HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors say there are many driving factors for why people are moving to the Myrtle Beach area. The warm weather, the beach, low cost of living and amenities always draw people in, but there’s one thing in particular that has families looking to put down roots on the Grand Strand.
According to CCAR, local schools in Horry and Georgetown counties are a big factor for homeowners relocating to the area. Eight Horry County schools were named National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education in the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, 19 Horry County schools earned Palmetto Gold and Silver awards in 2016.
Because of the many schools with national and statewide recognitions, they’re noticing more families and millennials choosing to make the Myrtle Beach area home, according to CCAR.
The housing market has maintained a steady growth of 3% to 5% since the recession at the end of 2011. Local real estate brokers say they’re seeing a strong demand in Horry County.
In recent years, Laura Crowther, CEO of CCAR, notes they’re noticing more younger, family-oriented people drawn to the area with a common question: “How are the schools here?” Crowther says many families looking to purchase a home are pleased with the amount of award-winning schools.
“One of the factors is that the SAT scores here in Horry County are 31 points higher than the average scores in the state of South Carolina, and we’re 46 points higher than the national average, which is a tremendous feat for Horry County. And Georgetown County is certainly right on the heels of those scores,” said Crowther.
Local realtors also credit the higher-level education opportunities offered, like Coastal Carolina University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College, that are bringing in younger professionals looking to stay in the area after graduation.
“We’re seeing a little bit of change in our demographics, which is an exciting thing to have happen and they also bring a different desire and need to the market as far as dining and shopping and cultural activities that they like. So, we’re really starting to see a good shift in things that are offered here for everyone,” said Crowther.
Looking at the past 90 days, the numbers are slightly up from this time last year, as more than 2,200 houses and 1,400 condos have been sold throughout the county. Specifically, local realtors say they’ve noticed an increase in single-family home sales.
“Obviously we know that retirees are coming to the area, but families are coming here as well because when mom and dad move here, a lot of times the families follow. So when the young children are a factor in that decision making process, schools are very important. And the higher performing areas, like Horry and Georgetown county, we’re really pleased that makes us an attractive place to buy and live,” said Crowther.
Crowther says she doesn’t expect to see the booming housing industry slowing down anytime soon. She expects to see construction and home sales to go up and follow through into 2020.
“Horry County Schools have had extraordinary years, with many record-setting accomplishments in academics, athletics, fine arts, clubs, and organizations. Our long list of accolades reminds us that our students, staff, and schools are among the best in our state and our nation,” said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County Schools spokesperson.