We are all aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our daily lives, but what about real estate? While we may have had a busier than ever at Staging Charleston and Front Porch Properties 2020 in Charleston, S.C. (and start to 2021) it is not to say that the pandemic hasn’t played a role in the industry.
Aside from the pandemic the housing inventory in the Lowcountry is at an all time low. Due to the shortage of inventory and an assumed COVID related influx of out of state interest it is definitely a seller’s market in Charleston, S.C. On the other side, mortgage rates are still running lower than average and there are still some federal aid options for those looking to buy. Don’t give up if now is the time you want to find your dream home, just have patience… it may take a bit longer than anticipated (this also can include approval and financing turn around).
For those high risk, cautious or out of the area the house hunting process has become more convenient than ever with drone imagery, virtual walk throughs, zoom, facetime access and more. Closings have also moved to mostly virtual making planning and safety much easier to navigate in the Lowcountry. At Front Porch Properties we offer Matterport Virtual Tours of all our Charleston homes. This powerful all-in-one 3D data platform allows us to turn a space into an accurate and immersive digital twin. Finding your perfect Charleston home from a distance is easier than it’s ever been.
According to Forbes.com as for how coronavirus has changed buyer expectations, the study finds that buyers are putting new emphasis on searching for better common spaces. Buyers reported that the following aspects held more important to them in light of the virus:
Extra bedrooms (43.5%)
Open floor plan (45.7%)
Good lighting (45.7%)
Kitchen style (50%)
For those in the midst of, or considering, selling a Charleston home COVID hasn’t really negatively impacted our market. Nationwide home sales during Spring 2020 dropped drastically due to lockdowns and safety precautions and bounced back quickly in the Summer with a little help from virtual showings and technology, but overall the Lowcountry didn’t seem to miss a beat.
Really the only COVID catch we’ve seen for sellers is a small increase in financing falling through for buyers. While rates are low, job loss and economic impacts from the pandemic have created a few more road blocks when it comes to approvals and loans.
Having a relator on your side can make a word of a difference during these times helping to navigate long distance buyers, virtual showings and manage safety precautions.
Currently Charleston is reporting 71% FEWER homes on the market than this time last year. Homes are getting an average of 3 or more offers per listing and, thanks again to technology, showings are up almost 50%. It is also important to note most homes are closing at or above asking price and averaging less than 4 weeks on the market.
- New construction makes up 41% of listings
- Foreclosures and Short sales at a record low of .8% of listings
- 144% increase in high end real estate sales from 2019-2020
At Front Porch Properties we have been very fortunate to have the accommodations needed to assist both buyers and sellers during this crazy time. We had already utilized virtual tours on all our listings which made the transition into socially distanced showings seamless. Our motto has been “follow our client’s lead”. Whatever you feel is best suited and makes you comfortable we will figure out. We have also been in constant communications with our lenders and outside vendors making sure we stay in the know and well informed to best address you, your process and your needs.
While we miss the personal interactions and relationships we form we truly can’t be grateful enough to have the ability to keep serving home buyers and sellers in the Charleston area without sacrificing the Front Porch Properties’ standards.
Interested in where your home journey fits into this pandemic? Reach out. I would love to help you list, stage or sell your home while reaching all your goals!