Grand Strand home sales slowly decline as interest rates, inflation rise

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 9:20 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - As budgets become tighter with the rise of inflation the housing market seems to be slowing down after a red hot spring and summer.

The record high inflation is starting to make some homebuyers rethink purchasing a home for nearly double its estimated value.

New data shows homes sold fell 15% compared to this time last year when the housing market was just heating up.

“We’ve definitely seen a shift in buyer demand as interest rates have gone up since March,” said Blake Sloan, of Sloan Realty Group.

While Myrtle Beach might be one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, home buyers are now pulling back those offers as budgets only get tighter.

“We’ve seen a slight decrease in pending sales and a slowdown in closings as well,” said Laura Crowther, CEO of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors.

Interest rates almost doubled since January taking away the purchasing power from homebuyers.

“Buyers want to feel they’re getting a bang for their buck,” said Crowther.

The average cost for a home in South Carolina last June was just under $315,000. That average cost is now around $372,000, while the average wage for the Grand Strand area is $61,000.

Sloan explained that despite the interest rates rising home sales have not dropped significantly just yet.

“Prices have not dropped very much yet they’re still up 17% year over year,” he said.

Typically homebuying slows down spending when interest rates rise above 6%, but Sloan doesn’t think it’s a bad time to buy or pull your offer off the table.

“Rates are back down below 6% it was at 5.74% this morning so a lot of buyers can still get a good deal right now,” he said.

Interest rates reached their highest point in history in 1981, averaging out around 16%.

Sloan and Crowther don’t believe rates will reach that mark or housing costs will crash like in 2008.

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