Housing market strengthens, but only for some

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The good news: new home construction is flourishing in Horry County. The bad news: Not every group of home buyers is finding a way to get in on the burgeoning market.

"We're seeing a lot of retired people ready to move down south," said Nations Homes President Jeff Skelley. Skelley says home construction is at levels that haven't been seen for years in the Grand Strand, but the majority of these projects are on either on lots already purchased, or being undertaken by older, more financially stable couples.

"You've got families selling their existing home, and moving into a new home that we're building for them," Skelley said.

The demand from older couples or other families is keeping first-time home buyers from getting a foothold in the new housing market, leaving them with limited options.

"I bought a fixer-upper, so I had a lower mortgage," said Conway attorney James Battle. Battle bought a home in downtown Conway with the intent to flip it, but he and his wife eventually settled in.

Many younger families are finding they either have to buy a preexisting home, or stay out of the market for the time being.

"There aren't a lot of new lots being made right now," Skelley said. "But as we use up these, there's the next stage."

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