This is a question I'm asked daily, so I thought I would offer 20+ years worth of experience. There is a misconception by many that we have entered another bursting real estate bubble situation. Let me be very clear... There are NO signs to indicate this. The reason that the real estate bubble burst back in 2006 was due in large part to all of the unqualified loans that had been written. That is no longer an issue. In fact, a large percentage of the sales in the Lowcountry over the past several years have been all cash/no financing. So let's just take that concern off the table.
"Why might early 2023 be a good time to invest in real estate in the Lowcountry?" It's a matter of perspective, really. While inventory is still at historic lows, it has seen an up-tick. The rise in interest rates coupled with the traditionally slow months of November-December have also created the appearance of a dramatic increase in inventory. Because of this, the Days on market (DOM) of existing listings has risen. Lastly, sellers had become accustomed to a very fast paced selling market with extremely low DOM. These small changes are affecting the mindset of many sellers. Because of this, sellers are much more willing to negotiate again. Some are even reducing their once overpriced listings.
The question still stands... "So why buy now?" As the economy and interest rates stabilize (which is occurring now) more buyers will return to the market. And as we've seen in the past, the allure to locate to the Lowcountry is considerably greater than the pace of new available inventory. For this reason, you should consider buying/investing now while sellers are negotiating better deals and there is sufficient inventory. Once Spring hits, everything changes.
If you are concerned that you would be buying at the "top of the market", I assure you you would not be. As history has shown time and time again, while real estate values show periodic dips, ultimately they keeps going up. Just remember, in 2022, Hilton Head Island once again ranked #1 as the best island in the US by Conde Nast Traveler for many good reasons.
One thing is certain... The demand to own Hilton Head/Bluffton and Lowcountry properties will continue to remain very strong for years to come.