MYRTLE BEACH — The pent-up demand coming out of the pandemic could begin to wane going into the fall, according to the area's Realtor association, which watched July's single-family home pending and closed sales dip below 2020 levels.
"I think that's a trend to watch," said Laura Crowther, CEO of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors. "I don't think that one month is going to set off any alarms, but it's certainly something that I will begin to monitor as we go into the fall."
Pending sales of single-family homes in the Coastal Carolina region, which includes Horry and Georgetown counties, dipped from 1,153 during the fiery hot market month of July 2020 to 1,102 in July 2021. Closed sales of single-family homes were at 1,130 in July 2020 and dropped to 1,030 in July 2021.
Otherwise, new listings of single-family homes are up for July and year-to-date, and days on market are down. Most notably, median sales prices have jumped to $299,925, which is 18 percent above where it was last July.
"If it's priced within that $200,000 to $300,000 price range, you better act quickly because they are getting snapped up," Crowther said. "We'll continue to monitor that into the fall to see if we see any fluctuation with the days on the market. There's still a tremendous amount of demand out there.
"While we're still experiencing an increase in the median price, I think sellers are beginning to wonder 'OK, when is this going to slow down? I want to take advantage of the market while it still is hot.' So, you'll see a little increase in the supply, I believe."
She said sales of single-family homes priced at $300,000 or more are up 74 percent this year compared to last year.
"A lot of the buyers who are re-entering the market were the beneficiaries of selling a property," Crowther said. "They are getting an opportunity from selling their property and experiencing the appreciation and value to reinvest in maybe something they didn't think they could at another time."
Sales of condos and townhomes in the coastal Carolina region, on the other hand, are "particularly robust," Crowther said.
New listings were down from 821 in July 2020 to 687 in July 2021, but these were two very different times. In 2020, more "For Sale" signs because of the pandemic, whereas in 2021, townhomes and condos are still being rented out as vacation rentals, Crowther said. Pending sales of condos/townhomes year-to-date are at 5,142 by the end of this July compared to 3,262 last year.
Median prices for condos/townhomes are at $165,000 year-to-date this July compared to $145,000 last year.
Townhomes/condos and single-family homes each have about one month of inventory.