MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A recent study ranked the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area as the most desirable place to live in the United States.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 most affordable metropolitan areas Americans are moving to.
The results of the study were first published by USA Today on Oct. 18, with the Myrtle Beach metro area taking home the top spot.
“In each of the metro areas on this list, the overall cost of living is lower than the national average, and typical housing costs are more in line with area incomes than average across all cities. Additionally, between 2010 and 2018, far more people have moved to these cities than have left,” USA Today reports.
Some notable facts about the Myrtle Beach metro area included in the study include:
- Total population: 480,891
- Pop. growth due to net migration, 2010-2018: +28.0% (+105,460)
- Cost of living: 8.1% less than national average
- Median home value: $194,700
- Median household income: $51,580
The community manager at Mosby Carolina Forest, Mike Cuite, said he’s seen the growth change over the years.
“I worked in this market 10 years ago. I’ve watched it change and to see Myrtle Beach growing the way it has, it’s very amazing," Cuite said. "Carolina Forest has definitely grown from when I last left, but now this market is picking up, the apartments are picking up, we’re getting a lot of new builds in this area.”
Lisa Newman, a realtor for Real Living-Home realty group, said the weather and housing cost drive people to the Grand Strand area.
“People are just so surprised on how inexpensive it is to live here and I think that’s probably one of the biggest draws is the expense," Newman said. "They’re tired of the poor weather, whether it’s snowing or raining. Myrtle Beach, we just have the best environment.”
Alexandra O’Sullivan recently moved to the area and she said it wasn’t easy transitioning from the north but knowing the area is No. 1 for affordability may keep her along the Grand Strand for a while.
“It’s kind of a coincidence that, you know, I just moved down here and it has a reputation like that," O’Sullivan said. "It makes me want to stay here and live here for a while actually.”
Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber, said the organization is pleased to see the results of the study.
“It’s a testament to all the work happening in the business community and local government to make our community a great place to work, live and play,” Riordan said. "As people come to visit and experience all the Myrtle Beach area has to offer, it’s no surprise many wish to work and live here too.”
To read the full study, click here.