MYRTLE BEACH — The Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors reports a “resilient” 2020, with closed sales for single family homes up nearly 17 percent as the housing market remains hot into the new year.
Realtors along the Grand Strand are selling homes sight-unseen, oftentimes with multiple offers that have been higher than the original listing price. Agents and brokers are taking advantage of technology as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hurt on in-person open houses and leads from just being out and about in the community.
But low interest rates have been a driver in properties selling fast, even through the pandemic.
“I believe that saved a lot of people who may have been in a financial crunch and made the rates good to buy,” said Britni Gaddy, a realtor for Real Living Home Realty Group in Myrtle Beach.
Gaddy, who has been in the real estate industry for 5 years, said she isn’t seeing a lot of clients who are buying investment properties during this time. Gaddy also added she often works with clients from outside of the area who are typically from the northern part of the country, but is now seeing more people from the West Coast interested in moving to the Grand Strand.
In addition to home sales increasing from 2019 to 2020, prices for homes increased by 5.6 percent to $262,900, according to CCAR, which serves Horry and Georgetown counties. However, single family home listing declined by 35 percent due to the high demand year over year.
“High buyer demand, combined with a low inventory of homes and mortgage interest rates at a record low, is the perfect trifecta for a strong sellers’ market,” said Laura Crowther, CEO of CCAR. “Looking into 2021, we think this trend will continue, with mortgage rates remaining low to help homeowners afford the rise in home prices.”
With the lack of inventory, there are not a lot of properties for buyers to choose from. Gaddy said it’s a great time to buy because of the low interest rates, but realtors and buyers have to be aggressive and proactive.
Gaddy said she has made it more of a daily routine to check new listings each morning to be aware of what’s available. Clients who have price ranges in the $300,000 to $400,000 struggle to find homes, Gaddy said, so she’s continuously working on campaigns to bring more sellers into the market to offer more inventory for buyers.
The big question remains: How long will this trend of low interest rates and a hot market last?
“It makes you question what’s going to happen next,” Gaddy said. “We’re just kind of strapping in, holding tight, saving money. Get it while it’s here. I hope things continue to go in the right direction, or at least maintain where it is right now.”