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Selling or Buying? Here's What You Need To Know

Midlands Realtors Share Their Insight on Today's Housing Market

Article by Brent Downing, Cat Thornton, Anne Wilkins Brooks

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Lake Murray Lifestyle

Lake Real Estate Insights

By Cat Thonrton, Realtor

The real estate market is hot with price escalation and strong competition for sellers and homes. Lake homes and land are no exception, and some lake real estate markets are at the hotter end of the hot scale, including Lake Murray.  

“I am fortunate to have access to a unique view of real estate,” said Glenn S. Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty. “Our team has data and agents across the country for lake real estate information and trends. Much of this information we have compiled is, to my knowledge, not available from any other source,” he said.”

From this information and Lake Homes Realty agents’ feedback, here are our observations and outlook. “Some (but not all) of my opinions will apply to general residential real estate and are not limited to just lake homes and land,” said Phillips. “However, where lake real estate is different, it can be exceptionally different,” he said. Here are three of Phillips’s real estate insights.  

1. Generally speaking, looking at the next 18 months or so, the real estate market and the U.S. economy are in great shape. The months immediately after that are a gray area with too many variables to make any prudent prediction. We are concerned about the three-to-seven-year outlook. Many economists and TV talking heads suggest a long-running strong economy will offset our fast-growing public debt. We counter that with simple math. The infusion of trillions of dollars of cash flow into any economy will heat that economy in the short term. Still, we cannot see how inflation is not inevitable due to the massive size of that cash infusion. To this point, inflation has already begun in many markets, including real estate. 

2. With the roll out of vaccines, many are predicting a real estate boom in 2021 and 2022 as we come out of COVID-19 restrictions and pent-up consumer spending picks up. Our opinion differs. We expect a strong market but no boom. The lack of homes for sale will inhibit any boom, no matter how much cheap money is available. The lake real estate market activity during the summer and fall of 2021 will slightly exceed the same seasons of 2020 PROVIDED there are enough appropriately priced homes for buyers to purchase (which is a serious problem inhibiting a big boom in most areas of the country). I believe the 2021 real estate markets, including lake real estate, will be better (up 15% to 25%) but still similar to the strong market volume of 2020. 

3. Owners of lake real estate would be wise to consider their property with an investment mindset. Peak markets do not last forever, and we only see the peak after we have passed it. The key is to consider your future. If you anticipate holding this home/investment for more than five to ten years, then relax and enjoy! However, suppose you are an owner considering downsizing, eliminating a second home, or moving back toward family away from the lake. In that case, this year will be a great opportunity to get the best return on your investment in your lake home. 

To download the complete report including information on Lake Murray, visit 

The Downing Team - Brent Downing

The Midlands housing market remains red hot. Inventory is at an all-time low with only 0.7 months of supply (a balanced market is considered to have more like 6 months inventory). Consider that a year ago, that number was more like 1.7 months of supply. Interest rates remain at near record-low interest rates giving buyers more purchasing power. South Carolina remains one of the most attractive for people from out of state to move to have one of the highest migration into its state of any state with our low property taxes, warmer climate and relatively affordable home prices coupled with more and more people working remotely. 

Home prices continue to climb, appreciating 10-15% in the Midlands in the last year alone. 

We are seeing multiple offers become the norm and homes selling for more than list price on a regular basis. Competition is fierce amongst buyers. The need to have an experienced marketer and negotiator in a homeowners corner when selling a home has never been greater. Having a top notch marketing plan to ensure all potential buyers for a property will not miss it when searching is key to generating multiple offers. Once on the market and the offers begin coming in, having a pro to help navigate through several offers with and without several contingencies, loan types, etc can be very tricky for the novice not to mention making sure the process from contract to close is airtight.

There has never been a better time to sell a home in the Midlands including on Lake Murray. Experts do not foresee a correction anytime in the next year and my belief is South Carolina may end up being insulated from a correction due to the aforementioned market factors. 

If you are having any thoughts of selling in this hot market, we'd be glad to advise you on your options and best approach given your objectives. Call us as 800.380.0000

Southern Vision Real Estate - Anne Wilkins Brooks

To say the current real estate market is the “wild, wild west” would be putting it mildly.

We are living in tumultuous times and people are desperate for some sense of normalcy.  However, there is nothing “normal” about the real estate market in the Midlands.  We are seeing record numbers of over-list price offers being made on homes. Buyers are getting frustrated and do not like the pressure of having to play the multiple offer game. 

Buyers not truly understanding the incredibly low inventory of ideal homes makes it difficult for buyers’ agents to help their clients find the perfect home.  It is all about timing and getting there first—or at least second.   

Sellers who have maintained their home and it is in an ideal location are likely to get multiple offers.  If a seller has great taste in decorating and their home is priced reasonably, they could possibly be looking at five or more offers.  Even the homes that are less than perfect are getting “grabbed” by the anxious buyers.  

There are two factors affecting this crazy market:  1) Interest rates---with the interest rates remaining relatively low, it is hard not to consider making a purchase on a home vs. paying rent.  So, if the good credit score is there or there is cash in the bank, buyers are trading in the rent for a mortgage payment.  2) Covid Remote---with many companies offering the option of working remotely, people are weighing their lifestyle choices and thinking of their home as a place where life happens instead of a place to sleep after work.  The workplace and place where you raise your family is becoming one. 

The real estate market is likely to stay this strong, but the “government” wind can change the direction at any given moment.  The South seems to be shielded from some of the factors that could affect buying decisions in the future.  However, with the interest rates moving up slightly and the supply of re-sale homes at all time lows, this could lead to some slow down as matching buyers and sellers becomes more difficult.

At Southern Visions Real Estate, we have over 30 years in the business of helping buyers and sellers figure out the next step.  Whether it be listing and selling your beautiful home so you can reap the benefits of a hot market, or helping a buyer maneuver the process of getting their dream home---we can help. 

  • Brent Downing - The Downing Team
  • Cat Thornton - Lake Homes Realty
  • Anne Wilkins Brooks - Southern Visions