MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The housing market could be taking a turn for the better in the Grand Strand as new subdivisions are finally coming to life and experts say home prices are on the rise.
One of the areas seeing construction is the Market Common area, which has waited a while to finally see building get started.
Just off of Farrow Parkway is where you can see construction on new homes getting underway in addition to another subdivision across the street from ITAP park.
The new housing developments were approved for construction back in April, and now a quick drive down Farrow Parkway and you'll see these new homes finally starting to pop up.
"It's really grown, and it's really exciting to see everything start to come back and it's a beautiful house they're building right here. It is exciting to see quite a few homes going up here," states Larry Douglas, a long time Myrtle Beach resident.
It's not just Myrtle Beach seeing this kind of real estate spike, Horry County reports having more home building permits this year, up 29 percent compared to 2011.
Another possible sign of growth is, according to local real estate agents, for the first time in five years, home builders are jacking up home prices. This is a trend that typically follows when homes sales are up.
Now that these new developments are coming to life, local agents and neighbors welcome the new construction activity.
"[It's] really exciting because you can kind of see the real estate market starting to turn. When you're seeing new construction in neighborhoods and new developments and new developments starting to happen," voices local real estate agent Craig Dierksheide.
It's not just better sales that is driving up home prices. The pace of new foreclosures has finally slowed down, and that's causing home prices to go up as well.
Experts say the Grand Strand will not see an immediate change in prices, but say it's coming. Nationally, the average median price of a new home is up 17 percent, and up 9.5 percent for existing homes compared to last year.
When the housing market took a major hit in 2007, the number of foreclosed homes spiked. This created a plunging effect on home prices, but now that's changing.
The number of foreclosed homes is on the decline. Other parts of the country are already seeing the effects with higher home prices, but here in the Grand Strand, prices are still down from where they were five years ago.
Homeowners along the coast are looking forward to that change.
"We're at that point. So it's going to take a while, it won't be an overnight sensation that's gonna happen, but within a period of time prices will begin to start creeping up," predicts Dierksheide.
"I feel good about the economy. I feel good about Myrtle Beach. The home values are going up and it's still a great time to buy. Because they're only going to get better," adds local resident Larry Douglas.
Myrtle Beach real estate agents say home sales are up, and so is demand, more signs of things taking a turn for the better in the housing market.