Hello, everyone, John Weber here coming to you from Hilton Head Island - today is June 14, 2020. I thought I'd give you a quick COVID and market update on what's going on down here in the Lowcountry. Our broker sent out a very impressive chart today and I thought I'd share it with you. His name is Tom Reed and he is the broker in charge of Charter One Realty. I am a broker associate there when I work with buyers who come down to look at real estate. I act as a buyer's agent! Tom sent out an incredible chart today I thought I would share with you, but first I wanted to talk about a lot of clients that talk to me or ask questions about what's going on down here because they're pretty much locked down up north and they want to know are the restaurants open, hotels open, things like that.
So the answer to those questions is that it is opened up considerably down here! Many of the hotels are open and restaurants are beginning to open. I personally do not go inside to a restaurant and eat, even though some of them are open I sit outside. There are several restaurants that have a very nice outdoor arrangement where it's very comfortable to sit outside and eat. A significant uptick in people coming down from the north you can see the license plates; New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, Pennsylvania, you name it - a lot of people coming down here staying at the villas on the island or staying in the hotels. Sadly, when I do go, out I see a lot of people that - I'm guessing they're tourists - are not wearing a mask and my thought is I guess they figure they won't catch it because they're on vacation, but I don't think that's going to be the case.
When I go down (recently had family here) I go to Harbour Town, which is a pretty big tourist area, and I see a lot of people walking around without a mask. The locals seem to be wearing masks and I certainly do when I go out into a situation where I have a lot of people near me - grocery stores, Lowe's, Home Depot, things like that I'm going to wear a mask to. It has loosened up considerably and I do think you have a window of opportunity if you're thinking of coming down here to look at real estate, possibly look for a retirement home, resort home, what-have-you. I think possibly in the fall, maybe (this is my own opinion) things could begin to spike back up if these people keep walking around without a mask. Sales are incredibly strong here and I want to share this graphic with you (see below).
I also want to tell you about the Heritage Classic Golf Tournament which is going to start this or next Thursday in Harbour Town. Every year it's right after the Masters but there is no Masters right now so it starts Thursday. A great field if you want to see what Hilton Head looks like, and Bluffton, and the area, you're gonna get a real good look at it. Sports is back - no people - but the golfers are there.
So let's take a look at this graph (see below)! I want to show you this chart - we have all of the weeks that are in the year and the orange line is the worst year we ever had in sales in the area - that was 2008 during the real estate crash. The blue line is 2019 and that's the best sales the year we ever had. These are pending sales week by week! The red line is this year, so you can see all the way up there to 153 sales that week, week eight or nine. Then BOOM all the way down with COVID-19, and since then it is skyrocketing all the way up to 225 sales. This is the newest data that we have; these are pending sales and it will be interesting to see how this shakes out with closed sales. The best year we ever had here was 2005, and that year we had 184 sales - we're 22.3% higher than that. I knew something was up a few weeks ago when all the home inspectors were so busy and the real estate attorneys were so busy that they couldn't even process contracts, and Realtors have been very busy. We are juggling a lot of people and there is significant interest! The only thing I can figure is that people want to get out of the dense areas of population, possibly cities, and they're coming down here, looking at real estate, and buying real estate. It's a very good time to buy because I can tell you right now with a high demand and high sales, prices are going to increase. I'm just letting you know, these are the facts and this is from the MLS directly in the area (Hilton Head Greater Bluffton area). With high sales like this, you're going to have higher prices.
So this is the newest information. If you can get a trip down here that's great, I have a lot of information I can send you. I can send you a PDF on where to stay, where to eat, what to do, all kinds of things like that. Come on down to the Lowcountry and we'll find your dream home. Please give me a call and we will set you up down here to look at some real estate - I think you'll really enjoy it. You do have a window of opportunity in my humble opinion! Come see me as soon as you can and we’ll find your dream home.
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