Beautiful southern style house lit up at twilight.

The Golden Isles real estate market has been surprisingly busy since the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year.

Roland Daniel, owner of Roland Daniel Properties, said 2020 has been a “very pleasant surprise” for those living in southern resort areas.

“Part of what’s driving our market is flight from urban cities; people seem to have had their fill of being jammed together,” Daniel said. “This awful pandemic has made us look at housing locations a bit differently. COVID-19 and civil strife in northern and western cities have both contributed to flight South.”

Daniel said the trend of strong housing sales in the Golden Isles should continue into 2021 and beyond.

“I don’t see business changing much for us in 2021; it’ll be as good as 2020, he said.

“And, if our company’s numbers are indicative of the market, we’re up almost 28 percent from 2019. What does that tell you?”

The strong demand for homes in the Golden Isles will continue for the next several years, despite a shortage of housing inventory, he predicted.

“At some point — eventually — we’ll see a slow down, but not until we reach a point of oversupply,” Daniel said. “I don’t see that happening until Boomers stop retiring, and until stresses associated with a more diverse population are done.”

Those born during the Baby Boom period that ended in 1964 are helping drive the demand for homes in the region, he said.

“That means the youngest of the Baby Boomers are 56 years old,” he said. “And, statistics show that in 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older. If that’s true then the locales in our country with warm sun and surf will continue to grow steadily for another decade.”

An estimated 17,500 people live on St. Simons Island year round and projections estimate another 10,000 or more people will live on the island by 2045, he said.

There are factors that could slow the momentum in Glynn County, however.

“If interest rates rise such that we’re paying eight to 10 percent or higher for mortgage money, we’ll see things slow down,” he said. “But the FED has said no interest rate changes before 2023, so we’re good for a while yet.”

Another factor that could affect the market is the lack of inventory.

“If builders and developers don’t pick up the pace to provide new housing supply we’ll slow as people opt for other locations that offer what they seek,” he said.

A recession could also slow the market, but Daniel said he doesn’t anticipate a long depression-like recession.

“I expect we’ll go back to the normal the past 40 years has shown: a 10-month slow down about every 10 years.,” he said. “And there’s the ‘biggie’ of a hurricane hit here; that’s stops us for a few years.”

The South and West will continue to see the biggest growth in real estate, while the Midwest and Northeast will continue to lose residents. The key for the Golden Isles is having the inventory to meet the demand.

“Unfortunately, inventory woes will continue for some time,” Daniel said. “It is a concern across the board. But, it’ll be less of a problem in the luxury/high-end and more of a problem in the bread and butter price ranges. We will likely run out of affordable housing as demand for property in this near-paradise continues to climb.”

For those considering selling their home in the Golden Isles, the time is right.

“It’s good for sellers and not so good for some buyers.,” Daniel said. “For other buyers, especially those coming from wealthier towns and cities, pricing won’t cause them a ripple,” Daniel said. “They all think that our prices are bargains.”