Dear Gene Carter Team,
Greetings from The Grand Strand,
I’ll cover real estate (see bottom of article) but here are the latest announcements and stats regarding coronavirus along the Grand Strand as of 1:50 PM on Friday, April 3. Please note that this is a snapshot.
Horry County has reported 50 positive tests and 4 deaths.
South Carolina has reported 1554 positive tests with 31 deaths.
Monday night, March 30, Governor McMaster announced that all of the state’s beaches, boat ramps, and landings on the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways would be closed. All of the beach accesses have since been barricaded. Local officials have interpreted that this does not mean people are prohibited from the beach. “The police department will continue to patrol the beach and monitor them, but enforcing people sitting on the beach or walking their dog, that’s not what their focus is.” The mayors for Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach both stated that, while people are encouraged to practice social distancing, they can still access the beach from private entrances.
On Tuesday, Governor McMaster issued a sweeping order closing down all nonessential businesses in South Carolina. It started at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 1 and was set to last for 15 days. Businesses to be closed include gyms, spas, nightclubs, barbershops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, waxing salons, massage centers, fitness centers, bowling alleys, arcades, racetracks, indoor children’s play areas, theaters, planetariums, museums, tourist attractions and performing arts centers.
Still no “Shelter in Place” order.
The Myrtle Beach Spring Harley-Davidson Bike Rally and the Carolina Country Music Festival have both been postponed until the fall.
Sales: 20 new pending contracts for oceanfront condos were entered in MLS in the past 10 days, including 12 since Monday (after all short-term rentals were shut down). This is far below normal for this time of year but it indicates that there are buyers still looking and making offers. Several of my listings have been shown in that time period. Closings are still taking place although lenders, attorneys, title abstracters, appraisers, etc. are all practicing social distancing.
Listings: 78 new oceanfront condo listings were entered in MLS in the past 10 days, including 28 since Monday. This is slightly below the normal listing pace for this time of year.
Online Searches: My preliminary research indicates that these have increased, which is not surprising considering lots of people, including eventual buyers, are cooped up with little to do. It’s a good time for buyers to shop online and a good time for sellers to market online.
Showings: These are a bit problematic at the moment since most front desks and rental companies are closed or only partially manned. We are in the process of contacting all of the homeowner services reps in buildings in which we have listings. Some are willing to make arrangements for showings, even though the buildings are closed. Others have said that their buildings are simply off-limits. We also have a few properties listed in which the owners rent the condos out themselves and those can also be shown since a keypad code enables entry. Of course, houses can generally be shown, assuming the owners are okay with having people in their houses. Remember too that buyers for these types of properties occasionally will purchase sight unseen based on pictures, videos, etc.
New Home Sales: There have been 100 contracts for new homes entered in MLS in the past 10 days. There’s still obviously lots of activity in this segment of the market. Also, no COVID-19 contamination in newly constructed homes.
That’s it for now. If you’re thinking of buying or selling and you’re wondering how current events might affect your decision, please contact me to discuss your individual situation in relation to our market and the current crisis.
I’ll keep sending updates on our local fight against COVID-19 as well as reports on the Grand Strand’s real estate market. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of service in any way.