Myrtle Beach Leads East Coast Population Growth as U.S. Prices Soar 6.2% in January

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Myrtle Beach continues to lead the east coast in population growth for the third year in a row. Myrtle Beach is the second fastest growing metropolitan area in the country, according to new reports. Population growth was 3.7% from July 2016 to July 2017, with 45 new residents moving to the area per day.

A total of 16,372 new residents moved to Myrtle Beach during this time.

Retirees from the Northeast are the fastest growing demographic in the area, with no signs of the growth trend slowing down. The low cost of living and ample supply of undeveloped land has helped convince many from the Northeast to make the move.

Growth in other key areas, including Charleston and Hilton Head, has slowed as more people choose Myrtle Beach. The area’s favorable climate is another main reason for people making the move.

The prices for Myrtle Beach condos and homes are also substantially lower than other areas. Horry County’s median home price was just $208,900 compared to $384,900 in Charleston. The cheaper home prices are attracting new residents, but locals fear that the city is not doing enough to keep up with the pace of growth.

Public services and demand for infrastructure have not been properly addressed.

Traffic is intense and only getting worse, with 10-mile commutes taking an hour or longer during the busy summer months. Barring another financial downturn, economists expect retirees to continue flocking to South Carolina for at least another decade. Realtors claim they’re selling homes and condos faster than even in 2005 and 2006 when the housing bubble hit and caused prices of homes to tumble.

Myrtle Beach also attracts millions of tourists annually, making residential growth challenging for city officials.

The broader housing market across the United States grew at a staggering rate of 6.2% annually in January. A shortage in inventory has pushed housing prices higher, as more home owners choose to remain in their homes rather than sell.

December’s gain was 6.3%, which marks the fastest 12-month gain in three years.

Economists forecasted a 6.2% annual growth rate in January, matching the official data released. Spring’s buying season has led to potential buyers facing stiff competition in the housing market. Buyers are facing older buyers paying cash for homes in some areas and limited inventories that are causing more bidders to bid on the same homes.

Seattle experienced a 12.9% rise in home prices annually in January closely followed by Las Vegas, which experienced a 10.2% rise in homes. Wage growth and inflation have not kept up with the rising cost of homes.

Home inventory levels are down to a 3.4 month supply, down from a 6 month supply on average in 2000. Prices for homes hit their lowest levels in February 2012 and have since risen 46.5%. Mortgage rates have risen for 10 out of 11 weeks, with economists expecting a rise in interest rates to further impact the industry.

New homes sales fell for the third month in a row in February, offset by existing home sales rising 3%.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.