MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Since the Grand Strand’s real estate industry is primarily a second home market, the coronavirus has impacted it significantly.
“One of the first parts that we did see impacted was our condo market here, which was down, you know, pretty significantly last month, and I foresee that to continue being a little bit softer in the future,” said Sloan Realty Group realtor Blake Sloan.
Referencing data from the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors, Sloan says pending deals were down significantly, almost about 40% in the last two weeks.
For first-time home buyers Lenny and Leilani Omura, choosing to buy a home right now brought a few obstacles, starting with the way they view a home.
“The coronavirus, obviously, has given us our challenges because of the fact that we’re not able to kind of go into homes that have people in them,” said Leilani Omura. “That has a little bit of a fear. So, the homes that we all have looked at have been vacant, which, for us, has been fantastic.”
Closed sales for single family homes increased by 2.5% in March, but condos saw a 12% decrease.
For the Omuras, who will close on their condo in two weeks, they say there were benefits to buying during a pandemic.
“Interest rates and all that stuff right now are actually pretty low, so it helps us out,” said Lenny Omura.
Not only that, but there’s less people closing, allowing the Omuras to close the deal faster.
“It usually takes a lot longer, takes about a month and a half or so to close and stuff, but we’re doing it in about less than a month,” said Lenny Omura.
Sloan says the downturn in the local area real estate market should be temporary.
“We still have a lot of people we think will be some pent up demand, that once everyone can move freely again and invest freely, we’ll see a lot of people come back down here,” said Sloan.