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The Coronavirus has really caused economic hardships the world over, and South Carolina’s real estate market is no exception. Despite the sudden hit, experts are claiming the 2008 recession was even more brutal and hope is around the corner as America is slowly beginning to re-open and emerge from lock-down.
While residential sales are projected to drop in average as much as 8% from last year, this is a far cry from the 20% decline we saw during the 2008 recession. Realistically, though, this is a macro level view of the situation as some areas (like the Anderson area) are already inching steadily towards an 18% drop due to insufficient houses per market demand. Real estate agents are correlating the supply shortage with virus-induced fear sellers have during an uncertain time.
“When people are scared, they don’t want to give up their homes,” says Carolann Newton, Board Chair of the Western Upstate Association of Realtors. Despite the dip in listings and in sales, Newton remains optimistic that as people begin establishing new levels of comfort with modern realities, a delayed resurgence is inevitable. Until then, this time can be used to prepare homes to be listed when they are ready.
Out in Pickens County, initial stalls in sales have started rebounding in recent weeks resulting in a rather busy market for the area. Due to consistently low interest rates, the market is likely to remain healthy throughout 2020.
Success in South Carolina’s commercial real estate has widely depending on the type of property being sold. The industrial market seems unfazed by the pandemic as there remains a high demand for properties under 50,000 square feet. Restaurant spaces also continue to flourish. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other types of property. With so many people working from home, it is understandable that the need for vacant lots and office spaces have slowed down. Another market hit hard and even coming to a complete stop for approximately five weeks is retail leasing (although the last two weeks show some promise). Time will tell what this will mean for this market in the coming months and beyond.
As buyer demand and prices remain steady, Advisers from Greenville commercial real estate firm, SVN Blackstream are estimating a strong third and fourth quarter. They are anticipating that fears will begin to thaw, and new listings will be well-positioned for expansion into newly vacant spaces at more affordable costs.