By Nicole Collins, Co-Editor/Writer
Woodruff has been the identified as the best up and coming housing market in South Carolina by Insurify.
The recent report from Insurify used Zillow Research to identify the city with more than 1,500 residents in each state with the strongest real estate growth. Cities were scored based on the relative change in home value between 2010 and 2020, the monthly home value trend from 2019 to 2020, the monthly trend in median home sales prices from 2019 to 2020 and Zillow’s 2021 home value forecast. The city with the highest score was identified as the winner.
“We are honored to be named the Best Up-and-Coming Housing Market in South Carolina for 2020. I am very proud to be a part of the team of elected officials and staff who are making this City the best that it can be. We would like to thank the developers who believe in Woodruff and chose to invest here,” said Woodruff City Manager Lee Bailey.
Alexandria Martinez, broker in charge at JACK Properties, Woodruff’s only full-service real estate agency, knows firsthand the attention the area is receiving right now.
“Over the last year we have seen a significant increase in inquires in the Woodruff housing market. We have not only seen an increase in the private housing market but also from investors who are interested in increasing the value of rentals and homes in the surrounding areas of their residential investments,” says Martinez.
The Ellington and Pearson Park developments that broke ground last fall are selling ahead of schedule. To date, 40 homes have sold in Pearson Park and just over 50 have sold in Ellington. The City of Woodruff said it will be announcing other upcoming developments as well.
So what’s the draw to Woodruff? The proximity to Greenville and Spartanburg is often noted. The school system and small class sizes too. The downtown area and McKinney Park. But for most, it’s that small town feel.
“As a lifelong resident of Woodruff, I personally like to believe that our appeal comes from the small town feel that we have cultivated. I believe that many people are drawn to our town because of the continued kindness and Mayberry feel that we offer,” said Martinez. “However, it doesn’t hurt that our average mortgage cost, $1,041, is well below the national average of $1,500. It also helps that we are in a great location for people who work in both Greenville and Spartanburg but are not interested in paying the hefty price tag that often comes with those areas.”
Even though designated as a real estate hot spot, the Woodruff market has its challenges. One being an inventory shortage of homes. Martinez notes that the Woodruff market is reflective of the national housing market, both are seeing a shortage of new and current homes.
“While the new housing in our area being built is definitely a step in the right direction towards correcting this market shortage it is not the solution to the growing problem,” said Martinez. “Many of the new developments are nowhere near what many of the families moving into the area or from the area can afford. Therefore we see many of these families buying older homes in this area but we find a severe shortage in the market.”
The coronavirus has also contributed to downturns in home sales prices and the number of homes sold. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the average home sale price for the Woodruff zip code was $153,781. “In the first 30 days we watched that number fall to $143,453 and have continued to watch it fall to a staggering average of $122,509. [Before] COVID-19 we were starting to see pricing comparable to that of other markets in our county,” said Martinez.
As far as the number of homes sold, Martinez said that at the beginning of the year, Woodruff was averaging 90 homes sold in 60 days. Now the average is about 53 homes sold in 60 days.
And the amount of time a home stays on the market depends on the condition the home. “Currently we are seeing most homes sell for about 1% below list price in about 58 days. However, homes that are considered ‘hot’ are listed as pending in approximately 36 days with their asking price,” said Martinez.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Trina Montalbano, area sales manager for D.R. Horton, said that sales in Woodruff at the Ellington subdivision have been very strong over the last few months. Furthermore, the pandemic has caused a shift in what her clients are looking for in a home.
“Customers are searching for a brand new home that offers them the space they need to live with the ‘new normal’. They may have realized over the past few months they need a home office, schoolwork space or even just a brand-new open kitchen,” said Montalbano.
Buyers and sellers interested in the Woodruff area certainly have their choice of agents to work with, but Martinez point out the advantage of working with an agency, like JACK Properties, that is truly devoted to the market. “We are the only agents who live, work, and specialize in this market. We have seen Woodruff through many of its ups and downs with the housing market and know how to prepare both buyers and sellers for the hurdles they might face in a smaller market. We specialize in our hometown because we love our hometown, we see it as a valuable investment,” said Martinez.
Upstate Housing Market Trends
The average price of a D.R. Horton home in the Ellington subdivision is just below $200,000, according to Montalbano. For a four bedroom and two and half bath home in Pearson Park, the average price is about $180,000, said Alan Cedres, the Ryan Homes sales manager for Pearson Park.
Outside of those developments, a house in Woodruff currently averages $122,509, according to JACK Properties. Compared to the home prices in Spartanburg and Greenville markets, that price is a steal.
Year-to-Date Home Trends for the Spartanburg and Greater Greenville Markets
|Number of Residential Homes Sold||2,618||7,160|
|Median Price of Residential Home||$190,000||$225,000|
|Average Days on Market||80||58|