COLUMBIA, SC – October 23, 2008 – Hundreds of home builders from across the state met at the housing rally on the steps of the State House in Columbia recently to show the local news media and consumers that South Carolina’s home building industry is strong and that now is a great time to buy a home. About 500 home builders association members attended the October 22 rally in support of an effort to unite as one and to reveal the truth about the state’s affordable housing market. The rally was sponsored by the Home Builders Association of South Carolina, Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina, SC Affordable Housing Coalition and the SC Mortgage Brokers Association.
“I believe South Carolina’s home building is in better shape than most states to recover,” said Dr. Doug Woodward, director of Division of Research and professor of economics at the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. “The deep housing problems that we hear about are in Florida, California, and even Atlanta. South Carolina has less toxic subprime mortgages than most states. Actually, South Carolina has few fundamental problems with mortgages.”
According to national data, South Carolina is considered to be the 5th best housing market in the country, thanks in part to fewer subprime mortgages, foreclosures and home price appreciation. With the newly-enacted legislation providing a tax credit of as much as $7,500 for first-time home buyers, and the efforts of the S.C. Housing Authority providing down payment assistance, more and more South Carolinians can attain the American dream while helping to fuel the market and impact the economy.
“Yes, underwriting guidelines have tightened,” said Robert Dozier, chief operating officer and managing director of Homeowners Mortgage, a subsidiary of CoastalStates Bank, and former director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. “But now more than ever, we need to get back to creating true partnerships between home builders and lenders. We need to work together.”
Home builders stand by their belief that there’s never been a better time to buy a home than right now. By taking advantage of tax credits, state-sponsored programs, low interest rates, and low home prices, families can secure their future and can fulfill their dream of owning a home in the Palmetto State.