to your dream home, doing it sooner rather than later makes the most sense.
Lucey Mortgage Corporation
861 Coleman Blvd.
MT Pleasant, SC 29464