Amid all the COVID uncertainty, real estate on Daniel Island and in the Lowcountry has experienced unprecedented growth. South Carolina Realtors (SCR) released its September 2020 statewide real estate market data, showing continuing record sales and strong buyer activity.
When pandemic lockdowns first started, there was a decrease in sales, in part caused by the limited number of homes on the market due to virus fears.
“As Realtors, we all hit the ‘pause’ button in March. Out of town buyers weren’t traveling at all and most sellers were not comfortable having strangers in their homes. Once things picked up again, we went into full speed mode and things haven’t slowed down,” said
Paige Rhodes, Daniel Island real estate agent at Carolina One Real Estate.
Rhodes added the market is staying strong. “Eighteen of the last 25 weeks we have seen sales continue to break the all-time one-week sales record, previously set back in 2018. Last week we saw a 28% increase in ratified contracts over the same week in 2019 with 447 properties going under contract in the greater Charleston area.”
For 25 years, Daniel Island Real Estate’s Sally Castengera has seen Daniel Island and the surrounding areas evolve.
“Daniel Island has grown from a handful of locals willing to take a chance on what they observed in renderings — promises of what was to be — to a vibrant ‘Island Town’ of residents from all over the world who are enjoying the privilege of living in an environment where they can live, work, play and pray,” said Castengera. “In spite of COVID hitting the first quarter of the year, sales continue to be robust, with not enough inventory.”
Sharon Cassidy of Daniel Island Real Estate’s Castengera-Cassidy Team says growth continues in surrounding areas, even though there is less inventory on the market right now.
“This is making it a sellers’ market. Last year at this time there was 4.41 months of inventory whereas October 2020 saw only 1.65 months of inventory,” said Cassidy. “Growth along the Clements Ferry corridor is growing fast, especially with the opening of Point Hope and other communities.”
Ashley Severance, founder and owner of Atlantic Properties, along with Jordan Dukes and Mindy Noce, have seen an increase in sales during the pandemic. Renovated homes and newer properties are especially in demand.
“We will likely close $65 million more in business this year than last year. Daniel Island is a special and unique community…It caters to those who appreciate a beautiful setting, friendly people, convenience, and lots of community amenities. In this time of COVID, those things become highly valued,” Severance stated.
Owner and broker-in-charge of Island House Real Estate, Tricia Peterson says the pandemic has people reevaluating what’s important. “The ability to work remotely has given families that had been in bigger metropolitan areas the ability to work from home.”
Peterson added, “The median cumulative days on market for this October is 24, compared to 69 last October. Daniel Island average sales price is $934,420 and the whole Charleston Trident area is $443,024.”
The commercial real estate community also is seeing an uptick in the local market. Alex Popovich, vice president of Charleston Industrial, is starting to see post-pandemic growth as companies are returning to office spaces.
“The Daniel Island Office Market has grown by roughly 30%,” he said. “The future of our market is strong — fortunately, during the pandemic, our supply chain was not impacted thanks to our friends at the SC Ports Authority, which resulted in a ripple effect throughout our economy.”
He added, “The majority of office building sales are trading at an average of a 7.9% cap rate with rents remaining consistent between $30 - $32 per square foot.”
Terry Haas of Century 21 Properties has 20 years of experience in the industry and keeps a positive attitude about the future.
“Real estate is cyclical and it will shift and ‘stabilize’ again,” Haas said. “In my opinion, that is OK and needs to happen. I just am not sure it will be in the next year or so ... We do need to keep a very close eye on the trends and keep the balance of sellers, buyers and inventory.”