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SC ranks 25th in housing hardship amid pandemic; 211 new homes planned near Summerville


Mortgage delinquencies are on the rise across many states, but foreclosures are not expected to become more prominent until next year if the unemployment rate remains high for an extended period. File

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SC ranks 25th in housing hardship amid pandemic

South Carolina sits in the middle of a new study on housing hardship rankings in the U.S. as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Palmetto State ranks No. 25 with a housing hardship index of 15.85 in July, according to a study by online financial firm

The firm factored together the state's unemployment rate of 8.6 percent along with its mortgage delinquency rate of 7.25 percent.

Neighboring North Carolina ranked No. 34, with a hardship index of 14.74, while Georgia came in No. 22 with an index of 17.37.

New York ranked the worst at No. 1 with a combined index of 24.28. Idaho, at No. 51, had the best showing with a combined score of 8.71.

"States experiencing high unemployment will see mortgage delinquencies surge if unemployment remains elevated as forbearance periods expire," said Greg McBride, Bankrate chief financial analyst. "This year may see the worst for unemployment, but 2021 will likely bring the worst for mortgage delinquencies and defaults."

For now, foreclosures remain rare.

The CARES or stimulus act passed in the spring requires mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs to let borrowers miss up to a year of payments without penalty.

Those mortgage relief initiatives are mandated by federal law, but lenders also have voluntarily extended forbearance to more than a million borrowers with jumbo loans and other types of mortgages not backed by the federal government.

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Sullivan's restaurant

Sullivan's restaurant on Sullivan's Island will close Sunday after 32 years in business. Provided

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Seaside Charleston-area restaurant to close after 32 years

Sullivan's seafood restaurant on Sullivan's Island will serve its last customers on Sunday.

By the numbers

23: Number of Bi-Lo and Harveys supermarkets being sold to Lowes Foods, KJ's Market IGA and B&T Foods by parent company Southeastern Grocers as the Jacksonville-based grocer continues to shed its Bi-Lo brand. Four stores in Charleston to be rebranded as Lowes Foods and KJ's.

60: Millions of dollars Berkeley Electric Cooperative plans to spend on a new headquarters building in Moncks Corner.

211: Number of new homes Lennar plans to build in a new phase of development near Summers Corner south of Summerville.

This week in real estate

Driving in: Baker Motor Co. wants to build a new one-story showroom for a collection of luxury cars on Savannah Highway.

Shopping woes: Retail industry's troubles hobble 5 S.C. shopping malls.

Going dark: A couple of big chunks of retail space in the Charleston area will become vacant and available by October as bankrupt Stein Mart begins its closing sales in Mount Pleasant and West Ashley.

Rooms at the inn -- again

The Planters Inn

The Planters Inn and its Peninsula Grill reopened to the public Thursday. During the 6-months closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the owner took the time to get renovations done including restaining the wood floors. Brad Nettles/Staff

Closed for six months,  Planters Inn reopened Thursday with newly restained pine floors and other upgrades after the owner took advantage of the down time brought on by the coronavirus to give the high-end hotel in downtown Charleston a face-lift.

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Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.

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