MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The latest report on the housing market from South Carolina REALTORS through Aug. 10 shows the real estate market is still going strong, indicating positive growth over the last month and the last decade.
The report shows July marking the largest economic expansion at 121 straight months of gross domestic product growth, which breaks the record of 120 months set back in the 1990s.
This means for the decade, the economy has continued to improve, a growth also reflected in the Myrtle Beach real estate market.
Laura Crowther, CEO of Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors, said closed home sales were up about 5 percent last month, with a total of 8,868 single-family properties sold in 2018. The growing sale prices are another indicator of a healthy housing market.
Pending sales also increased by 10.3 percent and inventory by 2.2 percent in the same category. The median sales price strengthened by 6.6 percent to $233,424.
“The one thing that we have noticed is a continuing strengthening of the market over the summer months,” said Crowther.
For the third year in a row, the U.S. Census Bureau ranks the Myrtle Beach area as the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country. Over the past eight years, more than 104,000 people moved to the Grand Strand, representing almost a 30 percent growth rate.
Crowther said people are attracted to the area’s quality of life, low cost of living, warm weather, and amenities. Baby boomers and millennials often choose to make the Grand Strand a permanent home, especially the baby boomers and millennials.
For those who may be looking to purchase a home, Crowther said now is the time to do so. She notes this milestone is a testament to how the economy will continue to perform through the rest of the year.
“Because we’re starting to see inventory tighten a little bit, the availability and the choices are going to be far fewer, so right now is an excellent time to buy. The other thing that we noticed this time of year is the school year. People are trying to make that purchase and get closed before the school year starts,” said Crowther.
Crowther expects a steady growth in the market through the fall. She also points out the recent changes to condominium rules by the Federal Housing Administration means more condominium projects are expected to gain eligibility for FHA financing.
“With the recent changes to the FHA condo rules, we may see a little bit of a loosening in the condo market that will make it a lot more attractive for buyers to get into that market if they have been considering it," she said.
The new condominium guidelines will take effect October 15.