By MADDY VITALE
With mortgage rates at historic lows, homebuyers are finding that they can afford their dream home — instead of just a new house.
And the team at Goldcoast Sotheby’s International Real Estate at the 34th Street location in Ocean City has been quickly selling those select, luxury properties on the island and the mainland.
“Properties aren’t lasting more than about a week,” explained Emily Wilkins, vice president of marketing and a broker/owner at Goldcoast Sotheby’s in Ocean City.
To view the current listings for properties offered by Goldcoast Sotheby’s International in Ocean City click www.goldcoastsir.com/eng
There are a couple of important facts that are helping agents sell homes. The mortgage rates are around 3 percent now, instead of 4 and 5 percent of recent years.
Pete Madden, vice president/general manager and a broker/owner at Goldcoast Sotheby’s in Ocean City, said that the “perfect storm” created a boom in the real estate market.
“We had mortgage rates at historic lows and people wanted to get out of their homes in the city to work from the beach,” said Madden, who is also an Ocean City Councilman. “It added up to us, as realtors, being very busy.”
Burt Wilkins, Emily’s father, who is the founding broker/owner at Goldcoast Sotheby’s International, said, “People are buying to use the homes more now than I have seen in my 33 years in real estate.”
The average price for a home as of February 2021 in Ocean City is $843,197, compared to $579,429 in 2014.
While sales are up and homes go fast on the island, something else has occurred.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, realtors have seen an uptick in sales and a shrinking supply of rental properties.
There are rentals out there, however. But vacationers need to book them before the availability is gone.
“As an office, we have done extremely well and the industry has done well,” Burt said.
During the pandemic, while some vacationers opted to cancel their bookings for rental properties over the summer of 2020, the openings were filled by other vacationers who chose to come down.
A new portal features available rental properties at https://rentals.goldcoastsir.com/rentals/
Emily noted there are a host of reasons why prospective buyers and vacationers wishing to find their desired getaway retreat should look to agents at Goldcoast Sotheby’s International Realty.
There are 50 agents ready to help people select a property that suits them and their price point.
“We have an amazing team,” Emily said. “We are all about selling a lifestyle here in Ocean City. Whether you are buying a $200,000 studio or a $5 million beach or bayfront home, we want to provide you the same level of service.”
The team emphasizes to homebuyers that they can buy as an investment if they opt to rent out their home for weeks in the summer and still get to come down for a couple of weeks during the bustling season.
And when it comes to rental properties, where there is a range from $1,000 a week to $30,000 a week, all of the renters are also treated to the same, white-glove service, Emily said.
“We offer quality rentals. We are very service oriented. We are not just handing the keys to people. We are checking them in,” she noted.
Prior to the pandemic, Emily said she and the other agents at Goldcoast Sotheby’s saw people relocating to Ocean City for a variety of reasons. Among the top reasons was the school district.
“Pre-pandemic, we saw people moving here for the school district. But now, with more people being able to work from home, they are looking to move to the beach,” Emily said. “You get to live at the beach in Ocean City, and you get the great school system. People are looking to move to their favorite destination and we are able to work with them to help them achieve their goals.”