Posted By Gene Carter @ Jul 16th 2020 10:28am In: Monthly Real Estate News

Grand Strand Real Estate News

May 2020

Volume 2020 Issue 5

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Dear Gene Carter Team,


19 new contracts for resort properties for me and Teressa since the beginning of May with no slowdown in sight. Sales for oceanfront and resort condos, new construction homes and residential resales are all very active. In the past 4 weeks since my most recent newsletter, oceanfront condo sales have been 27% higher year-over-year. Also, I have access to a rare below market opportunity for a Dunes Village two bedroom condo. Not in MLS. Contact me for details. 

The historically low interest rates have contributed to the uptick in sales, both for houses and for oceanfront and resort condos. Several local lenders have had good success in providing conventional financing for oceanfront condos.
(Beach Pro Team Lender List) This has been great for buyers, of course, but also for sellers, especially for those with high end properties. Stay safe and healthy!

Greetings from the Grand Strand!

I hope you are all safe and healthy. Please be careful. It’s a crazy world right now. 

It’s been a busy month and a half! 19 new contracts for resort properties for me and Teressa since the beginning of May and activity still seems to be accelerating. The historically favorable financing available at this time for homes and condos seems to be one of the driving factors (See additional comments below). And it’s not just oceanfront and resort condos – new construction and residential resales are booming too. 

In addition, according to on-site rental managers as well as owners who utilize VRBO and airbnb to manage their own properties, summer vacation rentals have made up all of their losses after losing most of their reservations to cancellations in the spring.

Of course there are potential clouds on the horizon. The number of Covid-19 cases has been rising exponentially in our area of late since the reopening and we are facing the onset of a possibly deep recession. Nevertheless, right now, today, it’s a great time to buy or sell on the Grand Strand! 

This chart below shows the weekly totals of new contracts for oceanfront condos for 2020 vs. 2019 over the past few months (and I think it’s representative of resort condo sales in general). Overall, in the past 4 weeks since my most recent newsletter, oceanfront condo sales have been 27% higher year over year.

This next chart shows oceanfront condo listings for 2020 vs. 2019. There have been 184 new listings over the past 4 weeks vs. 193 for the same time period in 2020. With the strong sales and slightly slower listing pace, inventory has dropped in this time period.

In a nutshell, we’ve had an unusually strong market in recent weeks for this time of year. There may have been a little bit of panic selling right at the onset of the pandemic but, lately, properties have generally been selling at market prices. However, I do have access to a rare “below market” opportunity for a Dunes Village 2BR condo. This is not an MLS listing. Please contact me for details.

I mentioned that financing was a factor in the recent strong sales. When I started my real estate career, interest rates were around 14%, followed by over a decade in the 8% to 10% range, so the 4% rates of recent years seem low to me. Now 30 year conventional rates are occasionally dropping close to 3%. I talked to a lender today who just approved a 15 year loan for an oceanfront condo at 2.75%. Here’s a chart showing the historical annual averages for 30 year fixed rate mortgages.

The effects of these current historically low rates are underappreciated. Buyers and sellers go back and forth in their negotiations over a few thousand dollars in purchase price when the mortgage rates will make the biggest difference in the cost of the property in the long run. The difference in payments over the life of a 30 year loan for $300K vs. a loan for $305K is only about $10K. Meanwhile, the difference in total payments over the life of the loan for a $300K loan at 4.5% vs. a $300K loan at 3.5% is over $62K. If you’re thinking of buying, don’t take these rates for granted. This is as close to free money as we are probably ever going to see. 

These low rates are also helping sellers, of course, as evidenced by the big uptick in sales activity. The current low rates were a big factor in several of our recently sold listings, particularly the higher priced ones. If you’ve been considering selling a high end property, now is a good time to give it a shot.

Although many oceanfront and resort condos are considered to be condotels and are only eligible for specialized condotel financing, there are also quite a few for which conventional financing (featuring the above-mentioned low interest rates) can be obtained. Please utilize our lender list (below) or contact us directly for advice on this. Your hometown lender may try but they probably can’t finance your purchase because oceanfront and resort condos terrify most conventional financing underwriters. The result is often that the loan is declined at the last stage, after you’ve paid for a credit report and appraisal and tied up a month of your time and the seller’s time. However, several local lenders have tackled this issue and had great success of late in financing oceanfront and resort condos with conventional loans. You can request our Lender List below or on our website.

Also, for any new home purchasers, keep in mind that Teressa is an expert in this field and covers the entire Grand Strand. My wife is the area sales manager for one of the nation’s largest new home builders and her one company sold over 150 new homes last month. If you’re thinking of buying a new home in our area, now is the time!

That’s all for now. Check out all our usual Grand Strand Market Reports, Sales and Listing Updates, and my Best Buys.

Stay safe and healthy and I’ll see you at the beach soon!

Grand Strand Market Report

Below is a link to a detailed report on the current state of our local real estate market complete with statistics for just about anything imaginable. Please keep in mind that these statistics cover a broad range of properties and that particular areas or developments may behave quite differently.  

As always please contact me if I can be of service in any way.

See link below to interpret terms used in this report.

Grand Strand Market Report - April 2020

Best Buys

The following current listings are exceptionally well-priced and represent great values. The spreadsheets are sorted by price. These are live links to listing details and they will change according to changes in the MLS (Pending, Sold, etc.). The listing details are in the same order as the spreadsheets. Please call me directly if you find something of interest to you.

OF/OV Homes Brochures:    Link to Listings 
OF/OV Homes Spreadsheet:   Link to Spreadsheet 
OF/OV Condo Brochures:    Link to Listings
OF/OV Condo Spreadsheet:   Link to Spreadsheet

Non-OF Condo Brochures:     Link to Listings 
Non-OF Condo Spreadsheet:  Link to Spreadsheet
If you are considering buying or listing any property on the Grand Strand, or if I can be of assistance in any other way, please contact me. Also, please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends or acquaintances and of course I will be happy to add them to my email list.

Finally, please let me know if you are going to be in the area and would like to get together.

See you at the beach!

Gene Carter
Beach Pro Team
Cell Phone:  843-455-4785

The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and sometimes contains current or forward-looking statements on real estate market conditions, and should not be construed as legal, investment and/or real estate advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors, and is not necessarily the opinion of RE/MAX Southern Shores or its agents.

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