Pee Dee realtors predict rise in housing market

Pee Dee realtors predict rise in housing market

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Florence housing market is expected to rise this year, bringing in more dollars and growth to the economy.

Experts in the industry said there's a good amount of supply on the market right now, and they think it's enough demand to keep up with all the development.

"If the growth is not as significant as projected, we could certainly see some of the housing prices bubble. Some people call it a bubble. It could be smaller than expected, so in that way it could be not as great as projected. But I would certainly agree it's going in that direction," said Caroliniana Padgett, a Ph. D. assistant professor of economics at Francis Marion University.

Padgett talked about the revitalization of neighborhoods where houses are being remodeled specifically to improve the area.

She said it's a feedback effect, and the more people in any given area, the more consumption and investment it will have, including in the health care realm, which is one of the major employers in Florence.

Since there's such a growth not only at Francis Marion University, but with our growth and demand in healthcare majors, and the consequential growth in the healthcare sector, that's certainly not an industry that will be going away anytime soon. We have a lot of students attracted to FMU for that reason and to the Florence area for that reason," said Padgett.

One developer is bringing a new product to the Pee Dee, and it's something Florence does not currently have.

"We will have a pool, a club house, a nice amenities package. We want this to be a neighborhood more of a lifestyle, with plans to have green space and gazebos with fire pits," said Darryl Hall, president of D. Hall Construction, Inc.

Hall added he's seen that banks are lending, interest rates are good and his company is providing more construction jobs.

"Prices are still sort of low. Florence housing prices tend to be a little bit lower than, obviously, Charleston and Columbia. So it makes it very attractive and those neighborhoods have houses that are maybe a little bit less than the going average in that area," said Padgett.

Susan Minck, who heads up sales for Sonshine Realty, LLC, said the average house price is around $130,000 and sells in about 90 days.

"It really is a two-fold process in that Florence has to grow, the economy has to be there for it and then we see that increased business lead to increased housing," said Minck.

Right now, it's all about economic growth to help bring in more home buyers.

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