HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) — Home sales in Horry County have almost doubled since the start of the pandemic in March.
Annie Williams, a realtor in the Grand Strand area for 4 years, says home sales came to a ‘screeching halt’ when the pandemic took hold in April. “You saw that all of a sudden, nobody was selling, nobody was buying,” Williams says.
Data from the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors’s monthly indicators show listings for new houses dropped by 25.3 percent in April 2020 from the previous month. In May, closed sales on homes were down 21 percent from May 2019.
“And then, once things loosened up a little bit, I would say, May, June and every month since then,” Williams says, “huge, huge recovery.”
From May 2020 to July 2020, home sales increased 64.9 percent with July 2020 sales eclipsing the previous year’s sales by 21.6 percent. That’s an impressive rebound for even the Myrtle Beach area, which is the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“All the reports I’ve read indicated we will have a’ V’ shaped recovery, which we did experience here,” Williams says. “From all the other information that I am seeing, the other agents in the business, in general, have also experienced that. So, we’re all doing really good right now which is a great thing for our market.”
The area had about a two-month slowdown, according to David Schwerd, planning and zoning department head for the county, when developers were not sure what the demand was going to be like in a slow economy. “But, then, I think a lot of homebuilders realized they had already sold out of a lot of their houses.”
“We had such a warm winter,” Schwerd added, “that a lot of people came down early, prior to COVID, and bought up a lot of the stock. So what we found is a lot of our larger developers have started to run short on actual land that is ready to build homes on.”
What does that mean for people here who want to sell their homes? The number of homes for sale in July took a big leap downward by about 24 percent over last year. That’s good news for sellers, according to Brie Bender, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors. She said many were not able to ask for the return they needed.
Brie says with most of the new construction inventory being absorbed, “The 4th quarter should be a great opportunity for sellers to get their homes listed and sold,” Brie added.