When native COVID-19 lockdown measures first went into place again in spring, Realtors within the space ready for the worst.
“Clearly if you’re locked in your home, it’s exhausting to exit and see different homes,” stated Ford Elliott, proprietor and CEO of BlackSream Christie’s Worldwide Actual Property.
However Elliott and others charged onward. Security measures had been applied. Masks and gloves had been bought. Hand sanitizer was lugged in by the gallon. Properties had been nonetheless being proven, however for many it appeared as if the market had hit the pause button, a collective wait-and-see mentality.
“Folks had this total concept that the house has by no means been so essential,” Elliott stated. “And with rates of interest extraordinarily low traditionally, I feel folks have by no means seen a greater time to purchase.” – -Ford Elliott, proprietor & CEO, BlackStream Christie’s Worldwide Actual Property
Then two issues occurred: Mortgage rates of interest took a plunge, and native lockdown measures had been loosened.
“Folks had this total concept that the house has by no means been so essential,” Elliott stated. “And with rates of interest extraordinarily low traditionally, I feel folks have by no means seen a greater time to purchase.”
These two elements, amongst different drivers, are making a market through which the residential actual property market right here in Greenville is “busier than we’ve ever been,” based on Elliott.
A take a look at the numbers
These conserving their eyes on Zillow gained’t be shocked to listen to that whatever the pandemic, properties costs have risen within the space. Over the course of 2020, the common residence in Greenville bought for $267,508, in comparison with a mean of $252,025 throughout the identical interval final yr, based on a number of itemizing service knowledge from the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors.
And though taking a small dip on the peak of COVID-19 lockdown measures, gross sales have bounced again significantly, spurred largely by traditionally low mortgage rates of interest.
Rates of interest hit a low of three.29% for a 30-year fixed-rate in March, simply as the total affect of the virus was beginning to present itself, based on US Financial institution. Charges continued to slip all the way down to a brand new all-time low of three.15% across the begin of June, and this month charges even fell under three%, presently hovering round 2.99% because the month reaches its shut.
Right here in Greenville, the yr started promisingly. The housing market noticed a gradual rise within the first few months of 2020, peaking with 1,294 properties bought in March, based on MLS knowledge. However then COVID-19 hit, and gross sales fell by 16% in April with 1,zero90 properties bought, and remained comparatively low in Might with 1,181 properties bought.
At the beginning of June, nonetheless, simply as mortgage rates of interest reached one other all-time low, lockdown measures had been eased throughout South Carolina, residence gross sales in Greenville skyrocketed to 1,564 for the month. July noticed equally excessive numbers, with 1,554 properties bought. And early figures from the month of August seem to match or beat figures from the earlier two months.
Even with the slowdown out there at first of COVID-19 lockdown measures, the increase in exercise over the previous three months have introduced gross sales as much as practically equal that of 2019. From January 2020 via Aug. 21, which is the newest knowledge obtainable, 9,959 properties had been bought in Greenville, down from 10,246 from the identical interval one yr in the past — a distinction of simply 287 properties.
Notably, the variety of properties in the marketplace is decrease than it was final yr, with total quantity rising because of this, based on Joan Herlong, who heads Joan Herlong & Associates Sotheby’s Worldwide Realty.
Herlong attributes the lower in stock to a couple elements, one being a rise within the variety of empty-nesters deciding to “press the pause button and sit on their palms for awhile.”
“These are the identical people who find themselves additionally going to fall into that at-risk class for COVID-19, so that they don’t need strangers coming into their properties probably introducing a virus, and so they don’t wish to go into different folks’s properties both,” Herlong stated. “They’d relatively wait it out.”
Herlong additionally stated one other potential issue behind the lower in stock, one which’s wholly unrelated to the virus, is the approaching presidential election.
“It’s nonetheless too early to inform, however in my expertise each time we’ve had a presidential election developing, it quiets the market considerably due to the uncertainty issue,” she stated. “Persons are all the time afraid as a result of they don’t know who’s going to win. That’s worsened this yr by the virus.”
Nonetheless, Herlong stated as soon as that uncertainty issue goes away, the pent-up demand often strikes ahead.
“All I can say is, it’ll be fascinating to see what occurs this fall,” she stated.