MYRTLE BEACH S.C. (WBTW) — Increased interest rates are causing homebuyers to pump the brakes in Horry and Georgetown counties, experts said.
There was a significant decline in home resales last month with the sale of single-family homes going down 23% and condo sales falling by 35%. More than 600 resale single-family homes were sold and only 621 condos were sold.
The decline could lead sellers to soften their prices, but Blake Sloan of the Sloan Realty Group in Carolina Forest said that even though sales have slowed, prices are still higher with single-family homes up 31.6% from the same month last year.
The median resale price for a single-family home last month was $380,000. Last year, it was $288,000.
He said this is great for sellers because it means more equity, but that might not be the case for long.
“There is a piece of that somewhere in terms of sustainability, of how much more that can go and still be affordable for homebuyers,” Sloan said. “We have seen over the past couple of months it’s hitting a ceiling. We actually saw [the] average price drop just a little bit last month from month over month.”
According to real estate experts, in the days leading up to this week’s federal reserve meeting to increase interest rates, mortgage interest rates jumped the highest they’ve seen in one day in 10 years.
Since that meeting, those numbers have started starting to come down.
According to financial experts, mortgage rates are not directly tied to federal interest rate decisions. They do however impact the housing market indirectly. Experts say they expect interest rates will continue to go up.
“Justified inflation, we’re seeing kind of across the board,” Sloan said. “So homebuyers, thinking about buyers, definitely want to get in soon and be able to lock something up. The worst-case scenario if the rates do go back down, which I don’t foresee happening in the short term, they can also refinance at the lower rate.”
Sloan recommends those looking to buy a home to do so now. There’s more inventory available and fewer buyers. He also said those looking to sell should sell now as well.