Island Life Blog
I was speaking to a customer today about our local Hilton Head Island real estate market and I felt I should spread the word to all customers. Here goes:
The real estate market in 2004-2006 was frantic. Inventory was VERY low, buyers were purchasing properties at an historic pace, and pricing was increasing EVERY DAY. This was the epitome of a seller’s market.
As we all know, this type of market is very unhealthy and could not last.
The Hilton Head real estate market hit a brick wall in phases, starting in the summer of 2006, and went downhill from there. Buyers went away, inventory began its historic climb, and the intense seller’s market from 2005 turned abruptly into a dramatic buyer’s market.
Sellers tried to keep prices high, since many purchased at the height of the market. Because of this, buyers waited. And waited. And waited.
Inventory continued to increase until sellers decided to drop prices – I started to see declines in pricing in 2008, although sparingly.
Over the last few years, interest rates have been lower than at any other time in the history of our country. The economy is improving. Unemployment is declining.
And guess what is happening. You guessed it.
THE HILTON HEAD REAL ESTATE MARKET IS STARTING TO MAKE A TURN. WE ARE EXPERIENCING A TRANSITION.
Over the past few quarters, we are seeing the following consistent statistics:...read more
May 2, 2013Read Full Article
“A WINDY WIN” is how our local Island Packet described Graeme McDowell’s Hilton Head win, who earned $1,044,000 and took home the plaid jacket.
The weather was evidently just what the doctor ordered for this guy from North Ireland to win the Heritage of Golf at Sea Pines Plantation. Plus, it was his first PGA Tour win. He defeated U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson, what I’d call a local boy from Charlotte, NC, in a playoff.
In any case, the RBC Heritage scores again for Hilton Head Island. In spite of the stiff winds, soaking rains, and hurting hearts, the 45th edition of the PGA Tour event delivered good golf, good crowds, and plenty of good times around the Harbour Town Golf Links. The restaurants, shops, booths, locals … everyone benefited beyond imagination from what this week brings to Hilton Head Island.
A special appreciation to CBS Sports News for capturing so many shining moments of great golf shots every day - Birdies, eagles, narrow fairways, herons scoring almost 100% of the time catching fish in the lagoons while golfers were enjoying their walk working toward earning the title and just simply taking in the beauty of Hilton Head Island, the Southeast, and the Lowcountry of our nation… Did I mention that this is my neck of the woods? I was born in Aiken County right next door to Augusta, GA, home of the Masters and now to live on ...read more
Apr 26, 2013Read Full Article
It is that time of the year in our ocean oriented markets where after rounding the first quarter, Easter and the Heritage, we can confidently identify the trendsetting properties. After examining the Palmetto Dunes real estate market for the last four months, there is no doubt that villa sales are paving the way with sales trends we have not seen in over 6 years.
Looking through the figures over the last 6 years for home, villa and lot sales in Palmetto Dunes, there is a trend that is screaming in the villa market. Comparing the year-to-date sales (January 1st through April 25th) for each of the past several years, it only takes going back to 2011 before seeing that something big is happening. Currently, 51 villa sales have closed, which compared with 2011’s 27 villas presents an 88% increase in activity. Sounds great, right? Well, it is a powerful figure if and only if the market inventory is not increasing and I am happy to say it is the exact opposite. Villa listing inventory during this time in 2011 was at 223 villas while today’s inventory is showing a 23% decrease with only 172 on the market. Apply some basic economic concepts of decreasing supply coupled with increasing demand and you would predict that prices should start going up. Well, no prediction necessary as the actual figures show a ...read more
Apr 25, 2013Read Full Article
Developers broke ground Wednesday for the new Kroger Marketplace that will anchor one end of Hilton Head Island’s new Shelter Cove Towne Center, formerly The Mall at Shelter Cove.
The 87,588 square foot Kroger will be the largest grocery store on Hilton Head. It will feature a Starbucks coffee kiosk; Murray’s Cheese Shop; a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating; fresh sushi; a walk-in beer cooler; a “growler filling station,” where people can fill up jugs with draft beer; a resident wine expert; a drive-through pharmacy; and an outdoor bicycle-repair station. Kroger is expected to open in early December of 2013 with the addition of other new mall tenants arriving as the center opens fully in 2014. Collins and Arnold Construction of Atlanta will build the store.
Mike Schlotman, Kroger chief financial officer said, “We see opportunity in the growing year-round population of this beautiful place … and in the millions of visitors that return year after year.”
Mayor Drew Laughlin called the development “a vote of confidence in the future of Hilton Head Island.”
The 42-acre Towne Center is estimated to cost $74 million dollars and will include 290,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. It will be built in three stages. The shopping area will be bisected by a walking area that will have views of Broad Creek and lead to ...read more
Apr 11, 2013Read Full Article
In addition to the $15 million renovations slated for a new Golf Club replacing the old Plantation Club, the second new clubhouse will be at the famed Pete Dye designed Harbour Town Golf Links that is home to the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.
Resort officials confirmed plans for an estimated $25 million for this renovation. They will begin tearing down the Harbour Town Clubhouse after this year’s Heritage and will begin building a larger, modern version. The current clubhouse was built in 1969 – the same year the golf tournament began on Hilton Head. In addition to being old, it is too small to accommodate the more than 130 PGA players. President of Sea Pines Resort, Steve Birdwell said resort officials envision replacing the 11,000 square foot facility with an 18,000 square foot facility with dual locker rooms for tournament players and their guests. The pro shop will be expanded along with a new pub and grill. The Harbour Town golf course will remain open during the renovations.
The old Plantation Clubhouse has already been torn down. The new clubhouse is scheduled for completion in February 2014.
Sea Pines Resort also has plans for upgrading the Ocean Course Golf Course which is the first golf course built on Hilton Head Island. It was built by Greenwood Development that developed Palmetto Dunes, Leamington, and Shelter Cove Resort. Owners of Greenwood ...read more
Mar 20, 2013Read Full Article
Yep, that’s right. The developers won final approval Tuesday to build a new outdoor mall to replace The Mall at Shelter Cove.
Architects Wood + Partners can rest a little easier. The Town of Hilton Head Island’s Design and Review Board unanimously approved the plans for our new outdoor mall.
It will be called Shelter Cove Towne Centre, a mixture of shops and cafes that will be a part of the revamped mall. The developers, Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial are delighted as well as property owners and guests of Hilton Head Island.
Demolition of the mall began on January 10. New construction will begin within the next 30 days. Unbelievable excitement abounds with all the locals. We have seen this in bigger metropolitan areas and wondered if it was ever possible on our “little island called Paradise.” Well, I’m here to announce proudly …. It is….!
We will have an outdoor mall with several single story shops and cafes set between a Kroger grocery store on one end and the existing Belk department store on the other.
Best of all is a walking area leading to views of Broad Creek that will bisect the mall.
The cost is expected to be around $40 million and feature 290,000 square feet of retail space which will be completed in two phases. Kroger will be completed first with opening in the fall of ...read more
Feb 18, 2013Read Full Article
Happy New Year! I apologize for the late New Year’s greeting. It’s been a busy time which is quite unusual for the first of the year. I believe it’s a true sign that the economy is coming back, especially in the real estate market on Hilton Head. We were over 20% percent higher in sales transactions last year! As a matter of fact, Beaufort County (Hilton Head Island, in particular) is flying high above any other area in the state in real estate sales.
I’ve been so busy that I have a bit of writer’s block. However, I read an article written by David Lauderdale for our local newspaper, The Island Packet, that put down some great points I’ve tried to convey to potential buyers. I have his permission to share in this blog. I hope that for buyers that have taken the leap of faith and for those that need a little extra nudge, this article that touched my heart may touch yours as well. So here goes…..
What happens in the brain that makes people happy at the beach? Scientist Wallace J. Nichols of California believes if we knew that, we could get more people to help save the ocean. Nichols is a sea turtle biologist with a doctorate and a friend and colleague of Sally Murphy of Sheldon, who for decades conserved sea turtles for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
But, Nichols is pushing for scientific data on the more fuzzy nature of man – ...read more
Jan 30, 2013Read Full Article
I recently read this article in Coastal Living Magazine. In the article doctors in the fields of Biology, Neuroscience, and Psychology discuss their theories about why the beach makes us happy. These Scientists are studying the positive affects that the beach and the ocean have on you and me.
The article goes on to state the obvious reasons that we love going to the beach for vacation are: its beauty, we can control our day, restful sleeping, walks, reading, and eating fresh food. It is certainly true that we can do what we want to do on vacation as opposed to what we have to do. You can have both if you live on Hilton Head Island. Here you can hear the soothing soft continuous sounds of the waves coming ashore or those of the local wild life communicating in nature. Isn’t it great to take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the sand? There is something about the smell of salt in the air. At the end of the day you experience a good tired feeling; a satisfied tired feeling.
“ONE REASON THE BEACH BRINGS US SUCH PLEASURE IS WHAT WE DO WHEN WE GET THERE”
We can play with our children and grand children. We can listen to their dreams and plans for the future. It’s a place where several generations have so much in common. It’s a place where we can make so many pleasurable memories. Memories that can not be replaced are priceless. It is a place where time slows down just a ...read more
Jan 23, 2013Read Full Article
Looking for something different to do on Hilton Head Island with your grandchildren?
I discovered a quaint little gem in Coligny Plaza that offers a quiet escape from all the hustle and bustle of being over-stressed from exams, what gifts to buy, what to do, where to go, what to eat…. you know… sometimes being a child is stressful and just as stressing for the grandparent. We love to see them come for visits and to go visit them as well. And there is nothing I love more than being with them, but it is true what they say…the joy of being a grandparent is to spoil them and have lots of laughs and tons of fun and hopefully make very special memories, but it is always good to be able to give them back to their parents.
I didn’t think there was anything else left to share that my granddaughters would enjoy more than eating all the ice cream they wanted when they wanted it, and yes, even for breakfast, and having pizza delivered, shopping, playing on the beach, or simply just hanging out at Grammy’s doing nothing at all except what they wanted to do. And then…
We get a massage together. The younger granddaughter and I had a “couples massage” which I have to admit out of the mouths of babes… she said, “This was AMAZING!” And she meant it. First we were asked to smell different types of aromatherapy oils and to choose which one fit us ...read more
Jan 4, 2013Read Full Article
Ho, Ho, Ho…
The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island is bringing something very special, unique and first time ever to Harbour Town this Christmas - an ice skating rink for ten days starting December 22 through December 31.
We have had unusually warm temperatures so far this December. At this writing early in December, it is 75 degrees outside! But, the Lowcountry winter is not going to stop this cold weather fun event.
An outdoor ice skating rink will be set up by Artificial Ice Events on a 40 by 50 foot rink on the lawn next to the Liberty Oak Tree that Gregg Russell has been singing under for over thirty years.
The artificial ice is very similar to real ice, but is less slippery and less cold. Artificial Ice Events has set up similar rinks in Savannah and Myrtle Beach, but this is a first for Sea Pines Resort said Rob Bender, the resort’s recreational director.
The skating rink is only part of the annual holiday celebration of “Harbour Town Lights.” Harbour Town is a “Winter Wonderland” with twinkling lights in shapes of dancing snowmen, helicopters, Santa along with his sleigh and reindeer, as well as dolphins, sea shells, turtles, starfish, sanddollars, etc.
The skating rink is possible in the Lowcountry because of synthetic ice, which doesn’t require refrigeration. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. including ...read more
Dec 18, 2012Read Full Article