What is the state of the Myrtle Beach SC real estate market

If a single word could describe the 2021 real estate market, “desperation” might come closest. But today, a better description might be “quick tranquility.” Homes are still selling fast, but not in the same messy way they once did.

In Myrtle Beach, homes for sale fell to a record low in 2021 as buyers flocked to the market offering tens of thousands more than asking price and foregoing due diligence steps such as inspections and appraisals homes, local real estate agents said. They made these sacrifices because so many sales turned into bidding wars.

At the same time, potential sellers held on to their homes, fearing that they might not be able to find their next home at a reasonable price, if at all, which would further reduce the supply of homes on the market.

These ’emotionally driven’ decisions sent prices soaring to record highs, as New England’s wealthy moved to the area, loaded with money and often able to buy properties twice as large. than they had up north – but for half the price.

A year after that spike in home sales, the Myrtle Beach real estate market has finally begun to calm down. Rising interest rates and inflation have made the prospect of buying a home a much more expensive ordeal for some.

That doesn’t mean it’s completely shut down, by any means, said Century 21 real estate agent Greg Harrelson.

This means that the market is much calmer. Properties that would have turned into 10-person bidding wars on day one now spend a week or three before selling to the fourth buyer who has stopped, Harrelson said. Home sales are still going fast, but not as fast.

“We’re starting to see the (number of) days on the market going up a bit,” Harrelson said. “Right now, instead of selling in five days, hypothetically it could be 25 days. It’s still what we call a seller’s market. But it’s definitely totally different from what it was last year. last.

The slowdown has also meant buyers have a bit more influence – although Harrelson cautioned against calling it a buyer’s market. Basically, buyers no longer feel pressured to give up their rights to a home inspection and the ability to roll back if the appraisal comes back wrong. The offers they make are competitive, but not much above the asking price.

“It’s 100% different than it was three or four months ago,” said Renny Diedrich, vice president of the South Carolina Association of Realtors in Myrtle Beach. “It’s a more normalized market. The past two and a half years have been something we’ve never been through.”

The passage

If buying a home today is a borderline calm experience, when did the downturn begin?

Harrelson said he first noticed a change earlier this year.

“Before you see a change in data, you will see a change in conversations,” he said.

Suddenly, shoppers seemed more frustrated. They were “fed up with having to pay more and more,” Harrelson said. They complained about multiple-bid bidding wars, paying $30,000 more than the asking price.

“Buyers felt intimidated,” Harrelson said.

While “at the height of the market, people were like, ‘Find me something. I will pay anything,” he added.

As the slowdown has deepened since the start of the year, the supply of homes for sale has steadily picked up. In a building that Harrelson works with, there were three condos for sale last year. There are now 40. Prices remain competitive, he said, despite the massive increase in availability.

“On average, (there were) 4,500 homes on the market as of 2000,” Diedrich said of the Myrtle Beach area. “We dipped to lows around 1,200, and now we’re back down to around 2,100. So we’re not where we normally are, but we’re heading in the right direction.

Neither Diedrich nor Harrelson believe there is much chance that house prices will actually come down, at least in the meantime. Home sales are still going strong.

“Honestly, I don’t believe, based on what we’re hearing and what we’re seeing, that prices are going to come down,” Diedrich said. “They’re just not going to grow as quickly as they have over the past two years.”

A positive sign is if sellers aren’t suddenly rushing their homes on the market as the downturn appears, Harrelson said. This happened during the 2008 financial crisis and contributed to this long-lasting recession.

Tips for Buyers

Diedrich and Harrelson shared advice for buyers and sellers as the real estate market continues to change. The bottom line was that buyers just had to “breathe”, as Diedrich put it.

There are also more concrete tips and ways of thinking that people need to consider.

Think long term: Interest rates have scared off buyers, but they are still quite low. If you want to buy a house, do it. You can always refinance the loan if interest rates drop in a few years.

“Some people are going to say to me, ‘Well, great, I’m going to wait for interest rates to come down,'” Harrelson said. “Here’s what I would say to that: ‘Well, what happened the last time interest rates went down? The last time interest rates fell, there was nothing to buy, no inventory. And when there was one, you had to pay $30,000 more than the price. So be careful what you wish for.

And, having a higher base loan will cost more in the long run over the 30-year life of the loan than a few years of interest, he added. Even though a 6% interest rate hurts more than 3%, it’s still better than the double-digit rates the United States has seen in recent decades, Harrelson said.

For buyers: Diedrich recommends getting pre-approved for a loan from a local lender because they know more about potential rules for beach homes, such as when a home is purchased as a vacation property.

And don’t rush. Buying a home is a long-term decision, a place to spend the next decade or more of life. If you see something you like, don’t wait, but if you’re not sure, spend a little more time looking for the perfect fit, Diedrich said.

“Before, (buyers) had no choice. They had a choice of A, A, and A and were like, ‘Well, let me guess? I’m going to choose A because I had no choice,” Diedrich said. “Now there’s a bit more competition, and I feel like they can make the best decision. … They don’t make a decision because they have to make a decision.

For sellers: Prepare your house for sale; don’t wait to see if there’s another market shift or a “best time” to buy your next home after the sale, Diedrich said. And be sure to get the latest advice from a local real estate agent, as market conditions change from month to month, she said.

“Have someone keep up to date with local industry trends and local trends so they can educate you,” she said. “Like, ‘Here are your options. Which path do you want to take?”

Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Beach and throughout South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 with degrees in journalism and political communication. He started working for McClatchy in 2020 after growing up in Texas, where he was signed to three of the state’s largest print media outlets as well as the Texas Tribune covering state politics, environment, housing and the LGBTQ+ community.

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