Don Klootwyks of Springfield, Ill., said he and his wife Virginia have been watching the Grand Strand’s condominium market for a couple of years, waiting for the right time to sell their 20-year-old condominium.
“We were kind of waiting to see if (the market) would turn around,” Klootwyks said this week.
At last, say some Realtors, it looks like it has, but it hasn’t been a sharp enough turn to keep the Klootwyks from taking a $10,000 loss in the recent sale of their one-bedroom at Ocean Dunes Resort.
Trish Taylor of Century 21 Boling & Associates, the Klootwyks’ Realtor, said she can remember the time when there were 10 buyers for every available condominium on the Grand Strand.
Then in 2006, the housing market began slowing and by the end of 2007, Taylor said condo flippers could no longer sell the units they had bought to rehab and resell. Despite that, though, figures compiled by SiteTech Systems show the condo market recorded its peak price — $249,921 — in June of ‘07.
In 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, it just kept getting worse and worse. And worse.
“You couldn’t really sell a condominium in 2008 unless it was a foreclosure,” Taylor said.
She recalled the time when the market was flooded with foreclosures and there would be 40 one-bedroom condos for sale in a single building. Now it’s down to an average of 10 a building, and Taylor says what we’re seeing is the “new normal.”
In October, according to the monthly market report from SiteTech, condo sales were up 2.8 percent over the same month last year and are only about 30 sales short of being even with the year-to-date totals of October 2013.
The year-to-date median price was $112,900, the best it’s been for at least three years. The monthly median price, $119,500 is more than $65,000 higher than the market low in November 2011.
On the other side of the market, the SiteTech report said single-family home sales in October continued the upward climb that really started to draw notice in the fall of 2012. SiteTech said the median single-family price was $187,000 in October, 4.3 percent above last year. Year to date, the median price has climbed 5.6 percent to $190,000.
Single-family sales numbers were up 3.1 percent in October and 7.1 percent year to date, according to SiteTech.
Taylor said the area’s condominium market crash was due largely to the fact that as many as two-thirds of the units were second homes, and owners pinched during the recession let go of their vacation homes to save their primary homes.
“When you have those kinds of conditions,” she said, “you get hit pretty bad.”
She remembers being shocked during the recession when a price that she was sure would be the cellar would be replaced by the next month’s stats showing the bar had moved lower still.
She says the current uptick is at least partly due to pent-up demand on the part of both buyers and sellers.
Klootwyks said he and his wife decided to sell as they have hit their 80s and the two-day drive to and from Myrtle Beach is more than they want to go through anymore.
Sure, he lost $10,000 on his purchase price. But he’s got 20 years of family memories for it.
And he came out so much better than a friend who sold his Myrtle Beach condominium last year and ended up with a $150,000 bath.